York local Christmas shopping guide 2023

Nov 23

It’s that time of year again, when you look at the calendar with consternation as December looms on the horizon and you have yet to buy a single Christmas present (it can’t just be us, right?). Fear not, we have you covered with our 2023 York Christmas Shopping Guide.

While it’s tempting to just panic-buy a load of stuff from Amazon, venturing down the cobbled streets of York, beneath twinkling Christmas lights and cheery shopfronts, is a much more joyous and festive way to shop. Plus, you’ll be supporting local, independent businesses at the end of a very difficult year for many.

Heima, Gillygate

If you’re looking for gifts which are both pleasing and practical, Heima is the place for you. Specialising in environmentally friendly and visually appealing homewares, Heima’s carefully curated range of everyday essentials are also easy on the Earth. 

From kitchen tools and cleaning equipment, to children's toys, Heima has you covered. Predominantly featuring items crafted from natural or durable materials like enamel, metal, glass, and wood - many of these products are designed to withstand a lifetime of use, and in the rare case they don't, you can rest easy knowing they won't linger in a landfill. Great gifting options include this stylish ceramic cafetiere and mug set, this high practical kids’ cooking kit and these cute sheep’s milk soap stocking fillers.

Hebden Tea, The Shambles

For the tea connoisseur in your life, Hebden Tea on The Shambles is a haven of aromatic delights. This independent tea merchant sources a diverse range of high-quality loose-leaf teas from around the world. 

Create a bespoke tea gift set, pairing exquisite teas with elegant teaware for a truly thoughtful present. If the enormous range of brews on offer prove overwhelming, Hebden Tea's knowledgeable staff can guide you through the selection process. They even stock a whole range of Christmas flavours such as ‘Rooibos Gingerbread’ and ‘Baked Apple’.

Heima festive window display on Facebook


Upside Down Design, Bootham

Upside Down Design is one of those wonderful little shops that's always fun to browse around (while fantasising about how you’d furnish your dream house). The shop stocks a tasteful range of second hand and vintage furniture, new home accessories such as vases, lamps, dinnerware and soft furnishing, as well as cards, toys, candles, jewellery and other smaller gift items. 

A great place to shop for those with impeccable taste with beautiful items such as these gold and labradorite drop earrings, vintage-inspired emerald drinks tumblers, or this very cute Princess and Pea mouse doll

Mila Dark Emerald Decanter and Tumblers on upsidedowndesign.co.uk


2 Many Wines, Bishopthorpe Road

On prime position on York’s buzziest independent shopping street is 2 Many Wines. Their well informed staff can help you navigate the often intimidating world of wine. You’ll find the perfect gift for any wine-lover among their vast array of tipples from across the globe - from your classic Viognier to more unusual choices such as Bulgarian Orange wine. You can also stop for some much-needed refreshment and treat yourself to a glass while you’re there and perhaps a small plate or two… well, it would be rude not to. 

Monk Bar Chocolatiers, The Shambles

This family-run business has been a York staple for over 20 years. With over 50 different varieties on offer, Monk Bar Chocolatiers are the clear choice if you’re looking to treat the chocoholic in your life. You can assemble your own unique chocolate box from their wide selection (which is much more exciting than getting another box of Milk Tray.) They even do their own chocolate advent calendar!

The Little Apple Bookshop, High Petergate

Tucked away in the heart of the city, this charming independent bookstore invites you to discover a curated selection of captivating reads for all ages. The small shop packs in an excellent selection of literary fiction, graphic novels, children’s books, poetry and nonfiction, as well as limited and author-signed editions. The Little Apple Bookshop offers a cosy and personalised shopping experience. 

Monk Bar Chocolatiers on Facebook


Rafi’s Spicebox, Monkgate

Rafi’s friendly, knowledgeable team of curry crafters will help you find brilliant gifts to please your foodie friends. Rafi’s have a beautifully-packaged range of gift options including their tins of spice blends such as this Essentials Spice Set and, of course, their hand-mixed curry packs with all the spices needed to produce a low-effort Indian feast. 

Pick up festive themed gifts in the form of a Mulled Wine Spice Pack or the Christmas Leftovers Rescue Kit, to transform yesterday’s turkey and sprouts into a flavourful and aromatic Indian feast.

Thora & The Prince, Haxby

Head out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre to Haxby and visit this ever-so-cute independent gift shop. Thora & The Prince offers an impressive selection of unique products despite their small footprint. Shop for jewellery, candles, toys, children’s wear, jewellery and more, from local makers and established UK brands.

This lovingly curated little boutique’s range is ever-changing, making it a fun place to browse and shop. Great gifting options include gorgeous-smelling St Eval candles, plushy Jellycat dolls, or these cosy cashmere socks

Rafi's Spicebox on Facebook


Shared Earth, Minster Gates

This eco-conscious store, nestled in the heart of the city, is a haven for socially responsible and handmade gifts. Shared Earth has a wide range of gift options including jewellery, clothing, home décor, toiletries, candles, crystals and more. Shared Earth offers a diverse range of items which are responsibly sourced, fairly traded and affordably priced. 

Shop for pro-planet gifts such as this coconut wood hanging planter, handmade solid soaps, or this pollinator-friendly bug house.  

York Christmas Market

Finally, if you want to feel really Christmassy, don’t forget about the York Christmas Market, also known as St Nicholas’ Fair. From 16th November to 22nd December, Parliament Street and St Sampson's Square will be lined with more than 75 alpine chalets, offering an array of artisan gifts   treasures food and drink, crafts, clothing and more, and brought to you by talented local traders.

York Christmas Market from Visit York on Facebook.

York's Independent scene is a big part of what makes the city unique, dynamic and exciting. With a month to go, there’s still time to shop local this Christmas and find some beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts, whilst supporting York businesses.