Christmas – “the most wonderful time of the year” – and the time when all of us need to hit the shops and grab gifts for our nearest and dearest.
You might be tempted to shop online but nothing beats spending time with friends and family in search of a perfect little gift, celebratory Christmas jumper or that party outfit.
Throw in lunch, coffee, drinks and a gorgeous hotel bed to swallow up your tired body, then a Christmas shopping break can be a brilliant way to start the festive season.
With hotels in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff and Dundee, we’ve pulled together a handy guide to the best Christmas Shopping in each of these vibrant UK cities, from unique to boutique, designer to deli.
The Welsh Capital was recently voted the UK’s 6th best shopping destination and has a cool mix of shopping malls, Edwardian and Victorian Arcades, a European style Christmas Market and laid-back independent retailers.
St David’s Cardiff has over 150 shops, eateries and a cinema. It was developed to become the home of fashion in Wales.
With brands like Karen Millen, Monsoon, Hugo Boss, Vivienne Westwood, North Face and Hollister, it’s the best place to go for designer clothing and footwear.
If you like your shopping quirky, then explore Cardiff’s Victorian and Edwardian Arcades, including those at Royal, Castle, High Street and Morgan Arcades. Here you’ll find distinctive retailers, surprising shops and world famous traders like Spiller’s – the World’s oldest record shop – dating back to 1894.
To add a sprinkle of festive sparkle, try shopping at Cardiff’s Christmas Market with its rows of wooden stalls laid out in the pedestrian heart of the city centre.
There’s lots of local artists, craftspeople, food and drink vendors and it’s close to Winter Wonderland, an outdoor ice-rink and plenty of family-friendly fun.
Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff is right in the heart of the city centre, 500m from Cardiff Rail Station and within walking distance of St David’s, the arcades and Christmas Market.
The Geordie capital is best known for its nightlife and warm welcome but it also has some of the best shopping in the UK outside London.
Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle is right in the heart of the city and a short walk from all the best shopping. INTU Eldon Square is home to major department stores John Lewis and Fenwick’s, as well as top brands like Apple, Kurt Geiger and All Saints.
Nearby is the iconic Grainger Market, an 180-year-old trader’s market that houses the original Marks & Spencer’s Penny Bazaar – still the smallest operational M&S store in the world.
Grey Street is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian era architecture anywhere in the UK and hosts Christmas market stalls and traders throughout December.
For that extra special Christmas experience, visit Hadrian’s Tipi – a Winter pop-up retreat – in The Stack, Newcastle’s new creative and social meeting place. Hadrian’s Tipi and its wooden stalls looks and feels like a Bavarian Christmas Market.
There are two fire-pits in the Tipi which often hosts live music. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy food and drink from the nearby vendors which share space with artists, craftspeople and retailers.
If you don’t mind taking a bus or a taxi, you can head to INTU Metro Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in Europe, which is home to major brands, leading department stores and the Qube Metrocentre – a collection of eateries from every corner of the globe – and a vast Odeon IMAX Cinema.
Mention shopping and Edinburgh and Princes Street is probably the first thing you’ll think of. The busiest shopping street in the Scottish capital, though not its official High Street, Princes Street runs for a mile through Edinburgh’s New Town.
It’s here that you’ll find the iconic Railway Hotels like The Caledonian and The Balmoral, and in between a host of big brand designer boutiques and retailers.
During the festive season, Edinburgh’s Christmas transforms nearby Princes Gardens into a stunning Winter wonderland. The romantic and traditional market runs from mid-November until early January and is only closed on Christmas Day.
It’s a great place to buy gifts from Scottish crafters and artists as well as try lots of delicious street food. There is also a huge Santa’s Grotto, an ice skating rink and lots of free events that are perfect for families.
The view of Edinburgh Castle is also great from Princes Street and it’s close to Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station if you’re travelling to the city by train.
Cityroomz Edinburgh is our sister hotel situated at the West end of Princes Street on Shandwick Place. It offers self catering apartments, family rooms, suites and a range of twin and double bedrooms. It’s an ideal base for a Christmas Shopping Break in Edinburgh.
Our newest hotel Sleeperz Hotel Dundee opened in Summer 2018 and adds a new destination to the list of places you can take a Christmas Shopping break while staying with Sleeperz Hotels.
Dundee has attracted international attention following its £1bn redevelopment of its industrial waterfront, including the opening of the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee – the only V&A Museum outside of London.
Sleeperz Dundee is right across the street from the museum, so make sure you check out its current exhibitions before you hit the shops.
Dundee’s busiest shopping centre is called Overgate and here you’ll find high street favourites and major brand retailers. Throughout December, Overgate is home to ‘The Magic of Christmas,’ a Bavarian style Christmas Street with a Santa’s Grotto. It’s free to visit and you can get your photo taken with Mr. S. Claus.
If you prefer to head off the beaten track and discover the side streets and cool shopping scene, then you should definitely visit the ‘West End Indies.’ This collective of independent shops, artists, studios and eateries is one of the city’s most popular visitor destinations.
You’ll be able to buy vinyl at Le Freak Records and try award-winning cakes and pastries at Fisher & Donaldson Bakers or cutting edge clothing at Haley Scanlan Fashion.
Dotted around are public works of art and lots of top quality café’s, bars and eateries. You can also take a breather in Magdalen Green – Dundee’s oldest park – and Seabraes Gardens, with its superb views of the River Tay.
The West End Indies are on the city’s Perth Road close to the University of Dundee’s Botanic Gardens.
Stay and Shop with Sleeperz Hotels
Sleeperz Hotels prides itself on providing affordable and stylish city centre stays, so choosing a short break with us will leave you with more money for your Christmas shopping. Taking advantage of our free Sleeperz Select program can also save you 10% off your room rate when you book direct at www.sleeperz.com
Whether you choose Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cardiff or Dundee for your Christmas shopping break, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to big brands, small boutiques and festive entertainment.