York is a haven of literary spots and reading nooks. From a bookshop beside the Minster, to a tea shop with resident dogs, we’ve put together a few of students’ best-loved bookish places in York. Happy exploring!
Minster Gate Bookshop
Minster Gate Bookshop takes first prize for the most photogenic bookshop. Situated a stone’s throw from the Minster itself (hence the handy name), it’s home to five floors of books for every subject. Minster Gates, formerly known as Bookland Lane, has been selling books since 1580, and specialises in folklore and Arthurian literature. You can’t miss the chance to wind your way through the stacks of books (socially distant, of course).
Hebden Tea, 21 The Shambles & 10 Minster Gates
If tea is a bookworm’s best friend, then Hebden Tea is a booklover’s heaven. In not one, but two beautiful locations in York, you can buy loose-leaf tea in pretty much any flavour you can think of. (Our special recommendation would be ‘Lady Hebden’, which is orange infused Earl Grey.) Not only can you warm up with the endless free samples they have outside the shops, but if you’re lucky you might meet the resident dogs, Peppa and Dusty. They sit outside the shop on The Shambles like very cute tea-guardians.
York Minster Library and Archives
If the Minster itself isn’t impressive enough, it boasts the largest cathedral library in the country, with just over 90,000 volumes. It’s manuscript collection spans 1,000 years, yet it still functions as a modern reference and lending library! You can surf their online catalogue via Yorsearch, our university’s very own online system, or you can access the physical archives by appointment (which is free for students). Whatever your interest, especially local history and theology, this treasure trove will be sure to hold your attention.
Fossgate (the whole street, because we couldn’t decide)
Fossgate is undeniably York’s hidden gem: a beautiful cobbled street with a view of the Minster and plenty of spots for book lovers. Fossgate Books is home to two floors of second hand books, including antique and rare copies. The coffee shops are endless, but Kiosk (the most aesthetically pleasing) and Fossgate Social (the cosiest) are our favourites. Not to mention Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, the 14th Century timber building hidden behind that fancy coat of arms. And did we mention that there’s a spectacular view of the River Foss? You could spend a whole day exploring Fossgate and not even scratch the surface.