Would you like to see one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe? Are you a Harry Potter fan and are interested in seeing a street that is an inspiration for something in the novels? Then head to the Shambles in York, England.
Shamble is an old word for an open air slaughterhouse and meat market. The pavement is raised on both sides of the street to form a channel or ditch where butchers could wash away blood. The street was intentionally built narrow to keep sunlight from hitting the meat that was hung by hooks outside the shops. The buildings on the Shambles in York date back to between 1350-1475.
The Shambles is thought to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films. Today there are a few shops related to Harry Potter on the Shambles, one of which is The Shop That Must Not Be Named.
The Shambles doubled for 18th century London in Knifeman. It also appeared in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
Are you interested in medieval architecture? Do you fancy visiting Harry Potter filming locations and scene inspirations? Visit York and see The Shambles.
What location has the longest medieval town walls in England? What place has gorgeous views from those walls? If you answered York, you would be correct.
York has an old section of town that is surrounded by the remains of the old city walls. You can walk around most of this section of the city on top of the wall. You will have some nice views of York Minster and other parts of the old city from the wall.
The original walls were built by the Romans in AD 71. However, the walls you see now were the upgrade to stone built in 1226. They are the longest Medieval town walls in England at 3.4 kilometers (about 2 miles) and are very well maintained.
It is open daily 8 a.m. to dusk. It is closed on Christmas and any days that the conditions are icy or slippery. As it is an old wall, it is not handicap accessible. Also, dogs are not allowed on the wall as most of it is narrow. Some areas do not have high ledges or railing on one side, so one has to take care. Someone with a fear of heights may not enjoy this walk.
If you are visiting York, hiking on the old city walls is a must to get another perspective on this lovely city.
There are many places that are said to be haunted in York, England. A few places that lay claim to this are pubs. One such pub is The Hole in the Wall.
The story up on the wall of the pub is this pub was formerly named the Board Inn. A builder was said to have found a tunnel beneath the pub. Ghostly footsteps were heard echoing in the dark, so they quickly bricked it up. They say in 1816 excavation was done and a hole discovered that led to an eery dungeon where chains and manacles were hanging. We asked the bartenders about the story and they said both were working one night and they heard a voice talking, but no one was there.
The Hole in the Wall is on High Petergate in York not far from York Minster. It is in the older walled in section of town. You can get to York via train. If hiking is not a problem you can walk from the train station to the old walled in section.
There are several pubs and places in York with stories of ghost sightings or haunting tales. They even have tours covering some of these establishments. If you are into this sort of thing, check out The Hole in the Wall.
York can be an expensive city to visit. One alternative that is less expensive, but still within the old city walls is the Student Castle York University. I booked it through University Rooms website.
I have stayed at York University before booking through University Rooms. However, previously I stayed on their main campus, which was about a 20 minute bus ride from the walled in area of York. It was cheaper two years ago and worked out well as I stayed in York for a week. They had regular bus service from the main campus to the old section of York.
This time however, when I booked well in advance, the only dorm that came up in December- January was the more expensive apartment dorms that are Student Castle. It was more expensive much much closer to where I wanted to be.
The Student Castle is a group of of dorm apartments buildings. It is modern inside. It includes a small kitchen, shower/toilet room, double bed, TV, table, desk and plenty of outlets. They appear to have parking spots in the quad area. There is access to free wifi.
I was told this facility rents out rooms throughout the year. There are grad students and some undergrads staying in the dorm, but the first floor is reserved for people visiting.
I found this was a nice alternative to hotel rooms in the area that can be quite expensive. The location is optimal. If you would like to stop by a grocery, you may be able to cook your own meals. If visiting York I highly recommend Student Castle York.