Fantastic last-minute Christmas Shopping trips

Wednesday 16th November 2022

There’s no denying that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Whether you like to get your gifts well in advance or you tend to buy them all at the last-minute, you’ll find no shortage of fantastic shopping destinations to visit in Northern England and Scotland.

No time to wait for deliveries? Need some gift inspiration? Here we round up some of our favourite cities to visit for some festive retail therapy.

Leeds: for luxury brands and stunning shopping venues

Leeds is easily one of the best places to shop across our region, thanks in part to its brilliant range of retail areas. Rather stay indoors and out of the cold for your Christmas shopping experience? Make your way to Leeds Trinity Shopping Centre at the very heart of the city. It features three floors that are jam-packed with some of the UK’s most well-known stores – from Marks & Spencer's and H&M to Pandora and Swarovski. Buying presents for kids? Don’t skip the LEGO shop!

Elsewhere in the city, you’ll discover the atmospheric Leeds Corn Exchange. This beautiful glass-roofed building is usually magically decorated at Christmas, plus it houses dozens of independent and vintage stores selling all kinds of quirky gifts. There’s also the gorgeous Grade II listed Victoria Leeds shopping centre that’s the perfect place to pick up presents from premium brands – think The White Company, Harvey Nichols, Anthropologie and Jo Malone.
Harvey Nichols shop window at Christmas

York: for quaint market stalls and tasty culinary gifts

York is a stunning city to visit, no matter what time of year. Nevertheless, the festive season sees its historic centre transform into a real-life Winter Wonderland with the arrival of the St. Nicholas Fair. It’s a brilliant spot to shop for gifts with a unique twist before you head off to bustling Parliament Street to browse the more mainstream high street stores.

Have a few foodies in the family? Mouth-watering, edible treats are very easy to come by in York. You’ll find plenty of local independent stores selling artisan items on and around The Shambles. This includes The Hairy Fig deli, which sells an array of delicious chutneys, cheeses and antipasti, and The Potions Cauldron, who specialise in uniquely flavoured drinks (including butterscotch beer).

Curry-lovers should also stop off at Rafi’s Spicebox. Their aromatic spice mixes, homemade curry kits and tasty pickles make ideal gifts for wannabe chefs. Let’s not forget York’s tempting selection of chocolatiers either. Our top picks include Monk Bar Chocolatiers and the York Cocoa House. The latter even sells gift vouchers for chocolate-making workshops!
Christmas shop front

Manchester: for plenty of variety

Christmas shopping can seem daunting if you have lots of different people with very different tastes to buy for. Thankfully, Manchester has you covered with its huge range of retail venues.

As well as spending some time exploring the dozens of stalls at the Manchester Christmas Markets, you’ll have plenty of high street shops along Market Street and in the Arndale Centre to pop into. Prefer to shop independent? Dive into the Northern Quarter to discover vintage clothing shops, colourful arts and crafts boutiques, cool comic bookstores, and everything in between.

It’s also well-worth strolling down King Street or wandering around the Barton Arcade. Both host some of the best luxury stores in the city, plus they’re just steps away from the main Christmas market areas. Alternatively, why not visit the Science and Industry Museum shop for innovative present ideas for inquisitive kids?
Manchester Arndale

Edinburgh: for charming Christmas shops

Is your Christmas tree looking a little tired this year? Consider giving it a makeover with some brand-new festive decorations. There’s a lovely selection of Christmas shops in Edinburgh selling all kinds of magical items, from delightful tree ornaments to fabulously festive table settings.

The Nutcracker Christmas Shop is just a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile and well-known for its cheerful ambiance and wonderful range of traditional Christmas decorations. Looking for something specific? Check out Ye Olde Christmas Shop for animal-themed décor and appropriately Scottish-inspired items. You’ll even find Christmas tree decorations of well-known book characters, plus Alice in Wonderland trinkets that make stunning stocking fillers for kids.
Ye Old Christmas shop

Liverpool: for stress-free shopping

We can’t talk about Christmas shopping without mentioning Liverpool ONE. This contemporary open air shopping centre sits at the very heart of the city and just steps from Liverpool Lime Street station, making it a prime destination to reach by train.

Liverpool is now a real hotspot for retail therapy, whether you’re buying items for yourself or for your loved ones. While you’re there, don’t forget to drop into John Lewis to shop for scrumptious Christmas treats – we’re talking buttery shortbread, melt-in-your-mouth truffles and luxury hampers.

There’s also a handful of football-themed and arty gift shops around the Royal Albert Dock, plus independent shops galore along Bold Street. It’s well-worth making your way into the trendy Baltic Triangle too, to visit the Red Brick Markets: an indoor marketplace filled with stalls selling an eclectic range of vintage clothing, antique furnishings and handmade jewellery.
Christmas high street

Feeling inspired to plan a Christmas shopping trip?

Remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.


Don’t miss out

Get the latest offers, news & travel inspiration

TransPennine Express Privacy Policy