Who doesn’t love a bargain? It might be the time of year that we’re all feeling the squeeze, but it’s also the time of year some of us make our big spends. We might be all worn out on our Christmas spending, but those huge ‘SALE – 70% off!’ flashy red banners lure even the hardest of hearts to have a quick squizz for a bargain. Plus, of course, so many of us have actually been waiting for them – decided in the Autumn that a new TV/bed/sofa was definitely needed? Well, it’ll hold on for a couple more months, we’ll get one in the January Sales, right?
So we’ve got together with the team from Premier Inn – we selected our pick of the very best cities to visit for your shopping this January, and they let us know the best Premier Inn to stay in so that you can enjoy your very own shopover. You’ll be within walking distance of the top retail therapy bargains the city has to offer, so when you’ve shopped ‘til you’re ready to drop, you will only be a stone’s throw from a great night’s sleep!
London Leicester Square
The West End is quite simply London’s most famous shopping districts. From the perennial tumult of Oxford Street to the achingly-stylish boutiques of Carnaby, the West End is brimming with fabulous places to shop.
Oxford Street alone is the home of more than 300 shops, including some of London’s top department stores like the iconic Selfridges (six floors of luxury brands, beauty products, homewares and one of the world’s biggest denim departments!) along with flagship stores of High Street brands such as Primark and TopShop.
Move across to upmarket Bond Street for sophisticated designer handbags and astonishing jewels from the likes of Burberry, Cartier, Tiffany’s and Louis Vuitton.
Regent Street has another 75 international flagship stores from global brands such as H&M, Levi’s, and Apple; and of course you mustn’t miss a visit to six-floor Hamley’s – one of London’s oldest toyshops.
The man in your life will appreciate a stop by Jermyn Street or try Piccadilly for some food heaven. Whole Foods Market is definitely worth a saunter through, and of course historic Fortnum & Mason is a must-see.
Where to stay – London Leicester Square Hotel
Bath City Centre
Bath is a popular shopping destination offering an excellent mix of independent shops and high street brands. Bath has been a stylish spa city since the 18th century, where Georgian society would flock to Bath as the place to “see and be seen”, and the city is still a number one shopping destination today. It has a unique and distinctive retail offering; Bath boasts many quirky, independent stores selling a variety of gorgeous homewares, clothes and food. These small Independent shops can’t be found anywhere else but Bath!
Bath has all the delights of a large city, but is on a relatively small scale – it’s really easy to walk around the entire city in one shopping trip. SouthGate is home to all your high street favourites and just a ten minute walk north will take you to Bath’s Artisan Quarter, which runs along Walcot Street and up London Road.
Not only are all of Bath’s shops within close proximity of each other, but so are the city’s historic sites. As you stroll along Bath’s wide parades and intriguing passageways you’ll see how steeped in history this UNESCO World Heritage City is. With Georgian architecture, romantic bridges, ancient Roman Baths and curving crescents, there’s plenty to admire as you explore the city.
Where to stay – Bath City Centre Hotel
Edinburgh City Centre
There aren’t many cities in the world where the foremost shopping thoroughfare boasts an uninterrupted view of an ancient castle, but Edinburgh’s Princes Street does just that! The unique city street has shops lining only one side, leaving the opposite side a beautiful garden space with breathtaking views of the Old Town cityscape. Princes Street is home to destination and flagship high street stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser, Zara, Primark, M&S and the historic Jenners.
George Street is linked to Princes Street, and is one of the grandest in Edinburgh, with a wide thoroughfare, stunning Georgian architecture and bookended by the beautiful St Andrew and Charlotte Squares. It is the chic fashion hub, with stylish and on trend brands including Anthropologie, Hollister, Karen Millen, Jigsaw and LK Bennett rubbing shoulders with fashionable bars and restaurants. There are also several notable buildings along the length of George Street, including the famous Assembly Rooms.
For a luxury shopping browse, Multrees Walk is the home of Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols with the likes of Celine, Victoria Beckham, Balenciaga, Gucci, Christopher Kane, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and a profusion of other luxury fashion brands all under one roof. Multrees Walk is also home to brands like Michael Kors and Reiss, as well as luxury labels like Mulberry, Burburry, and Scotland’s only Luis Vuitton.
Edinburgh’s Grassmarket and Victoria Street are the perfect places to spend the day discovering independent shops and fashion, from cutting edge designer to vintage. The area is brimming with Scottish designers, artisans and independents selling world crafts, vintage clothing and antiques to gourmet food in a vibrant al fresco setting.
Where to stay – Edinburgh City Centre (Princes Street) Hotel
Birmingham Broad Street
Birmingham is a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for some head-turning chic or some eye-catching bargains it’s all here!
One of the largest shopping centres in the UK, Bullring is right in the heart of the city centre. There are over 160 of the most imaginative and desirable shops for you to explore and the iconic Selfridges department store which stocks all your favourite designers, the latest brands and is home to the world famous Food Hall.
The Mailbox shopping centre is pure indulgence where famed fashion and lifestyle design clash head on with contemporary art and fine furnishings. The Mailbox is home to flagship department store Harvey Nichols.
Situated directly above New Street station Grand Central is home to one of the largest John Lewis department stores in the country. Grand Central also has over 60 new premium shops, restaurants and cafes and is fully integrated with the stunning station redevelopment.
Five minutes walk from the Bullring at the heart of Birmingham’s creative quarter you will find the iconic Custard Factory, home to 30 independent shops, hair and beauty salons, cafes, bars, an independent cinema/theatre and a packed programme of weekend fairs festivals and events. Full of character and urban charm, it is set in a beautifully restored collection of riverside Victorian factories in which Alfred Bird once invented and manufactured his instant eggless custard. There are shops to suit all ages and budgets, ranging from vintage fashion and modern independent fashion labels to high end jewellery, art, collectibles, homeware and cosmetics.
Where to stay – Birmingham City Centre Hotel
Belfast Alfred Street
Shopping in Belfast is special. There’s high street stores, family owned businesses, designer boutiques, markets and the incredible Victoria Square and CastleCourt shopping centres – all within minutes of each other.
Victoria Square is shopping heaven right in the heart of Belfast city centre; it’s Belfast’s number one shopping destination, anchored by the flagship House of Fraser department store. The fantastic array of shops are split over four levels (including 2 levels of food operators) with covered, pedestrianised streets and topped by the iconic dome. Victoria Square has brought a host of major new shopping and food brands to Northern Ireland for the first time, including Urban Outfitters, Cruise, Reiss, LK Bennett and Ireland’s only Apple Store.
CastleCourt offers the ultimate shopping experience with all your favourite shops under one roof right in the heart of Belfast. With over 80 great stores and 15 great food places to choose from, there’s never been a better time to pay CastleCourt a visit. Find the most up-to-date styles, gifts, homeware and everything in between at the huge range of high street and independent shops. Stores include Argos, The Carphone Warehouse, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Jacamo, Dune, Miss Selfridge, New Look, Thorntons, Yankee Candles and many more.
There has been a Friday market on the St George’s site since 1604. The present award-winning St George’s Market, built between 1890 and 1896, is one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. As well as being home to some of the finest fresh produce, with customers travelling near and far to sample the delights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday markets, it has become one of the city’s most popular places to visit. This charming Victorian building offers one of the most vibrant and colourful destinations that Belfast has to offer.
Where to stay – Belfast City Centre (Alfred Street) Hotel