Top UK Shopping Breaks
Rest, relaxation and…retail therapy, anyone?
Now I know for some people, shopping isn’t the most obvious way to chill out but for shopaholics like me, it’s one of the joys of a city break. Having time to browse the boutiques and stores at my leisure without the usual grab and go system that is in place during the working week or a stolen hour between jobs.
With Christmas just around the corner, you might fancy a cheeky night away with your bestie to blitz that last-minute present dash. Or, maybe you’re planning to raid the January sales with your Christmas vouchers or money gifts.
This week I’ve been checking out some of the best places for a shopping trip where you can bag yourself a nice mini break – or even just an overnight and make the most of it. If you’re planning to shop ‘til you drop, at least you’ll have a nice hotel to crash out in.
Here’s my top picks…
Get set to hit the city’s ‘Style Mile’ which is a shopper’s paradise. Stroll from one end of Buchanan Street to the other and dip in and out of the shops along the way. This busy pedestrian thoroughfare has Monsoon, Hobbs, Victoria’s Secret, Zara, H&M and the famous House of Fraser to name but a few. And if you like to do your browsing all under one roof Buchanan Galleries will keep you occupied …and out of the cold.
If clothes aren’t on the shopping list, you can splash your cash on luxury home or pamper products in The White Company, Molton Brown, L’Occitane and Lush. No matter what your budget is, you’ll find something to suit. For the bargain hunters, there’s a TK Maxx and a massive Primark on Argyle Street or jump on the subway over to the West End and have a rummage around the quirky little boutiques there.
Where do you even begin to narrow down the best places to shop in London? If you’ve not been to the UK capital before or if you’ve not ventured near the shops on your London trip (how is that even possible?), there are some obvious spots where you and your credit card can have some fun together. Whether you opt for the high-street staples of bustling Oxford Street or Harrods and Harvey Nichols in upmarket Knightsbridge, you’ll be impressed at the massive range of stuff you can buy. Bond Street is packed with top-end luxury brands for those with expensive tastes and for the less extravagant shopper, take a nosey around colourful Camden Market for vintage fashion and hand-crafted bits and bobs.
Another style-conscious city, Liverpool will satisfy even the pickiest of shoppers. Head to the huge mall, Liverpool One which is home to John Lewis, Debenhams, Zara, Hollister and many more. For more extravagant purchases you have Met Quarter – often referred to as the ‘Bond Street of Liverpool’ and you can pick up designer goodies from Cricket, Kurt Geiger and Jo Malone. There’s even a Sassoon salon if you fancy getting your hair done. There’s also some cracking little independent boutiques down at Albert Dock and Harbour Accessories is perfect for picking up the finishing touches for any outfit.
Newcastle Upon Tyne
As well as being a hotspot for great nightlife, Newcastle has some great places to get your retail therapy fix. Two impressive shopping centres intu Metro Centre and intu Eldon Square are crammed with all your favourite stores and thee city’s Northumberland Street is full of high street brands. For savvy shoppers head about 10 miles out of the city to Royal Quays discount outlet where you’re sure to grab a few designer bargains.
This vibrant city is another great place to shop. There’s everything from thrift shops (big student population in Manchester) to designer boutiques galore.
Not to be outdone, Manchester also has some cracking indoor malls and the intu Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale should be on your list. There’s also a Selfridge’s – the first one to open outside of London.
The Lowry Outlet at Salford Quay is worth a visit too. You’re sure to bag yourself some good buys in this outlet emporium which include M&S, Next and loads more.
Now you know which cities will tick the box for your shopping expedition but where are you going to stay? A great choice for short city breaks is Malmaison and as luck would have it, they have hotels in all the five cities I’ve suggested for your shopping break.
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I think they are decent value for money and the rooms are stylish and nicely furnished. If you don’t blow the budget on a super pricey hotel, you’ll have even more pennies in your purse to spend at the shops! Win, win.
I love travel. I’ve been fascinated by other countries and cultures since my first foreign trip in 1985 and I’ve had serious wanderlust ever since.I also love to write about where I’ve been and tripsology lets me indulge that passion. I’m thrilled to be a regular contributor and editor. When I’m not writing I also run my own PR and publicity company.