It only comes once a year, but once is enough for those looking to switch Cliff Richard off the radio and actively avoid the Mistletoe. The biggest stress of all though can come from the never-ending traipsing from shop to shop in a bid to avert any last minute panic buying. To help the cause, here is our guide to Christmas shopping in some of the UK’s leading consumer havens to help you rediscover that festive feeling.
When it comes to retail in Leeds this Christmas, it’s hard to look past the recently developed Trinity shopping centre in the heart of the city. After opening in spring of this year, Trinity will be hosting its first Christmas and is sure to attract shoppers, with its Christmas light switch on already being a resounding success. It is home to over 100 shops and restaurants with the majority of the country’s biggest brands housed under this bespoke glass dome. The recently launched Trinity kitchen has also proved somewhat of a phenomenon, as the concept of bringing street food vendors indoors has really caught the imagination of locals.
For those with more expensive taste, the glamorous and elegant Victoria Quarter arcade is the hub for premium fashion and lifestyle brands. The likes of Vivienne Westwood, Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols all sit in this beautiful, marble adorned building which boasts all the history of an ITV period drama. Certainly not a place for those stringent with money, but regardless, it is still worth visiting just to marvel at the exquisite design.
An absolutely must-visit in Manchester, Afflecks is home to the weird and the wonderful, and undoubtedly offers something a bit different on your Christmas run this year. Found in Manchester’s Northern quarter, Afflecks is made up of a range of little boutiques and indie merchants with this eccentric emporium being a real magnet for vintage and the unorthodox. Based over four floors, be prepared to lose all track of time as you immerse yourself in tattoos, retro clothing and homemade accessories.
For the more conventional amongst you, the Arndale shopping centre offers everything you need from the major high street brands to those a little less known. Perfect for Christmas shopping, if not a little predictable, the Arndale is Europe’s third biggest city centre shopping facility and annually attracts more customers than the Trafford Centre. It is also known for its seasonal events with Santa’s grotto always proving popular. Its extensive food court and fantastic location make the Arndale centre perfect for all your Christmas shopping needs.
Fenwick Department Store
Fenwick’s in Newcastle is the UK’s largest department store and is spread over five floors of a historic and character-filled building. Originally launched in 1882, Fenwick’s has expanded and specialises in a range of luxury goods with its vast food hall and enchanting toy department particularly highly thought of. It has also become famous for its Christmas window displays which is now in its 42nd year and also has a ‘Christmas village’ on the second floor for everything festive as well as top quality food and wine. Fenwick’s is a little pricey but really is a prime retail centre in the North-East.
intu Eldon Square
After much redevelopment in recent years, intu Eldon Square is home to many of the Britain’s top chains with Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams all tenants. In all, there are 150 shops spread across two floors and it regularly competes with the Arndale in Manchester to be the country’s largest city centre shopping facility. It offers plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and the continuing refurbishments promise to add some exciting dimensions to this already popular retail destination.
So wherever you are this festive season, the North’s leading cities offer a fantastic selection of shops and retailers who and can provide everything to suit your needs this Christmas.