Britain’s Best Shopping Cities

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping in the UK, as Britain is packed from end to end with fabulous shopping destinations.  Here is our guide to 5 of the best…

1. London

It may be a little obvious, but the fact is that London really is a shopper’s paradise. Nobody should come to the English capital without paying a visit to Harrods – you might not be able to afford very much, but the sense of glamour and occasion is tremendous.

London's famous Harrod's store

On the other side of Hyde Park, Bond Street is home to some of the country’s most fashionable boutiques, while if you’re looking for something a little more down to earth, the markets of Portobello and Covent Garden, or even the countercultural delights of Soho, may be for you. If you’re after something fancy, head down to the famous Saville Row where you can pick up tailored suits and designer shirts.

2. Birmingham

For many years a bad joke with its concrete architecture and down-at-heel atmosphere, Birmingham has reinvented itself over the last decade, and now stands comparison with any of its rivals. The Bullring is the place to go for the upmarket Selfridges department store, while the classy Mailbox mall offers the delights of Harvey Nichols.

The impressive Bullring shopping centre

If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, head out to the Jewellery Quarter district, home to 100 specialist craftsmen, or visit the covered markets for a real local shopping experience.

3. Edinburgh

It would be hard to think of any single street in Britain that can match the elegance and sophistication of Princes Street. The imposing stone architecture tells you at once that you have arrived, and shops like Jenners department store fit the stunning surrounds perfectly.

Jenner's in Edinburgh

What’s best, though, is that it’s not all big business – the joy of Edinburgh is that small independents sit happily alongside multinational names, so there’s always something new to discover. That goes double if you venture a little further, and explore along the stately Royal Mile.

4. Chester

Just because a city is small, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have much to offer the keen shopper. The historic and highly attractive city of Chester has retail therapy in abundance, with the undoubted highlight being the world-famous Rows, medieval two-deck shopping streets where fascinating little gems are often tucked away. There are quite a few designer stores in Chester where you get some great party dresses for hitting the town in, while there’s also the famous British high street names we’ve all come to know and love over the years.

 

The historic Tudor buildings of Chester

All the big high street names are here too, of course – but the Grosvenor Shopping Centre also contains some unexpected pleasures such as Sweets From Heaven, which sells more types of confectionery and chocolate than you probably realised existed!

5. Bristol

The important thing here is not to judge Bristol by its rather ordinary main shopping centres, Broadmead and Cabot Circus. You will need to try a little harder in this city to find great shopping opportunities, but you’ll be glad you made the effort. The classy suburb of Clifton, in the north of the city, can boast a veritable treasury of places to spend your money.

The steep Park Street is lined with bookshops and independent boutiques, while beautiful Clifton Village itself excels in shops selling gifts and small delis offering irresistible food. If shoes are your thing, then The Village is a shop that may keep hold of you all day!

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