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York Shopping: The Shambles Versus Designer Outlet

It’s time to start thinking about Christmas shopping again. York is lucky to have a range of boutique, independent shops to buy unique gifts. We also have McArthur Glen, the York Designer Outlet, which is an outdoor shopping centre perfect for present-buying. But with such a great range of shops, how do you choose where to go?

In this blog, our central York hotel weighs up the best of both to help you pick.

The Shambles York sign

Best for History: The Shambles

As one of the best preserved medieval streets in the world, The Shambles is brimming with history. Many stores use historic methods of handcrafting their products to preserve original manufacturing methods. This is reflected in the eclectic range of shops. York Ghost Merchants sells sculptures with spirits, and is the only shop of its kind still trading in the twenty-first century. Need some luck? Pick up a Lucky Cat from York Glass Ltd, or maybe just some beautiful jewellery. 

Handbags in a shop

Best for Big Brands: York Designer Outlet

Are you obsessed with a big name? McArthur Glen has a huge range of designer labels for you to choose from. Peruse the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors to name a few. Perfect for presents, your loved ones will appreciate the smile a carefully chosen label will put on their face. At many stores, you can make an appointment with an experienced assistant to aid you in picking the ideal piece.

People walking The Shambles York

Best for Magical Vibes: The Shambles

Lovingly rumoured to be the street which inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, the Shambles has taken on a magical personality. The Shop That Must Not Be Named, The Boy Wizard, The Potions Cauldron, and World of Wizardry each have a range of collectables and fun products which relate to the franchise. Aside from the direct links to Harry Potter, the Shambles holds its own medieval magic. The lively buzz and historic architecture take you into another world during your shopping trip, creating a mystical atmosphere. 

Shopping

Best for Bargains: York Designer Outlet

There’s nothing wrong with making your money go a little further, and at McArthur Glen you can enjoy incredible value. Whether it’s a big-name bargain you’re after, or a discount on your favourite high street brands, York Designer Outlet has some amazing deals. Our favourite piece of advice is to head to the chocolate shops to pick yourself up a little treat while you wander. 

Artisan chocolates

Best for Unique Treats: The Shambles

From edible delicacies, to personalised gifts, to handmade trinkets, Shambles street always offers something a little different. If you’re sick of buying the same old gifts, it’s an incredible place to get new and exciting products. Get a set of matching gifts for the extended family, or buy each person something unique and individual. Your loved ones will appreciate the thought behind anything bought from this historic array of shops. 

Window shopping

Best for Following Trends: York Designer Outlet

If trend-setting or being inspired by the latest thing is your cup-of-tea, York Designer Outlet is your ideal stop. Where Shambles offers quirky, one-off items, McArthur Glen is great for modern and mainstream shopping. There’s a great Beauty Outlet with a range of brands, as well as high street favourites like Adidas, Doc Martens, Fred Perry, Ugg and Levi’s. While York city centre does have many of these shops, the Designer Outlet lets you grab the latest fashions at a brilliant price.

Our best advice? Spend a weekend in York, enjoying all the boutiques and independent shops. Then while you’re here, catch the park-and-ride bus or train to York Designer Outlet for a day trip. 

Our central York hotel is in prime position for all your shopping needs. Discover our luxury guest rooms for a supremely comfortable stay.

Great hotel with great staff who go out of their way to make you feel all that bit more special!

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Hotel Indigo York Reviews

Sarah,

Lincoln

A lovely hotel within walking distance to the centre of York. Very friendly, helpful staff on reception, bar area and dining room. The rooms were immaculately clean and well presented. The bed was absolutely huge and was extremely comfortable. The hotel has a modern, funky feel to it and was very welcoming. The breakfast was superb . Would definitely stay here again.


John,

Southport

<p>Conveniently positioned within easy walking distance of the city and Minster. This was our third visit so obviously we’re fans. That said although the previous visits were excellent this time the stay was even better. On check in we were given a complimentary upgrade to a superior room as IHG elite members. The room was spacious, clean and well furnished. Large TV. Massive comfortable bed with high quality bedding. Complimentary snacks with fresh milk and the bonus of a Nespresso coffee machine complete with six “pods”. Decent sized bathroom which was clean and well stocked with quality toiletries. Breakfast on both mornings was excellent. Wide choice of hot and cold items. Plenty of quality juices and smoothies. Service excellent even when busy nothing seems rushed. Very highly recommended.</p>


Christine,

London

Excellent hotel. Rooms very nice and extremely clean and quiet. Friendly staff both at reception and restaurant. Breakfast had fantastic choice. Location was really good lots of nice bars and restaurants just minutes away. Short walk to the Shambles and they offered parking just 2 minutes away for a small daily charge. Would definitely stay again. 5 Stars.


Julie,

Perth, Australia

We have found that it’s the little things that make a huge difference when you’re travelling. They’ve nailed the little things here! You’re always warmly greeted when you pass reception. Comfortable bed, soft towels, immaculate room and free chocolate in the fridge! Breakfast is delicious and finally a coffee I enjoyed. Location is fabulous and parking was easy. Well done to the Team at Hotel Indigo.


Carol,

Norwich

We stayed at the Indigo for my birthday recently. It was very modern with quirky room features. The breakfast was world class - such a great variety of treats, including a good selection of gluten and dairy free food. The staff were very helpful and attentive.


Mark,

Milton Keynes

Stayed for 2 nights, very good quality modern hotel with good sized rooms and breakfast. Cold buffet and hot food freshly cooked to order . Great location within a 5/10 minute walk of York center. Would highly recommend.


Ian,

Bandbury

<p>My partner, daughter and I stayed for 3 nights on a city break in April 2018. The room was great, Fresh milk in the complimentary mini fridge, fantastic big bed, really really clean, excellent room service and thick black out curtains. The service was excellent from all the staff at all times - reception staff were helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. The breakfast was also fantastic, so much choice on offer and again, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel is really well located for the city. It was excellent value for money and we would definitely stay there again. Absolutely 10/10 all round.</p>


Brian,

South Ayrshire

This is a nice hotel in a quiet area of York, but still within easy walking distance of the city centre / shambles walls etc. Lovely continental breakfast and a quiet bar area. Ideal if you want a bit of peace in a busy city.


Susan,

London

Stayed one night in this hotel ,was very impressed. A warm welcome on arrival from the receptionist and the room was ready ahead of check in time. The room was lovely, very luxurious with lots of nice touche. Biscuits, chocolate and drinks in fridge. Very close to main town and York Minster. Had a lovely evening meal in the hotel restaurant, very reasonable priced and a nice breakfast in the morning before leaving. Would definitely stay here again.


Poppy,

Letchworth

Lovely hotel close to York centre and near all the main sites. Within 5 minutes walk to the Shambles. Excellent staff and facilities. On arrival complimentary mini treats in room due to it being my Birthday. Complimentary water and chocolate and biscuits in room together with tea making facilities. Made the 2 night stay in York most enjoyable. Would definitely stay there again and recommend.


Dale,

Greater Manchester

We had a very pleasant stay on a Saturday night when visiting York. The hotel is only a few minutes walk from the Shambles and central York area. The staff were all good and friendly with good check in service and also in the bar. The breakfast choice and service was also very good. The room and the hotel was decorated very well. We stay here again if staying in York.

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