Our guide to the ultimate Christmas shopping experience
In our modern age, it can be oh so easy to stay well clear of the shops and resort to a click of a button to buy all of your Christmas gifts. Stop. Although online shopping can come in handy for those hard to find gifts or a last-minute gift before Christmas, it shouldn’t substitute a real Christmas shopping experience. Hitting the shops around Christmas may be hectic, but it also has its pros. The festive cheer of the Christmas displays and the festive lights adorning the city streets to the cheery Christmas classics being blasted out of the store’s sound system, Christmas shopping is a tradition that should be upheld. To help you get the most out of your festive shopping we’ve come up with our guide for the ultimate Christmas shopping experience.
Make a weekend of it
Put the fun back into your Christmas shopping with the excitement of combining it with a weekend city break. Spend the day shopping until you drop, indulge in some scrumptious food and relax in the evening without having to hit the rush hour post-shopping traffic. Wake up the next day to breakfast cooked for you and explore what festive activities are going on in the city to really get you into the Christmas spirit. We’ve rounded up the best cities in the UK where you can shop.
The UK’s capital of Christmas shopping. London has everything you could possibly want from a shopping trip. Wander down the festively lit Oxford Street and browse the creatively decorated shop windows. Hunt for unique bargains at Camden Market or buy a hand-crafted gift from a European artisan at the German Christmas market along the South Bank river, which is open all weekend and throughout the week from November 20 to December 23. Plus it is open late night at the weekends so after all that shopping, reward yourself with a warming mulled wine and take in the waterfront view.
The thriving city of Manchester has an eclectic mix of shops making it a haven for a Christmas shopping break. It is home to the UK’s largest city-centre shopping centre, Manchester Andale as well as a plethora of independent retailers in the Northern Quarter, designer shops down King Street and the abundance of up-market department stores like Selfridges and House of Frasier. Oh and don’t forget about The Trafford Centre, which is just a short drive away from the city centre. You’ll be able to find a gift for everyone with all the choice. When you’re just about to drop with all those shopping bags, head over to the award-winning German Christmas market to soak in the festivities.
Liverpool is known for being a city of style and fashionistas so it’s no wonder that this Northern city is a heaven for shopping lovers. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the likes of Liverpool One, the city’s award-winning shopping centre offering over 150 high-street, well-known brands, and independent boutiques. If you’re after something a little different go for a stroll up Bold Street where you will find vintage shops selling cool clothing and record shops, Lonely Planet rated it one of the best shopping streets in the country. Liverpool is also home to the exclusive Metquarter and Cavern Quarter where you will find all your high-end designer needs. After you’re all shopped out take in the magic of the city’s Ice festival down by the infamous waterfront.
The midlands biggest city, Birmingham is a shopper’s paradise. It’s home to the modernistic looking Bullring shopping centre, which houses the likes of Selfridges for all your designer cravings as well as the other 160 well-known shops. If you’re looking to buy an extra special present with sentimental value head over to the Jewellery Quarter, it’s the home of British jewellery with over 100 craftspeople. Then for the bargain hunters, there is the Bull Ring Markets, where you can get pretty much anything at a bargain price. Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, soak in Birmingham’s festivities at Victoria Square where the largest authentic German market outside of Germany & Austria is held. Refuel after a hard day shopping with a delicious Bratwurst washed down with a hot cup of mulled wine.
Take a break
Shopping can be tiring work, not only on your body but mind too. You’ve spent the best part of the day scrutinising on what to buy for who, you’ve bought a lot and the amount of bags you’re carrying around town are increasing by the shop and your feet need a rest. It’s time for a break and a bit of food to keep you going through the day. Why not make this break extra special with an indulgent afternoon tea. It’s the perfect way to recover and share your shopping finds with a loved one over a nice cup of tea – or a glass of bubbles for an extra celebration and some tasty treats.
The best thing about booking a city shopping break is that you can miss the ordeal of hoarding the heavy bags back to the car or your chosen form of public transport to then sit in rush hour traffic leaving you feeling all stressed as the joy of the day drains away.
Instead, you get to head back to your hotel where you will be greeted by a friendly face, put your feet up and relax. What’s more, you could make it extra special by booking yourself in for a relaxing massage in our hotel spa, your tired feet will thank you for a relaxing foot massage. Once you’re feeling rejuvenated there’s no need to brave the cold and head out when you can indulge in a delicious meal in one of our brasseries. Enjoy a nightcap at the hotel bar before heading off to your room for a comfortable nights sleep.
If you’re left feeling inspired to book a festive shopping break, take a look at our hotels here. and get up to 40% off one night stay.