The shambles are beautiful; there is no denying that. The beautiful late medieval buildings teeter pleasantly close to each other and the bowed, cobbled road is an iconic part of York's heritage.
That said, after having taken the obligatory photographs and wowed over how oldy-worldy it all looks the shops that you encounter on this street are geared very definitely towards a tourist markets. A couple of crappy souvenir shops can be found, alongside jewellers selling Whitby jet and antique shops - as well as bespoke butchers and chocolatiers.
Passage down the street will frequently be hampered by large tourist groups idily staring at the roofline. If you are here for more than an afternoon my advice would be to walk in, coo gently, then leave and head towards stonegate and petergate as quickly as possible...
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