Best shopping centres to go to in the UK

Best shopping centres to go to in the UK

England has plenty of extravagant shopping centres, full of high street and high-end stores. These malls are perfect for people in the mood for a shopping spree or an evening at a restaurant.

Let’s face it, online shopping on our devices is great for easily finding a product and seeing reviews, but then there is the hassle of shipping and returns. Plus there is no substitute for trying something on first and seeing the weight, fabric quality, colour and size without purchasing. And who can deny the buzz of queuing at the checkout with their items.

The good shopping centres are more than just the retail centre, they also have a range of restaurants, bars, cafes, entertainment facilities, activities, parks and shops all in one location. With preferable good information points to give store details so you don’t miss anything.

While price is standard across the main retail chains, you might grab a bargain in the sale section to make that money go further. Of course, what sets the shopping centre’s apart is the size of the shops, meaning a higher range of available products to browse and try on.

Here are the best shopping centres UK has to offer in the big cities.

Intu Trafford Centre

Address: The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA.

Manchester’s Trafford Centre is the third largest shopping centre in the UK, the biggest in the North-West and has over 280 shops including the Couture Club flagship store. It hosts huge department stores over 3 floors, like John Lewis and Selfridges and Next.

In the centre is Europe’s largest food court, The Orient, and based around this is four key areas Barton Square, The Dome, Regent Crescent and Peel Avenue each with key shops.

The Trafford Centre also contains Legoland, Laser Quest, Adventure Golf and Sea Life. After morning shopping, you can take the family to these hit attractions for some extra fun.

Check out the United Kingdom’s busiest cinema for nights out or take a leisurely mooch around the hundreds of shops across multiple levels with many having late opening times.

There are plenty of hotels around for visitors that want to travel in and want overnight accommodation.

Fashion Shops in the Trafford Centre

Being the largest shopping centre in the North West, in the mecca of fashion in Manchester, there is no shortage of designer fashion outlets and shops to buy womenswear, menswear, fashion accessories, jewellery, lingerie and more. You are truly spoiled for choice with Fashion retailers available including:

Accessorize, Aldo, AllSaints, Ann Summers, BOSS, Boux Avenue, Breitling, Burton, Calvin Klein Jeans, Claire’s Accessories, Clarks, Dorothy Perkins, Dune London, Fat Face, Footasylum, Foot Locker, Forever Unique, H&M, Hollister, Jack & Jones, JD Sports, Kids Cavern, Kurt Geiger, Lacoste, Levi’s, Lipsy, Lovisa, Luke 1977, Luxottica, Mamas & Papas, M&S, Michael Kors, Miss Selfridge, Monsoon, Moss Bros, New Look, Next, Office, Omega Watches, Police Lifestyle, Primark, Pull&Bear, Quiz, Reiss, River Island, Russell & Bromley, Schuh, Scotts, Selfridges & Co, Skechers, Sole, Stradivarius, Superdry, Ted Baker, Tessuti, The North Face, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Topman, Topshop, Vans, Victoria’s Secret and ZARA.

The best thing about going directly to the high end brand stores is you can see the styles and try them on. While there are many online stores selling the brands, you would need a good authentication service to ensure the item is legit and not a counterfeit.

Intu Trafford Centre external
Intu Trafford Centre

Liverpool ONE

Address: 5 Wall St, Liverpool L1 8JQ

This indoor shopping centre is located in the heart of Liverpool and has an open-air roof. Say goodbye to sweaty shoppers and hello to an easy-breezy experience. Liverpool One contains six different districts, each with different tastes. For example, Peter’s Lane has more luxurious stores and designer outlet while Paradise Street focuses on technology and food.

Surprisingly only the 10th biggest in the UK, Liverpool ONE has a 14 screen Odeon Cinema and 36 hole mini golf course.

Fashion shops

Shops on Peter’s Lane include; Ted Baker, Fat Face, Karen Millen, Radley, Ghost, Jigsaw, Cafe Nero, Dune, Topshop, Tie Rack and Lollipops Paris. Masterplan, AllSaints, Ann Summers, Disney Store, Gap, Hollister Co., Mango, Monsoon, Pull and Bear, Republic,, Nike, JD Sports, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, USC and Zara.

Westfield London

Address: Ariel Way, London W12 7GF

Take a train to London and visit Shepherds Bush for the ultimate London shopping experience. This five-floor shopping complex features a glass roof, elegant lighting and hundreds of shops. There is even a separate section, named The Village, for the most luxurious of stores and fashion brands.

There is also an entire floor for food – so you can stop and grab a snack halfway through your shopping spree and easy lunchtime dining.

Retail Shops

The mall has many premium outlets like Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, Next, Primark, AllSaints, Bershka, Coast, Cotton On, Dorothy Perkins, Dwell, Ernest Jones, Hackett, Hollister Co., House of Fraser, H.Samuel, Jaeger, Kurt Geiger, Mamas & Papas, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Next, Nomination, Oakley, Reiss, River Island, schuh, Topshop, Uniqlo, Zara, Burberry, De Beers, Georg Jensen, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Myla, Tiffany & Co and Versace.

It’s one of the best shopping destinations in the South, while of course the capital offers other retail spaces like the busiest shopping street area around Oxford Street and Harrods.

London has some of the best shopping centres in the United Kingdom including Westfield’s sister site in Stratford (E20) and Canary Wharf shopping centre (E14) which are both in East London. There is also Brent Cross (NW4), and the London Designer Outlet in Wembley.

Westquay in Southampton

Address: Harbour Parade, Southampton SO15 1QF

The Westquay shopping mall offers over 125 shops, including a showcase cinema and Hollywood bowl. This is the largest Marland’s shopping centre, and it’s located near the docks. Visit superstores like M&S, John Lewis and Next for ladieswear, menswear, childrenswear and even homeware.

Westquay has undergone some major construction in the last few years. It now uses geothermal energy to power its heating, and the food terrace was redeveloped with some new restaurants. It’s a great option for those on the South Coast who want more than being a pedestrian in the shopping arcades.

The Handmade Burger Company in Meadowhall and Westquay
The Handmade Burger Company in Meadowhall and Westquay


Address: The Oasis, Sheffield S9 1EP

Head to Sheffield for the indoor shopping mall, Meadow Hall. There are fifty places to eat and drink and over 12,000 free parking spaces. What’s not to like?

There is also a cinema with eleven screens so you can catch the latest movie release after a day of shopping.

Shopping complex’s are a brilliant day out for you and the kids. Make the most out of the wide array of shops available and enjoy some international cuisines in the food court. You can always opt for the entertainment facilities if shopping isn’t your thing, or the kids get bored. There is something for everyone in the UK shopping centres.

What Clothing shops are in the Shopping Centres?

Each shopping district has all of the big names like Footasylum and JD sports. If you like luxury designer brands outlets then the Oxfordshire Bicester Village shops are worth checking out.

What is the biggest shopping centre in the UK?

The biggest is Westfield in London’s Shepherd’s Bush at just under 236 square km’s retail store place, which is the equivalent of nearly 22’000 football pitches. For perspective there are only 40,000 association football clubs, so it could host every club playing simultaneously.

But Westfield doesn’t even make the top 50 Shopping Malls internationally, and is a fraction of the World’s biggest (1.45m2 squared) of the Iran Mall in Tehran. Even the immense Mall of America in the Bloomington, Minneapolis, United States is only 9th on the list dominated by China, Thailand, and the Philippines. Hopefully they provide guides tours so you don’t miss anything.

Of course bigger doesn’t always mean better, the fact is layout and design are crucial as no-one wants to walk for a mile when shopping for toys and video games, then needing to find the CDs selection.

Ireland’s biggest is Dundrum, a suburb of South Dublin at 140,000 m2 which would put it 12th on the list below.

Here is a list of the biggest in the UK:

Rank Shopping Centre City/Town Area (m2)
1 Westfield London Shepherd’s Bush, London 235,900
2 Metrocentre Gateshead, Tyne and Wear 192,900
3 Trafford Centre Trafford, Greater Manchester 188,000
4 Westfield Stratford City Stratford, London 184,100
5 Bluewater Greenhithe, Kent 169,200
6 Bullring Estate Birmingham 163,000
7 St James Quarter New Town, Edinburgh 158,000
8 Manchester Arndale Manchester 155,200
9 Merry Hill Dudley, West Midlands 155,200
10 Liverpool One Liverpool 154,000
11 Lakeside Shopping Centre Thurrock, Essex 149,800
12 Meadowhall Sheffield 130,000
13 St. David’s Cardiff 129,200
14 Eldon Square Newcastle 128,700
15 Derbion Derby, Derbyshire 121,000
16 Central Milton Keynes & thecentre:mk Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire 120,773
17 East Kilbride Shopping Centre East Kilbride, Lanarkshire 111,484
18 Cabot Circus Bristol 110,100
19 atria Watford Watford, Hertfordshire 107,000
20 Braehead Renfrew, Renfrewshire 104,300
21 Kingfisher Redditch, Worcestershire 102,000
22 Festival Place Basingstoke, Hampshire 102,000
23 Silverburn Centre Pollok, Glasgow 100,500
24 Highcross Leicester 100,400
25 Telford Shopping Centre Telford, Shropshire 100,000
26 The Mall at Cribbs Causeway Patchway, South Gloucestershire 100,000
27 Westquay Southampton, Hampshire 93,500
28 Royal Victoria Place Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent 93,200
29 Trinity Leeds Leeds 93,000
30 The Centre Livingston, West Lothian 92,900
31 Victoria Centre Nottingham 90,700
32 Brent Cross Hendon, London 85,200
33 The Mall Luton Luton, Bedfordshire 84,000
34 White Rose Centre Leeds 82,320
35 Queensgate Peterborough 81,000
36 Cwmbran Centre Cwmbran, Torfaen 79,000
37 Eden High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire 79,000
38 St Enoch Centre Glasgow 77,000
39 Whitgift Centre Croydon 74,100
40 Frenchgate Centre Doncaster, South Yorkshire 74,000
41 Victoria Square Belfast 75,000
42 Westgate Oxford Oxford, Oxfordshire 74,322
43 The Merrion Centre Leeds 74,300
44 The Oracle Reading, Berkshire 71,800


Some of the big brands available to shop at most UK shopping centres:

11 Degrees UK Menswear
A Couvert Menswear
Accent Clothing Clothing
Ben Sherman Clothing
Boden UK Womenswear UK & IE Womenswear Menswear
Boux Avenue Lingerie
Brakeburn Clothing
Burton UK Menswear Clothing
Damart Clothing
Dapper Street Menswear
ellesse Clothing
End Clothing UK Menswear
Farah Clothing
H S Johnson Womenswear
Hedoine Clothing
Homty & Co Clothing
Hunkemoller UK Lingerie
Jacamo Menswear
Jaded London UK Clothing
Jeff Banks UK Menswear
Joules Clothing
Juicy Couture UK Womenswear
Kaiia the Label Clothing
KIDLY Childrenswear
Kings Will Dream Clothing
Lacoste UK Clothing
Love the Sales Clothing
LTL London Clothing Accessories
Luke Roper Menswear
Lyle & Scott UK Clothing
Maniere De Voir Clothing
MC Online Menswear Clothing
Miss Foxy Clothing Accessories
New Era Cap Clothing Accessories
NICCE clothing Clothing
NOOD UK Lingerie
Peper Harow Clothing
Philip Morris & Son Clothing
Popgear Clothing
Preworn Clothing
Raging Bull Clothing
Rowley Hesselballe London Clothing
Saltrock UK Clothing
Secret Sales Clothing
Simply Be Womenswear
Soot and Ty Clothing
Suit Direct Clothing
Ted Baker Menswear
The Chimp Store Menswear
The Couture Club Clothing
The Drop by The Stylist (The Stylist Group) Clothing
The Gym King Ltd Clothing
The Resort Co Menswear
The Spark Company Clothing
Tilbea London Womenswear
Toby Tiger Childrenswear
TravelPro UK Clothing Accessories
Ulla Popken UK Clothing
Voi London Menswear
Weird Fish Clothing
Young British Designers Womenswear
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Chloé Safilo
Chloé Saffio is our resident Fast Fashion Expert for the UK Urban and Streetwear scene. Her eyes have been constantly glued to social media for the last 10 years giving her an unrivalled insight. In her spare time, she used to like shopping and lying in the sunshine and making the pilgrimage to Ibiza. Now, she is a tired and grumpy new mother and back from maternity leave as the full time FFN writer. Chloe lives in London where she completed her journalism degree at the University of Roehampton. She lives in a small flat Putney with her fiancée Christian, daughter Sofia, and their French Bulldog Coco. And she's on the look out for a nice house and garden at a bargain price,