On Friday I went away with a group of friends for a couple of days, to celebrate a special birthday for one of us. We had a fantastic time and although I’ve been to York many years ago, I forgot just how beautiful it is. The city is full of historical buildings, quirky shops, lots of tea rooms and coffee shops and loads of characterful pubs. In short it was the perfect destination for our group girls!
After checking into our Hotel, we set off into York and immediately came across a large warehouse called BBC Antiques on Piccadilly, which was stacked to the gills with all manner of antiques and bric a brac as well as unusual props such as a full size dalek. The shop had one of the best range of vintage bycicles I have seen and this soon became apparent why, when we later realised that nearly everybody in York cycles. The Minster area of the city in particular, reminded me of Oxford with rows of bikes lined up every where.
I’ve also found out today, that across the road from our hotel, was a shop called Vintage Emporium which is owned by Keeley from Discover Vintage who organises and runs vintage clothes and Home fairs around the country. I’ve just bumped into Keeley today bizarrely, at the Victoria Baths in Manchester where she was running a fair and she told me about her shop.That will give me the excuse to go back to York again as I’m sure Keeley’s shop will be amazing.
Right in the heart of the city is the Shambles, which is the oldest part of York. All the shops look like the house that Jack built, very higgeldy piggely and full of history. One of my favourite shops on the Shambles is The Flax & Twine, which is a gift shop selling a mix of old and new items, with a cafe upstairs. I bought a beautiful hand painted tin bird house for my daughters bedroom wall with a little feathered bird, very pretty.
There are too many shops in York to mention them all but it is a lovely place to go for your Christmas shopping as there are so many individual shops, selling hand made chocolate, gifts, stationary and clothes as well as all the big High Street shops, such as Jigsaw, Cath Kidston, Whistles and Jack Wills etc, etc. What is lovely about the better known High Street shops is that they are housed in such lovely buildings which makes them feel more special than their other branches in more modern cities and shopping malls.
Jigsaw which is situated in an old house and still has the original medieval fireplaces and beams
White stuff have used the original staircase to decorate with a collection of original Victorian tiles.
In the evening we joined a ghost walk, of which there are many in York. It was really entertaining and we also learnt a lot of the history of the place. It was now though bitter cold and the warmth of the pubs beckoned. I really have to recommend the Guy Fawkes Hotel just near the Minster, which is the house in which Guy Fawkes lived and is dark and mysterious, lit just by candles and with burning log fires. There are rooms above which you can stay in and the food looked amazing although we didn’t eat there.
The magnificent York Minster
Another lovely pub with rooms and a restaurant is the Lamb & Lion which is on St Peters grove, right next to the city walls. St peters Grove also has some lovely gift shops and an independent gallery selling print works and stationary and a range of Tatty Devine jewellery.
Saturday morning was spent in the York museum which is a reconstructed Victorian Street full of shops and houses and a separate area dedicated to the 1960’s and 70’s which is equally fascinating. After more shopping and a pit stop to drink white hot chocolate and eat cake in patisserie Valerie we set off home but all of us agreed, we would return to this beautiful city!