Here are our favourite independents, selling a gorgeous selection of gifts you can take home or treat someone special.

Porta Dextra Gallery

1A High Petergate, York YO1 7EN, +44 (0)1904 673673

Hand-made Jewellery

I always love browsing in Porta Dextra Gallery on the characterful High Petergate. It always amazes me how quiet this location is just moments from The Minster. They sell stunning contemporary jewellery, all made in Britain. Fancy a hand-made polished silver bangle with opals, garnets and rose gold? I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the reasonable prices for such beautiful pieces.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 17:00

Flax & Twine

20 Shambles, York YO1 7LZ, +44 (0)1904 289151


Stocking beautiful vintage gifts and antiques, Flax & Twine is located on the famous Shambles. You will be surprised at just how big this shop is. It really is a delight to browse and wander. There’s a lovely tearoom upstairs serving delicious scones. Favourite places near-by to eat and drink include Shambles Kitchen, Los Moros in the Shambles Market and Monkbar chocolatier.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 17:00, Sun 11:00 – 17:00

Frankie and Johnny’s Cookshop

23 Bishopthorpe Road, York  YO23 1NA, +44  (0)1904 676123


If you’re like us and can’t resist browsing in kitchen shops, then we think you’ll be delighted at what’s on offer at Frankie and Johnny’s Cookshop. Located on “Bishy” Rd, just south of the centre, there’s kitchenware, bakeware, gift cards, and Polish pottery. Prices are incredibly reasonable. You can then enjoy one of the many cafes we recommend a few doors away including Robinson’s, Pig & Pastry, Trinacria and Stanley and Ramona.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 09:15 – 17:15


6 Blake St, York YO1 8QG, +44 (0)1904 466642

Lifestyle store

The Imaginarium is styled like a Victorian curiosity shop and is an experience in itself. This magical shop sells luxury gifts for you and your home. Truly unique items include fantastical creatures, decorative fairies, and vintage glassware. We include a visit here on our suggested walking tours for couples and groups. Near-by places for delicious food and drink include Mannion & Co, Spring Espresso and Brew and Brownie. 

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 18:00, Sun 11:00 – 17:00

Rise and Shine Living

44 Fossgate, York YO1 9TF, +44 (0)7866097785

New for 2018, Rise and Shine sells gorgeous contemporary gifts and homewares to suit all tastes and budgets. Gifts to pamper and please him and her, British-made homewares and decorations, eco-friendly goods, beautiful cards and gift wrap and much more, we simply love it!
Opening hours:

Snow Home

42 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ, +44 (0)1904 671155

Retro / vintage

A contemporary design store, Snow Home has a lovely selection of stylish gifts as well as furniture and lighting. Snow Home sources pieces by emerging artists and small manufacturers as well as selling their own designs. There’s something here to please everyone. Near-by favourite places to eat include Bistro No. 8 and Upper River.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:00 – 17:00, Sat 10:00 – 17:30

Thora and the princess

20 High Petergate, YO17EH York, +44 (0)7837 657177

Quirky gifts, colourful cushions, hand-made childenswear and artwork, Thora and the princess is a pop up shop, currently selling on the delightful High Petergate in the shadows of The Minster. Most of the items are local and ethically-sourced. There’s gorgeous scarves, scented candles, lovely jewellery, pretty aprons and much more.

Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 10.00 – 17.00, Sat: 9.30 – 17.30, Sun: 11.00 – 16.00

The Cat Gallery

45 Low Petergate, York YO1 7HT, +44 (0)1904 631611

Beautiful cat themed gifts of all descriptions, The Cat Gallery has gifts for cats and gifts for owners. There’s soft toys, puzzles, books, jewellery, bags, hats, gloves, cards and much more. You can also pick up a copy of the cat trail which we feature in our 3 days in York for families

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 – 17:00, Sun 11:00-17:00

Walter & May

New for 2018, Walter and May stocks a gorgeous selection of creative homewares, jewellery and gifts, all made by independent UK designers. There’s make-your-own crafts for budding designers, stunning hand-made jewellery, pots of decorative paints for interior design enthusiasts, wooden babies toys and much more. A beautiful selection made to last and to be admired by all.

Opening hours: Tues-Sat 10:00 – 16:30 (closed Sun & Mon)

For chocolate

Did you know…over 5 million kit kats are made each day in York?

York’s chocolate history dates back to 1725 when Mary Tuke set up a grocer’s shop selling drinking chocolate. Several decades later Henry Isaac Rowntree took over the business along with his brother Joseph. York’s fortune was largely thanks to chocolate for over 300 years.

There are many shops in York selling chocolate but we have 2 favourites:

Monkbar chocolatier

7 The Shambles, York YO1 7LZ, +44 (0)1904 634999

An artisan chocolatier located on the medieval Shambles, Monkbar chocolatier sells over 60 varieties of scrumptious chocolates are very reasonable prices. You can choose your own or buy a selection box.

Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sat 10:00-17:00, Sun 11:00-16:30

York Cocoa House

3 Blake St, York YO1 8QJ, +44 (0)1904 675787

York Cocoa House is both a cafe and a chocolate shop. You can make your own chocolate lollipop here (just drop in) or book a chocolate workshop. Their hot chocolate is rather splendid as are their chocolates!

Opening hours: Mon – Wed 08:30 – 18:00, Thurs – Sat 08:30 – 21:00, Sun 10:00 – 17:30