The Shambles of York

The Shambles of York

Top Tourist Attractions

The Shambles is an old street in York, England, with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century. It was once known as The Great Flesh Shambles, probably from the Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels, the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat.

The Shambles of York

One of the world's most famous streets, The Shambles in York (officially just ‘Shambles’) is a narrow street of mostly timber buildings that date back as far as the 13th Century, in York, England. The street was originally home to butchers, with each shop specialising in a different meat. While the street is still home to a butcher, the rest of the street is now filled with a bright mix of mostly independent retailers.

A street with a colorful history...

Although we only have one butcher left, a number of the shops on the street still have meat-hooks hanging outside and, below them, shelves on which meat would have been displayed. The shops currently include a mixture of eateries and gift shops, but there is also a ghost shop, sweet shop, and a coin shop.

The street has a colorful history that led to one former resident, Margaret Clitherow, becoming a Catholic Saint. She was tortured and executed for harboring a Catholic Priest during the time of Reformation. Her husband was a butcher on the street and they lived as a family above the shop.

Eat and Drink

There’s always something good to eat and drink on the Shambles menu. Whether you’re in the mood for delicious pub classics, authentic Italian dining, fast food with a twist, or want to treat yourself in the tea room, you're sure to find something scrumptious.  Ye old shambles tavern is an award-winning venue. They have inside and outside seating areas and offer a great range of Yorkshire ales, ciders, wines, prosecco, coffee, teas, and real ale gift boxes. Earl grey tea rooms & Shambles Kitchen.


There’s a brilliant range of independent businesses selling great products, from foodie treats to jewelry, clothing, and accessories. With more than 70 stalls, the market is a one-stop-shop for all your shopping needs including quality gifts, fresh flowers, retro vinyl, crafts, handbags, vintage clothing, and much more. Here is the list of some of the shops.

Monk bar chocolatiers are renowned for the superb quality of our luxury handmade chocolates. They have over 60 varieties of luxury handmade chocolates.

W HAMOND has a feast of jewelry in the Aladdin’s cave of a shop: from spur of the moment items to exquisite unique pieces featuring diamonds and precious stones.

Edinburgh woolen mill offers a wide selection of exclusive brands in the store including;
Isle, James Pringle, PG Field, Hector Russell, The Caskmere Shop, Propquip, Hippo, and The Golf Company.

York Glass Ltd is the home of York Lucky Cats and specializes in ornamental glass products, jewelry, and our famous York Lucky Cats whom visitors love to see being made. Statues of cats have been placed on buildings around York and you can obtain a Cat Trail map from the shop.

Shambles market

There is a vibrant market situated just off the main Shambles street which is home to lots of traders and a food court.


Sharing a unique and splendid handmade display counter, Splatt's quirky and rock-inspired alternative jewelry sits alongside the refined and sophisticated sterling silver designs brought to you by Kchoom. Together they offer a richly eclectic selection of bodily adornments that is way out there on a happy tangent from the mainstream, along with super attentive and friendly customer service from dedicated experts. Splatt jewelry is a treasure for years to come – as rugged and hard-wearing as it is supremely individual – featuring solid 316l-grade surgical steel, medical g-23 grade titanium, titanium/tungsten hybrid, and solid stainless steel designs. Kchoom presents exquisitely hand-finished solid 925 sterling silver jewelry – elegant, arty, curvaceous, and distinctive rings in a vast range of sizes and unusual styles, complementing a wonderful choice of pendants and earrings.

Harry Potter and the Shambles 

The Shambles in York is a famous landmark in its own right, but more recently it has been associated with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Said to be the inspiration for the film version of Diagon Alley, it’s not hard to see why this medieval street appeals to us Potterheads.  There are now four different Harry Potter shops in The Shambles. The first to open was ‘The Shop That Must Not Be Named‘, followed later on by ‘The Potions Cauldron‘, ‘World of Wizardry’ and ‘The Boy Wizard‘.

A trip to the Shambles is a must for any visit to York. York continually tops polls as a beautiful city, to live work, and visit. When it does, it is the Shambles that is featured in the accompanying photographs.