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Last Updated on 25th November 2023
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.
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.
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, SportsDirect.com, Nike, JD Sports, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, USC and Zara.
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.
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.
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|
|7||St James Quarter||New Town, Edinburgh||158,000|
|9||Merry Hill||Dudley, West Midlands||155,200|
|11||Lakeside Shopping Centre||Thurrock, Essex||149,800|
|16||Central Milton Keynes & thecentre:mk||Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire||120,773|
|17||East Kilbride Shopping Centre||East Kilbride, Lanarkshire||111,484|
|19||atria Watford||Watford, Hertfordshire||107,000|
|22||Festival Place||Basingstoke, Hampshire||102,000|
|23||Silverburn Centre||Pollok, Glasgow||100,500|
|25||Telford Shopping Centre||Telford, Shropshire||100,000|
|26||The Mall at Cribbs Causeway||Patchway, South Gloucestershire||100,000|
|28||Royal Victoria Place||Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent||93,200|
|30||The Centre||Livingston, West Lothian||92,900|
|32||Brent Cross||Hendon, London||85,200|
|33||The Mall Luton||Luton, Bedfordshire||84,000|
|34||White Rose Centre||Leeds||82,320|
|36||Cwmbran Centre||Cwmbran, Torfaen||79,000|
|37||Eden||High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire||79,000|
|38||St Enoch Centre||Glasgow||77,000|
|40||Frenchgate Centre||Doncaster, South Yorkshire||74,000|
|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|
|boohoo.com UK & IE||Womenswear|
|End Clothing UK||Menswear|
|H S Johnson||Womenswear|
|Homty & Co||Clothing|
|Jaded London UK||Clothing|
|Jeff Banks UK||Menswear|
|Juicy Couture UK||Womenswear|
|Kaiia the Label||Clothing|
|Kings Will Dream||Clothing|
|Love the Sales||Clothing|
|LTL London||Clothing Accessories|
|Lyle & Scott UK||Clothing|
|Maniere De Voir||Clothing|
|MC Online Menswear||Clothing|
|Miss Foxy||Clothing Accessories|
|New Era Cap||Clothing Accessories|
|Philip Morris & Son||Clothing|
|Rowley Hesselballe London||Clothing|
|Soot and Ty||Clothing|
|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|
|TravelPro UK||Clothing Accessories|
|Ulla Popken UK||Clothing|
|Young British Designers||Womenswear|