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To limit the spread of the coronavirus, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please consult government travel advisories before booking. The WHO is closely monitoring the coronavirus and more information can be found here.

The Shambles Tours

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63 Reviews
The Shambles
Having never been widened to accommodate cars, The Shambles has retained its picturesque medieval form. Timber-framed Tudor buildings host tea rooms, taverns, and souvenir shops, and project out at the upper levels—a medieval building technique used to create extra living space. 

The Basics
With its well-preserved 14th and 15th-century buildings, and independent shops selling everything from artisan chocolate to jewelry, the Shambles is one of York’s most-popular sights. While many travelers come here to window shop, it’s worth taking a tour to discover more about the long history of the street. Walking tours and ghost tours of York’s historic center typically include a stroll down the Shambles, as do Harry Potter tours—the Shambles is said to have inspired the fictional Diagon Alley.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Shambles is a must for history buffs and anyone looking to buy unusual gifts or souvenirs. 
  • The pavements are narrow and cobbled, which make moving around difficult for travelers using wheelchairs or strollers. 
  • A couple of Harry Potter-themed shops are situated on the Shambles, ideal for fans of the book and film franchise. 

How to Get There
The Shambles is in the historic center of York, and is best visited on foot. Access is via King Square, Pavement, or the narrow and amusingly-named Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate street off Colliergate.

When to Get There 
As one of York’s best-known attractions, it’s not uncommon The Shambles to be filled with crowds of snap-happy visitors. For a little extra elbow room, come early in the day. It’s also quieter after dark, though the shops are closed at this time. 

What’s Behind the Name?
The Shambles is one of the oldest streets in Britain; its mentioned in the 11th-century Domesday Book. Its name, a reference to a time when more than 20 butchers were situated on the street, is believed to be a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word “shamel,” which referred to the shelves upon which slaughterhouses displayed their meats. This York street is just one of several places with this name in the UK, with others found in Manchester (Shambles Square), Worcester (the Shambles), and Sevenoaks (the Shambles).
Address: Shambles, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7LZ, England
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18 Tours and Activities to Experience The Shambles

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Best of York on Foot - Socially Distanced Small Group Walking Tour Cultural Tours

Best of York on Foot - Socially Distanced Small Group Walking Tour

star-5
Don’t worry about getting lost in the winding streets of medieval York during this introductory tour of the city, ideal for first-time visitors and those with limited time in the region. See several York highlights—including St Mary’s Abbey, York Minster, and The Shambles—without worrying about directions, while benefiting from the insight of your guide throughout.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
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$22.32 
From  
$22.32 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Private Ghost Tour of YorkPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Ghost Tour of York

star-5
Designed for travelers with a historical interest in the supernatural, this private 2-hour ghost tour of York — one of the most haunted cities in the world — allows you to customize your itinerary to suit you. Choose to visit sites with countless reports of ghost sightings, including York Minster, The Shambles, and The York Dungeon, and listen to frightening tales rooted in York’s 2,000-year-old history. The start time and location of your tour is up to you.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

The Bloody Tour of York - Winner:Guided Tour of the Year 2019Historical & Heritage Tours

The Bloody Tour of York - Winner:Guided Tour of the Year 2019

star-5
Skip the standard group tours and enjoy an alternative history of York during this award-winning, immersive guided tour of the city. Pass by top attractions—such as the Shambles and Jorvik Viking Centre—as you listen to your guide tell tales of witches, queens, and murderers that you wouldn’t hear on most other tours.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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$10.18 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes

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York Carriage Awaits - Socially Distanced Tours of YorkLuxury Tours

York Carriage Awaits - Socially Distanced Tours of York

star-4.5
See York in a different way—via an environmentally-friendly pedicab. With a local guide, explore the highlights of the city including Minster Yard, King's Manor, Exhibition Square, Bootham Bar, and more. Choose from two lengths of tours, depending on how much time you have and how much you’d like to see.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
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From  
$63.59 
per group
From  
$63.59 
per group
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Romans, Vikings and Medieval Marvels Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMapPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Romans, Vikings and Medieval Marvels Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap

star-4
Explore an extraordinary 2,000 years of history on this walk through the City of York. You'll experience Roman, Viking and medieval York, see all the sights of the City, including some of the great buildings of the world - and some less expected ones. As you walk you'll learn the history of this great City, and the central role it played in the history of England. From its humble beginnings as a riverside Roman settlement, to its turbulent takeover by the Vikings, and on to its thriving medieval period. You’ll hear about kings and queens, and the lives of ordinary people and hear stories of invasions, executions, personal sacrifice, floods and even ghosts. So, if you’re visiting York, uncover some of the great figures and lesser known characters that have shaped this beautiful city by the River Ouse. The tour is ready whenever you are and the audio plays automatically at exactly the right time and place using your smartphone's GPS and the VoiceMap mobile app, which also works offline.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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$5.20 
From  
$5.20 
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes

Exclusive York - Private Socially Distanced Walking TourLuxury Tours

Exclusive York - Private Socially Distanced Walking Tour

star-5
Why follow the crowds? Explore York at your own pace in the company of one of our expert, fully qualified and licensed guides. Delve deep into the medieval maze and discover secret corners few other visitors get to see. This is an entirely personal service - once you have made your booking we will get in touch to arrange where to come and meet you (such as any city centre landmark or hotel). We will ensure you don't miss any of the highlights - including the world-famous Minster, medieval city walls and Shambles - but if you have any particular areas of interest, please get in touch. It's your tour and we want you to see York your way! PLEASE NOTE - OUR VISITORS' SAFETY IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE AND WE PLEDGE TO FOLLOW ALL CURRENT GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING AND DISEASE PREVENTION.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$111.58 
per group
From  
$111.58 
per group
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

York & Yorkshire in a Day Small-Group TourDay Trips

York & Yorkshire in a Day Small-Group Tour

star-5
York and its surrounding countryside are home to natural attractions and ancient treasures dating back centuries, but organizing transportation to explore independently cuts into valuable sightseeing time. On this tour, follow your guide on a walking tour of York and delve into the Yorkshire countryside by air-conditioned vehicle. Discover sites of interest like Rievaulx Abbey and the North York Moors, and explore both city and countryside in a day.
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  • 11 hours
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From  
$80.58 
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  • 11 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Wizard Bus Tour: Harry Potter Sites Day Trip from YorkCultural Tours

Wizard Bus Tour: Harry Potter Sites Day Trip from York

Harry Potter fans, climb aboard the Wizard Bus for a tour of filming locations around Yorkshire. This full-day guided tour includes narration on Durham Cathedral. A train ride takes passengers from Grosmont to Goathland Station, aka Hogsmeade, with lunch and a bit of “magical” spending money provided for souvenirs. Finish with a stop at the Hole of Horcum and York Shambles, the inspiration for Diagon Alley—ideal for wizarding friends.
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  • 8 hours
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From  
$73.15 
From  
$73.15 
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  • 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Instagrammable York History ExperienceHalf-day Tours

Instagrammable York History Experience

star-5
The tour is brand new for 2019 but is already picking up amazing reviews. It is especially aimed at those who are looking to have an enjoyable, entertaining walking tour combined with a focus on capturing the magic of the beautiful city of York for your memories & social media posts. The tour lasts 3 hours and takes you off the beaten track into areas that visitors often miss. You will learn some history and experience some wonderful sights and you will make a connection with the city that will stay with you. I believe in creating intimate experiences & moments that stay with you. The maximum group size I normally work with is limited to 10 people. This ensures that everyone stays involved & engaged with the tour & you can ask as many questions as you like. It also means there is always someone to help you to create your images with tips on how to capture the perfect shot or to take shots of you against some stunning backdrops that will get plenty of reaction on social media.
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  • 3 hours
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From  
$24.32 
From  
$24.32 
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Walking Tour: York City Highlights and York MinsterHalf-day Tours

Private Walking Tour: York City Highlights and York Minster

star-5
With rich Roman and Viking history, and beautiful architecture, York is widely considered among England’s must-see cities—but exploring independently means you may miss its hidden secrets. On this tour, follow your private guide through historic York and find out what makes the city special. Explore top attractions like Clifford's Tower, the Jorvik Viking Centre, the Roman walls, and St Mary’s Abbey, and enjoy sweeping views along the River Ouse.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$226.46 
Price varies by group size
From  
$226.46 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

York Evening Express - Socially Distanced Early Evening Walking Tour Cultural Tours

York Evening Express - Socially Distanced Early Evening Walking Tour

star-5
York is at its most magical around sundown. The tourist crowds have departed, the streets are empty. Enjoy a one-hour evening stroll which includes all the major sights of York - including the Minster, walls and world-famous Shambles - but will also take you deep into the medieval labyrinth of secret passages and short-cuts known as 'Snickelways'. There are plenty of ghost tour options in York - but why listen to stories when the truth is far more surprising? The early evening start time is perfect for working up an appetite. Informal, entertaining and 100% phantom-free. PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR VISITORS' SAFETY IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE - WE PLEDGE TO FOLLOW ALL CURRENT GUIDELINES ON SOCIAL DISTANCING AND TO ENSURE THIS THE TOURS ARE LIMITED TO A CAPACITY OF SIX PEOPLE PER GUIDE.
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  • 1 hour
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From  
$18.60 
From  
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  • 1 hour
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  • Free Cancellation

Treasure Hunt York - 2½ hour Sight-seeing Puzzle TourSelf-guided Tours & Rentals

Treasure Hunt York - 2½ hour Sight-seeing Puzzle Tour

star-5
York’s ancient centre is full of hidden treasures and you’re going to discover them! Starting at the fabulous Museum Gardens, you’ll sneak through a series of snickelways, passing churches, cathedrals and medieval Guildhalls. Even York experts will surely spot something they’ve never seen before!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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From  
$15.25 
From  
$15.25 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Walking Tour: YorkLuxury Tours

Private Walking Tour: York

star-5
Join for a discovery walking tour of York, which gives you a fantastic overview of this beautiful city. Understand the history of this great walled city (and walk on the walls), from Roman history, through the Vikings all the way to chocolate.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$229.35 
per group
From  
$229.35 
per group
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

York city Street Photography tutorial walk. Art Classes

York city Street Photography tutorial walk.

  We will take a steady stroll around this fabulous city, soaking in the beauty of the architecture, the people and the unique atmosphere that you only find in the wonder that is York! You will discover ways of creating excellent photographs whilst gaining key insights in to the wider issues of street Photography from highly experienced Photographer and Lecturer. You will learn how to more confidently and creatively approach photographing people in public. Discover how to be the master your camera and utilise the light around you. Begin to understand the importance of considering the final image whilst you are shooting. By learning these important and enjoyable steps, you are guaranteed to leave feeling excited by your experience and the images you have created. Lance is an highly experienced Professional photographer and qualified teacher. He teaches privately and lectures at University. Maximum group size is 8
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  • 4 hours
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From  
$152.58 
From  
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private 2-Hour York Walking TourFull-day Tours

Private 2-Hour York Walking Tour

star-5
See York the way you want on a private, fully customizable walking tour of the history-steeped city. With your private guide, tailor your itinerary from start to finish according to your interests. Admire York Minster, the City Gates, and Clifford’s Tower; stroll around ruined St. Mary’s Abbey; or delve into the cobbled lanes to absorb the landmarks on route and learn their stories and secrets.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$101.34 
From  
$101.34 
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  • 2 hours

York Walls Private Walking TourHalf-day Tours

York Walls Private Walking Tour

star-5
Uncover the medieval marvels of historic York on a bespoke walking tour with a private guide. Learn about York’s rich history as you walk around the centuries-old walls, pose for photos with a backdrop of the city or visit the wall museums (not included). Your private tour is yours to customize as you please, so you could also pay a visit to York Castle, stroll down the atmospheric The Shambles or take a peek inside the magnificent York Minster.
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Private Viking Walk of YorkPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Viking Walk of York

star-5
Learn about York's history and legends on a 2-hour Viking walking tour with a private guide, Sigwulf. You'll walk through town to see historical landmarks and listen to stories from the Viking days. Departure time is flexible to suit your preferences.
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Private York Christmas Walking TourChristmas

Private York Christmas Walking Tour

star-5
During the festive season, the historic city of York is undoubtedly at its most magical. Enhance your expereince of York at Christmas time on a private 2-hour walking tour, ideal for families and first-time visitors. Alongside your personal guide, you’ll visit top York attractions such as York Minster and The Shambles, and learn about the city’s 2,000-year-old history. Being a private tour, the itinerary and start time can be customized according to your interests.
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
From  
$68.19 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience The Shambles?

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