The best shopping destinations to visit this Christmas that aren’t in central London

Christmas 2021 trading tracker
How the big retailers performed over Christmas 2021

As Brits begin their Christmas shopping for the year, we’ve rounded up some of the best retail destinations across the UK that you can visit to find presents for all, from designer clothes to one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces.

Fear not we have you covered and don’t worry, Oxford Street isn’t featured because, well let’s face it, it’s an obvious one!

Here’s our round-up of shopping destinations where you can pick something up this year.

Spitalfields Market, London

If you’ve had enough of the usual high-street chain stores then Spitalfields market in Shoreditch, East London could be be your new one-stop-shop for gifts and trinkets this Christmas.

Full of independent traders selling an array of products, from vintage clothing and handmade incense to festive nibbles and drinks, the market is the perfect place for a shopping day out with friends or family.

Whether you just want to window shop or take in the East End scenery, with Brick Lane and Shoreditch walking distance away, you can take a well-earned retail therapy break in one of the cafés, pubs or restaurants scattered throughout the area.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham 

As the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham isn’t lacking when it comes to options for Christmas shopping.

While the Bull Ring based in the city centre has three floors of retail heaven, the Jewellery Quarter based outside of the centre is an ideal place to find a special gift this December.

If the name didn’t give it away, the area has a prestigious background with a history spanning over 250 years. It has been a mecca of jewellery production since the 1800s and with over 800 businesses and 100 specialist retailers it is still UK’s centre for jewellery.

If this wasn’t enough, the area features a digital trail to follow along and over 100 bespoke Christmas lights, with decorations accompanied by 30ft trees and Birmingham’s largest lighting feature – an illuminated diamond ring.

Bicester Village, Oxfordshire

As one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions (yes, really) the outlet shopping centre on the outskirts of Bicester, in Oxfordshire, England is the second most visited location in the United Kingdom by Chinese tourists, after Buckingham Palace.

If you’re looking for designer goods (think Prada, Gucci and Versace) at a decent discount then this outlet should be high on your places to visit this Christmas.

For those with a more modest budget there are plenty of pocket-friendly retailers including Clarks, The White Company and Fossil, which are all handy for quality presents that won’t have you scared to check your account balance after purchase.

Don’t forget to soak up the festive atmosphere and grab my favourite combo – a hot chocolate and freshly baked cinnamon bun.

The Stoller Hall Christmas Season, Manchester

From December 3, Manchester’s Stoller Hall Artistan Market will open to the public, featuring some of the region’s best independent designers and makers – perfect for picking up one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting local indies for two days of independent Christmas shopping.

All work is handmade, so no two items are quite the same. To add to the fstive experience, enjoy a hot drink in the atrium, or listen to some live music from local musicians. 

This one’s also perfect for the younger family members as Santa is often known to make surprise appearances at the market.

The Lanes, Brighton

Located in Brighton’s historic quarter, the Lanes are a collection of narrow lanes in in the city of Brighton and Hove famous for their small shops, including several antique stores and narrow cobblestone alleyways.

You’ll want to head to the North Lanes where there are over 300 independent shops in less than half a square mile before refuelling in one of the South Lanes’ bars, cafés, and restaurants.

The area is perfect place to go if you’re in need of a bespoke or unique gift for yourself or someone else this Christmas.

Missing your favourite shopping spot? Let us know down where and what it is down below!

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