York Shopping: The Shambles Versus Designer Outlet - Hotel Indigo York

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.


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.

Food & Drink in York

Sip on local gin, craft ales, familiar favourites, and creative cocktails at No.88 Walmgate. Pair with one of our delicious Rustic Pizzas.

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We proudly stand in the historic neighbourhood of Walmgate, just a short walk from all the city has to offer.

At one point Walmgate had 20 pubs on the street, today it is a cool mix of independent restaurants, bars and shops and continues to Fossgate – which boasts even more independent shops, delis, bars and restaurants. Walmgate Bar proudly stands at the end of the road. It is the only existing bar in York with a Barbican and forms part of the York City Walls walk.

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York Hotel's Chocolate Story

Discover the history of chocolate, how to make it and how to taste it like an expert at the York’s Chocolate Story.

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Hotel Indigo York's Latest Special Offers

Chocolate Package

Sweet dreams are made of this! Enjoy an indulgent stay in York and explore the city’s confectionary history. Snack on a complimentary box of chocolates, and wake up to a full English breakfast.

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