When it comes to must-visit luxury shopping destinations, London and Manchester are hard to beat. Both cities are jam-packed with department stores, independent boutiques and shopping centres carrying everything from high-end labels to independent boutiques and fashionable high-street wares. Take a look at our guide to the best shopping neighbourhoods and districts for luxury British brands in each city and get ready to shop ‘til you drop on your next trip to Britain.
Arguably the best known luxury shopping district in the UK, Knightsbridge is home to two world-famous department stores, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as exclusive boutiques and fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton Men. If you’re looking to get a designer slice of Britain, get your shopping shoes on and discover the delights of Brompton Road, home to quintessentially British brands including Burberry, Paul Smith and Mulberry. With upmarket cafes and restaurants galore, the road is the perfect spot to refuel with lunch or afternoon tea. Afterwards, soak up the vibe of Sloane Street, an exclusive neighbouring shopping street that’s home to major labels including Hackett, Jo Malone and Pickett, to name just a few.
With 1.3km of high-end retail shops and flagship stores to explore, Regent Street is a paradise for lovers of luxury! The street is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, so it’s the ideal time to indulge in the festivities with a spot of designer retail therapy. Check out heritage names including Aquascutum, Barbour and Crabtree & Evelyn on the main thoroughfare, before heading into the winding side streets to discover stylish independent boutiques and the legendary Liberty department store, with its in-house design studio and range of exclusive brands. Carnaby Street, the legendary home of British fashion in the 60s, is also mere minutes away, offering an eclectic modern-day mix of outlet stores, stylish boutiques and delightful shopping emporiums.
Nestled between Theatreland and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden offers high-end boutiques and quirky independent shops galore. If you’re looking for a true London shopping experience, the picturesque Piazza makes an ideal starting point. Explore the tiny high-end shops, enjoy a live opera performance in the square (performance times vary) and savour an afternoon tea at one of its bustling eateries. Afterwards, stroll across the cobles to Seven Dials or Floral Street, a treasure trove of unique British brands including The Alkemistry, a jewellery emporium that features only female designers, and The Shop at Bluebird, a sleek 15,000-suare-foot concept store housing over a hundred brands including British icons Victoria Beckham and Alexander McQueen.
Located in the heart of Manchester’s bustling city centre, one of the city’s best shopping districts, Exchange Square is a hot spot for fans of fashion and couture. Selfridges and Harvey Nichols both have stores here, and the ever-popular Arndale Centre can found right next door. Home to designer brands including Burberry, Dune and Ted Baker, it’s also filled to the brim with well-known high street brands like River Island, Oasis and Next. And if shopping leaves you feeling peckish, head across the square to the Corn Exchange for some of Manchester’s finest restaurants and street food.
As one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, Manchester’s intu Trafford Centre is home to just about everything and with high-end and high street brands from all over the world, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Looking for a little bit of British style inspiration? Check out cool home-grown brands including Cath Kidston, Elvis Jesus and Jack Wills, pick up designer pieces at Burberry, Karen Millen and Radley, or head to much-loved departments stores including John Lewis and Debenhams. And if you fancy a bite to eat, why not get a taste of the Orient, Europe’s largest food court? Designed and styled like a cruise ship, it’s a unique spot to refuel and recharge before hitting the shops again.
Manchester is well known for its vibrant culture and arts scene, and the Northern Quarter keeps that spirit alive with street art, independent designers and vintage shops a plenty. British music fans can get into the groove at one of the area’s many vinyl record stores, while its quirky book and gift shops are filled with unusual gift ideas. If you’re a fan of vintage British style, check out Retro Rehab or head to Afflecks, with its incredible range of boutiques specialising in stylish original and pre-loved garments. Pick up beautiful hand-made accessories at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, get interior design inspiration by the bucket load at Den Living, or discover new and up-and-coming artists at galleries including the Richard Goodall Gallery and S.W.A.L.K Creative Presents, which displays original artworks, drawings and prints by local artists from around the city.