It’s my birthday everyone!!!
Well to be honest, my big thirtieth birthday wasn’t the one I had imagined for myself. I had a vision of me in a beautiful red dress, gambling in Vegas, drinks flowing (mostly soft because I’m not much of a drinker) and a big stack of winning poker chips being passed my way.
Unfortunately, this pandemic has claimed yet another birthday, so instead I am wrapped up, not gambling, the only drink flowing is tea and I am definitely not in the glamour of Las Vegas.
Although not what I exactly what I had in mind, York has always been somewhere I’ve been interested in visiting, especially to The Shambles. With a reputation of being the most hauntingly beautiful city in England, we made the drive to find out for ourselves
Like stepping into Diagon Alley, these wonky, ancient buildings are home to some of the most magical shops I’ve ever seen. From bakeries to jewellers, tailors to anything and everything cat themed and chocolateirs to everything else, there is a brilliant collection of niche shops in The Shambles. One of my favourites was The Ghost Merchants of York.
This enchanting little shop sells and creates hand crafted ghosts. Each one is painted with its own unique design and it is for you to find the one which “calls out to you”.
Peaking from hidey holes, behind portraits and layered throughout the shop, it’s a really fun experience going in and finding your ghost. Also a terrific sales pitch. How could you seek out your adorable little ghost and not take them home with you?
I found mine quite quickly, which had nothing to do with the pressure of the watching que outside. Her beautiful lilac and black colours caught my eye and looking into her hollow eyes, I knew I had to buy her. Mitch chose her a partner because she couldn’t come alone could she?
Once you’ve chosen your little ghoul, there’s a photo opportunity for them to pose in their own Shambles. After purchasing, they are put in their special box and delivered to you via toy train. It’s so eccentric, I absolutely loved it.
My other favourite was The Shop Which Must Not Be Named. Like every other millennial, Harry Potter was a huge influence growing up. So of course I lost my mind with excitement.
I couldn’t help but be swept away by the magic of Hogwarts. From wands, brooms, robes and more, it’s a perfect place for any Harry Potter fan and any kid’s (or kid at heart’s) dream come true.
After dinner later that evening, we returned to The Shambles for a stroll. I think you’ll agree, it’s even more magical at night. Especially with no one blocking the view!
I’ll be writing the second part of this trip in the week so watch this space!
Also, if anyone fancies being generous and granting me a birthday wish, there is a very sick pup that needs help. Please visit The Bali Dog to see their amazing work and if you can, please donate!