If your local high street largely consists of pawnbrokers and bookmakers, you could understandably yearn for a retail scene with rather more glamour. You can get exactly that when you drop by one of the following British cities, each of which offer probably any kind of shop you could want in this world.
However, it’s not just a matter of which cities you should prioritise visiting, but also exactly which shopping quarters you ought to check out when you do visit.
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It might seem an obvious choice, but the UK capital indeed warrants attention due to its dazzlingly varied retail offering. Shoppers with particularly deep pockets can embrace the glamour of Harrods or head across Hyde Park to check out the fashionable boutiques on Bond Street.
The West End isn’t just good for theatres, as it’s also home to Marylebone’s smart Georgian terraces housing an array of quirky retailers, including The Button Queen, which stocks buttons originating as far back as the eighteenth century, The Telegraph points out.
The West Midlands city was once the butt of jokes for its soulless, concrete architecture – but, these days, it bears favourable comparison with many of the UK’s best retail hubs.
Just look at the high-end Selfridges department store in the Bullring shopping centre, something of an architectural marvel in itself. If your tastes are more Harvey Nichols, you can find that brand in the Mailbox retail area.
Want to make a relatively off-kilter purchase? British Travel Blog recommends a visit to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter district, where a hundred specialist craftsmen operate.
We couldn’t miss out Scotland – but, if the Royal Mile is a little too resplendent in bagpipes and tartan for you, consider dropping by Victoria Street and Grassmarket.
Godiva Boutique is an ideal outlet of vintage clothing, while Hannah Zak stocks pleasantly quirky accessories. Fancy a new hat? Fabhatrix can make it in their on-site milliner’s workshop.
Often, Manchester can feel much like a northern version of London – and this certainly holds true when it comes to the shopping options.
There might just be something for everyone in this city. Are you an arty type? Manchester Craft & Design stocks ceramics, prints and jewellery in a former Victorian fish market. Just want something to eat? Check out one of the cafes housed in old textile warehouses of the city’s Northern Quarter.
As for the kind of peculiar gift that perhaps only an independent trader would offer, you could find such a gift on one of the four floors of Afflecks.
Newcastle upon Tyne
It might seem a little early in the year for Christmas shopping – but, when you do want to start, consider heading to Newcastle. It was voted the UK’s best festive shopping city by 64% of North East voters in a study reported by smallbusiness.co.uk.
Indeed, the North East is rich in useful supplies for local residents. If their homes needed improvements, for example, these people could easily benefit from experienced roofers in Hartlepool, Sunderland and nearby areas.