Where can you go for a great Christmas shopping experience?

Make your christmas shopping experience more memorable this year by turning it into an away trip to one of the UK’s best shopping / tourism destinations. See the sights, admire the Xmas decorations, enjoy the local food and drink on offer, and get an amazing Christmas shopping experience.

There’s a proliferation of great towns and cities to visit around the UK at this time of year. We’ve selected our favourite five, for your consideration!

5. Harrogate

Our home town, so of course we’re biased. Nevertheless, Harrogate remains an amazing place to visit and to shop – and never more so than at this time of year. Harrogate can be found in North Yorkshire, England, just to the east of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. Its past heritage as a fashionable spa resort continues to this day in the exquisite Montpellier Quarter, and there’s multiple places to visit including Museums and the outstanding Turkish Baths: if, of course, you have time while you’re shopping.

Christmas in this boutique Spa Town is nothing short of magical. The local shops and eateries go all-out to impress visitors. From the beginning of November, all the way through to New Year’s Day itself, Harrogate has a busy schedule of fun, festive events and attractions to help you celebrate the season in style.

Christmas markets and fairs fill the busy, bustling town centre space, and they offer up a fun alternative to the usual shopping experience for the casual visitor to enjoy. There’s a ready supply of edible Christmas treats to eat and drink wherever you go in the town.

Amazing Christmas shopping choices can be found in the eclectic mix of shops and boutiques in the cosmopolitan town centre of Harrogate, including the option to pick up a unique hand-made gift from one of the many independent craft shops this historic town boasts.

Our favourite spot might be Betty’s though – the famous tearoom providing the perfect atmosphere for a festive lunch!

4. Newcastle

Mostly known as a University City, Newcastle is situated on the banks of the River Tyne in the northeast of England. In years gone by, it was a major shipbuilding and manufacturing hub; nowadays it’s a world renowned centre of business, arts and sciences. Spanning the River Tyne, the beautiful, modern, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, much-photographed and lauded due to its unique tilting aperture, is a recognisable symbol of the 2 cities.

At any time of year, shopping in Newcastle is an amazing experience. From the Metrocentre to the designer stores in the North East of the City, you can choose any type of shop imaginable and Newcastle will provide it. There’s a fantastic Arts and Crafts market on Armstrong Bridge every Sunday, and the City boasts a whole host of attractions for the tourist visitor to enjoy.

At Christmas, the shopping experience in Newcastle is even more special. With Christmas Villages, Christmas Lights, renowned Christmas Window Displays, and Christmas Markets a-plenty, you can take your pick of things to see and do while making a massive dent in that Christmas shopping list!

3. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is Scotland’s south west boutique shop-filled, hilly and – in the winter at least! – snowy and seasonal capital city. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town, both filled with a mix of independent and designer shops. Wherever you go in the City you can admire the beautiful Edinburgh Castle, and there’s certainly no shortage of opportunities for the festive shopper here.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, and a great location for shopping all year round: – but it’s something extra-special at Christmas. With great Christmas markets, fairs and sights to see; people come from all around the world to brave the cold to do their Christmas shopping.

The style-conscious locals take consumerism very seriously here, so shoppers have an almost endless array of choices, as the pristine City streets are packed with stores. You’ll find designer names (Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton and Prada to name just a few), as well as a vast array of smaller boutique shops, and some fantastic gift shops for the tourists.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city at any time of year, but at Christmas it’s truly spectacular. The hilly, wintry, city is decked in lights – the Royal Mile of an evening is truly a sight to behold over the festive period – and there’s a whole host of attractions laid on to get everyone into the festive spirit.

The actual center of Edinburgh is transformed into a winter wonderland with a fairground, food and drink stalls, Xmas gift opportunities, and there’s even an ice rink to really make you feel as though you’re in a Christmas Movie. Beautifully lit Christmas Markets in Princes Street Gardens and St Andrews Square offer a choice of shopping opportunities, festive treats and are the perfect place for you to really get into the festive spirit.

2. Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital of Wales and one of the largest cities in the UK. A very friendly city, and renowned as one of the best shopping locations in the country, even before the completion of the new St. David’s shopping centre £675 million extension.

Every major store you could possibly imagine is represented in the brilliant “St. David’s 2”, but if you prefer a more eclectic shopping experience then head straight to the Morgan and Castle shopping arcades, their Victorian and Edwardian features are home to a vast array of independent stores.

If you love Christmas Markets, there’s one of the best in the UK on offer in Cardiff. The Cardiff Christmas Market can be found in the City Centre (stretching across St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes) from Thursday 14 November to Sunday 23 December 2019, and is a not-to-be-missed experience for the Christmas shopping aficionado.

Late night shopping, food from first thing in the morning to late at night, Christmas lights and sounds galore – a visit to Cardiff at Christmas is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

1. London

There was only going to be one winner in any list of cities to visit for Christmas shopping. London is one of the top tourist shopping destinations worldwide, but even more so at Christmas, and a quick look at what’s on offer in this spectacular capital city at Christmastime tells us why that is.

Those popular central locations in London: – Oxford Street, Knightsbridge, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Picadilly – are high up on the list of the most popular shopping destinations in the world, with an estimated forty million shoppers making their annual Christmas pilgrimage to the City shopping centres every year.

People come for the fantastic and eye-catching display of Christmas lights, the hundreds of different shops on offer, the extended Christmas and seasonal ranges in many of the international flagship stores and the almost endless choice of seasonal shopping opportunities.

If you’re planning a trip anytime in December, a good tip is to get to the shops as soon as they open in the mornings to try and avoid the afternoon crush. You can then spend the afternoon in a little bit more leisurely fashion in a fancy London eaterie, or perhaps visit one of the vast array of Museums and Art Galleries that London is quite rightly renowned for.

You will easily find every Christmas gift you need in London, whether from one of the shops or from one of the many stalls selling festive gifts across the Xmas markets.

The choices of where to shop in London at Christmas are so vast, with so many different Christmas Markets and Fairs open to shoppers and featuring some of the best high street shopping experiences in Europe, that we’ve created an additional ‘top eight places to shop at Christmas in London’ list to help you decide!

This list features some of the best Xmas markets in Europe, and in Oxford Street, you have one of the busiest shopping streets in the world, with the famous Christmas tree at its centre and an array of shops including John Lewis, and, of course, those independent shops too.

  1. Jubilee and Apple Christmas Market, at Covent Garden, Central London

  2. Luxury Shopping At Knightsbridge Store, Central London

  3. Christmas Market – Winter Wonderland – London’s Hyde Park

  4. Portobello Road Christmas Market, Notting Hill

  5. Greenwich Christmas Market, South London

  6. London’s Southbank Christmas Market

  7. Old Spitalfields Market, Liverpool Street Station, London

  8. Oxford Street, London