Christmas shoppingI’ve always considered the switching on of lights in London the official kick off to the festive season, and this morning it was announced on the radio that lights ceremony would be next weekend. When I arrived at the office, ready to share my new found Christmas spirit, one of my colleagues pointed out he is way ahead of me, as he has already finished his Christmas shopping. This sparked an animated conversation about the best places in the UK for Christmas shopping, here are our favourites. Let us know what you think and give us your suggestion.

Westfield shopping centre – London
This is one of my favourites; it is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, with over 275 shops for you to choose from. No matter if you’re looking for Tiffany’s or Next it’s all there for you to choose from. Also with loads of great restaurants and the fact that it’s open until 9pm most evenings, you can make a whole day of it.

MetroCentre – Gateshead
If you are up in the Gateshead and Newcastle area then visit the MetroCentre. This is THE largest shopping centre in Europe, with over 330 stores, 50 restaurants and a cinema. There is a great mix of designer stores and ‘highstreet’ shops, so you should be able to find exactly what you are after.

Although it is not the time of year to be sitting on the beach, Brighton has some great and unique shopping areas. If you are looking for ‘highstreet’ shops then Churchill Square is the place for you, but if you are looking for an array of boutiques, unique shops and restaurants then you need to head down to The Lanes. But if you are looking for a bargain then make sure you head down to the outlet shops at Brighton Marina. This charming seaside town has something for everyone.

Bicester Village, York Outlet Village and Gunwarf Quays
Also for all you bargain hunters out there make sure you check out one of these outlet villages. Bag yourself a great bargain on designer brands and highstreet labels, but all at affordable prices. Also with places to eat or have a coffee you can spend all day shopping to your hearts content (or until you have get everything you need).

Hyde Park London – Christmas Market
If you’re in London between the 21st November to 3rd January and looking to get into the Christmas spirit then make sure you head over to the Christmas market at Hyde Park. This winter wonderland has traditional Christmas market stall, fair ground rides, great food and drinks and much more. You’ll have a great day out and be able to do some Christmas shopping at the same time.

Bath Christmas Market
As Rob mentioned last year Bath Christmas market has been highly recommended as somewhere to go to get in the mood for Christmas. So this year make sure you visit spectacular Christmas market between 26th November and 6th December. There are loads of great stalls to brows and buy unique Christmas gifts form for your family and friends.

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