Christmas is fast approaching, and what better way to get in the festive spirit than to pay a visit to one of the North’s best cities. Whether you’re looking for the city with the best Christmas market, a pre-Christmas weekend away, or somewhere to shop for those perfect gifts, then look no further than our guide to the best northern cities this Christmas.
Christmas or not, Leeds is famous for its great range of shops. Its compact city centre means you are never a short walk away from the designer stores, famous high street names, independent boutiques, or the increasing number of unique market stalls. And now with the brand new Trinity Centre, packed with 120 shops, bars, restaurants and a trendy new cinema, the city centre offers virtually everything you could ever need!
When the festive period looms, Leeds city centre becomes packed with beautiful decorations, twinkly lights and a great festive atmosphere. The Christkindelmarkt, situated Millennium Square, is Leeds very own German Christmas market and is packed with traditional wooden stalls offering unique seasonal gifts and traditional tasty German delicacies.
After a long day shopping, why not end the day in one of Leeds’s great bars or restaurants. The new Trinity centre offers a great selection of trendy bars, such as the Alchemist, and stylish restaurants including Carluccios and the new Trinity Kitchen.
If you’re looking to make a weekend of it, Leeds has a huge choice of hotels, B&Bs and apartments. The Chambers Leeds serviced apartments provide luxury accommodation, the great alternative to a conventional hotel room and voted the best place to stay by none other than Trip Advisor. .
For fifteen years, thousands of shoppers have flocked from all over the UK to discover Manchester’s fabulous Christmas market, which covers much of the city centre making it the perfect stop off amid your favourite high street shopping.
For 2013, the markets stretch from Albert Square, right the across to Corporation Street and with 300 stalls it is the biggest market of its kind in Britain. Here you will find everything from festive food gifts to jewellery, ornaments, clothing, accessories and much more. And after all that mooching, why not warm up with a glass of mulled wine or some of the fantastic tasty treats on offer.
If Christmas markets aren’t your thing, wander over to the Arndale centre where you’ll find all of the famous high street stores, or head out of town to the Trafford Centre but beware of the queues in the weeks leading up to Christmas!
There’s so much to see and do in Manchester, especially around the festive season, you will probably want to spread your visit over two days. Why not pay a visit to one of the many hotels, B&B’s or apartments.
Newcastle is home to two of the biggest shopping centres; Eldon Square and the Metro Centre.
If you’re looking for everything you could ever need under one roof then look no further than Newcastle’s Metro Centre, one of the biggest shopping and leisure centres in Europe. Packed with more than 330 shops, you will find all your high street favourites and independent boutiques, and more than 60 restaurants, bars, cafés and coffee shops.
Head into Newcastle city centre and you will find Eldon Square, one of the countries biggest city centre shopping centres. There you will also find all your favourite high street stores including a flagship John Lewis.
The city centre is also home to Fenwick, the infamous department store of which there are only eleven across the country. Each Christmas Fenwick’s goes all out to decorate its windows attracting shoppers from far and wide to admire the spectacle.
Finally, no list of northern shopping cities would be complete without a mention of Liverpool. Liverpool One is located in the heart of the city centre. It is packed with shops, restaurants, bars and much more. Liverpoolalso plays host to the Ice Festival around the winter months.
The iconic ice festival transforms the cities bustling shopping centre into a magical winter wonderland and features top attractions including an outdoor ice-rink and Santa’s Grotto to keep the kids entertained.
After a day of shopping, head over to the cosy Après Café bar and warm up with a tasty hot chocolate or experience a very different temperate at the astonishing Real Ice Bar. Here you put on your thermal cape and experience a bar made from nothing but ice. From ice sculptures to ice seats and even the bar itself, the Real Ice Bar is a truly great experience that you don’t want to miss!