|The Shambles is one of York's best known streets. Although it is technically a single street running between King's Square and Pavement, The Shambles is often used to also collectively refer to the surrounding twisting streets and alleyways.|
The Shambles itself is one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, and it takes you immediately back to what life must have been like in Elizabethan times.
The half-timbered houses jostle together precariously, and the road is so narrow that is alleged that in some parts of the street if you stand with your arms outstretched you can touch the houses on either side!
|The name of the street is derived from the Saxon word "Fleshammels" meaning "the street of the butchers", and indeed this is where the city's butchers' market thrived for many decades.|
As you walk down take a note of the windowsills of the houses. These tend to be unusually broad because the windowsills were once used to display the meat that was butchered here.
Today the thing that The Shambles is famous for is its shops, for this is one of the nicest shopping areas in the whole city. The butchers' shops have now been replaced with gift shops, craft stores and all manner of interesting and unusual boutiques.
The Shambles, and the area around tends to get crowded in summer, which takes the edge off the quaintness of the street, but it is still a pleasure to wander around in this part of York.
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