TOURISM chiefs hope York’s annual St Nicholas Fayre has been one of the most successful ever after crowds of shoppers crammed into the city.

Poor weather failed to put visitors off as they searched for bargains and soaked up the festive atmosphere in Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square and Coppergate, as well as checking out stalls in the Guildhall, Barley Hall and St William’s College.

Despite the floods which closed St George’s Field to coaches for some of the time, Visit York said the four-day event had once again put York at the forefront of Christmas shopping. Some coaches parked in Piccadilly and Bustardthorpe.

“Traders have told us they have had an excellent weekend and it appears the city was practically full, so it looks like being one of our best years yet,” said a spokeswoman.

“The word is definitely out that York is the best place to come over the Christmas period, not just for shopping but also for the lovely atmosphere.”

However, the city is set to suffer a retail blow as signs went up at the Borders bookstore in Davygate announcing that it was closing down after the company went into administration nationwide. “We are extremely disappointed because Borders has been a great addition to York and has worked very closely with us to embrace a different kind of retail through events, readings, children’s activities and opening in the evening,” said the spokeswoman.