A top 10 UK shopping break – have you discovered the vintage, designer and ultra modern shopping experience of LEEDS. There’s a creative edge to the Leeds shopping experience and a weighty history too! The city’s famous Victorian shopping arcades include Grand Arcade opened in 1897, Queens Arcade opened in 1889 and beautiful Thorntons Arcade dating from 1878. All branch out from pedestrianised main street Briggate and are lined with unique gift shops, boutiques, comic stores and fabulous cafe/ tearooms. Famous theatre architect Frank Matcham designed the city’s shopping showcase – the Victoria Quarter packed full of designer shops and independent boutiques, with a Harvey Nichols store at the entrance. Vintage clothing and accessories fans won’t want to miss a shopping weekender in Leeds, with the selection of vintage shops and vintage markets in and around the Corn Exchange one of the UK’s best!
Another top 10 UK shopping break in the UK, York is in a class all its own with a delectable mix of independent shops, specialist food shops and wonderful themed shops from a Christmas shop to a Cat themed gift shop dotted around the cobbled streets of The Shambles, Stonegate, Davygate and Low Petergate. Artisan, locally sourced and independent are the key themes – even department stores like Browns on Davygate are longstanding in the city and independent! The cathedral cities in Britain always offer up some of the best unique shopping experiences for antiques, crafts, luxury chocolates and great shopping centres like The Coppergate Centre here in York which blends perfectly with the city’s heritage surrounds.
Queen of the Yorkshire Dales craft shopping experiences, Grassington’s beautiful stone fronted gift, craft and outdoor clothing shops were just made for browsing. Highlights include The Rustic Rabbit brimming with nostalgic brands, fine gifts, homewares, craft bits and bobs and children’s toys!
Spa town Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter is one of Yorkshire’s most famous shopping quarters where you’ll find the first Bettys tearoom opened here in 1919. Lining Montpellier Hill are a magical mix of alfresco cafes and award-winning restaurants, fine art and antiques shops, traditional confectioners, designer boutiques and interior design shops.
Another Yorkshire Dales independent shopping gem, Skipton in the South Dales retains a wonderful olde worlde charm and is one of Yorkshire’s great market towns featuring an award-winning High Street. Branching out from the High Street, Skipton’s cobbled streets are lined with a superb mix of independent shops including everything from craft jewellery and antiques/ collectables shops to knitting emporiums and even a German Christmas Shop.
Other shopping quarters include the cluster of outdoor clothing stores flanking the canal basin, many housed in old canal warehouse buildings. Enchanting shopping centre Craven Court in Skipton contains 28 shops including outstanding jewellery shops and coffee shops! Add to this Skipton’s premier outdoor markets lining both sides of the award-winning High Street for four full days per week!
Dip into unique themes – different ones for each of Sheffield’s shopping quarters. In the city centre the Devonshire Quarter is the quirky quarter brimming with craft/ art and design shops, independent fashion boutiques and funky music stores mingling with restaurants, bars and museums all spread around central Devonshire Green. Head to Fargate and the High Street in the heart of the city centre for well known brands. The Sheffield vintage shopping and independent fashion scene is one of Yorkshire’s best, centred around The Forum and Ecclesall Road. Just south of the city centre you’ll also find a superb antiques and independent shopping quarter around Broadfield Road.
Meadowhall, Sheffield’s vast modern shopping centre just off the M1 and connected to the city centre by the Supertram network, covers a mammoth 1.5 million square foot of floor space and contains 280 stores – both independent and best high street fashion and brand names. A huge 12,000 free parking spaces surround this shopping palace with food hall and year round family friendly events.
7. Hebden Bridge
West Yorkshire’s great independent shopping experience with a craft, design, locally sourced, organic and Fairtrade edge, Hebden Bridge alongside the Rochdale Canal is packed full of vintage and nostalgic emporiums, independent book and music shops, designer boutiques and weekly open markets (Wednesday and Thursday). A shop window for Calderdale made crafts and local produce, Hebden is one of those unique shopping breaks you’ll return to again and again.
Haworth Main Street is one of Yorkshire’s most iconic streets lined with character antiques and collectables emporiums, specialist food shops and craft/ gift shops. The perfect weekend break with the independent shopping scene just one of Haworth’s great attractions! Don’t miss a visit to the Bronte Parsonage with superb new look Bronte Shop packed with the complete Bronte works, themed cards, gifts, prints, posters, jewellery, stylish souvenirs and CDs/ DVDs.
Yorkshire Dales market town Leyburn is a veritable feast of weekly local produce markets and independent shops including fine gift, craft and housewares shops, Market day is every Friday in this Lower Wensleydale gem. See work by local artists in The Wensleydale Galleries, Northern Galleries and the Warland’s Gallery. The market town is also home to the popular Tennants Auction House with weekly specialist and general sales. Don’t miss a visit to The Tea Pottery and The Little Chocolate Shop where you can see chocolates being made!
The queen of the Yorkshire market towns, Settle on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales is positively brimming with independent shops all with real personality. Take a tour of Cottontail Crafts, ‘a true paradise for crafters’ or head to Castleberg Outdoors for the ultimate range of quality outdoor gear. The town contains wonderful independent galleries and treasure trove gift shops, ethically sourced specialist food shops, contemporary jewellery shops, bespoke shoe shops and more! Don’t miss Settle’s Artisans Fair monthly, usually the third Saturday of each month in Victoria Hall. Every Tuesday Settle’s famous outdoor street market and indoor market in Victoria Hall comes to town – Tuesdays are always a great time to visit as there’s a real buzz around this, one of Yorkshire’s best weekly markets!