What turns a city into a world-class shopping destination? Is it a thriving independent scene, gleaming malls, luxury department stores or traditional markets? Well, Leeds has all of these and more at its fashionable fingertips. And even better, this diverse shopping scene is also wonderfully compact and easily walkable. No wonder Leeds was named best shopping destination in the UK in the Rough Guide to Britain. If you’re staying in one of our Leeds hotels for a weekend of retail heaven, where should you head for first?
Shopping in Leeds
If you can’t resist a glitzy mall, Leeds will be right up your high street. There are loads and the best ones are close to each other too. In fact, you can get from Trinity Leeds to the Victoria Quarter in a matter of minutes.
Although Leeds was already a retail powerhouse, the opening of the uber-modern Trinity Leeds shopping centre in 2013 turned the city into a retail destination like no other. Boasting 120 stores under its beautiful, glass-domed roof, this is big-brand heaven, with major players like Topshop, Mango and Urban Outfitters rubbing fashionable shoulders with others, like Models Own, that can’t be found anywhere else in the UK outside of the capital. To get your shopping trip off to a great start, book into a Premier Inn hotel near Trinity Leeds.
Opened in 2016, Victoria Gate is the newest addition to the Leeds shopping scene - and what a beauty it is, with its curved glass panels and intricate steel roof. The shops on the inside don’t disappoint either. Victoria Gate has a five storey John Lewis complete with a huge indoor spa, and not one but 17 new-to-Leeds stores. There’s Anthropologie for clothing, gifts and homewares, Ghost for designer dresses and Honey Birdette for statement lingerie.
If it’s pouring down, a trip to the White Rose shopping centre is a great idea. Just three miles south of the city centre, it’s easy to get to by bus and there’s plenty of parking. Once inside you’ll find 120 shops from Ann Summers to Zara. It’s great for the little ones too as there’s a Build-A-Bear Workshop and the Disney Store. Grab some fast food in the food court, or head to Pizza Express, Prezzo or Nando’s if you’d prefer to take your time.
An out-of-town retail park, Crown Point is on the south side of Leeds city centre and is easy to get to by car with plenty of free parking. It’s well-known for its big branches of Next, Argos and Mothercare as well as furniture shops such as Bensons for Beds and Oak Furniture Land. But the biggest draw for bargain hunters is the Marks & Spencers outlet store that’s situated here, offering the same quality products at massive reductions.
Love a mooch round a market? You’ll be in heaven here. Leeds has a surprising number of stalls dedicated to everything from vintage threads to arts and crafts.
Leeds has a thriving independent shopping scene, but its hub is situated in the Corn Exchange, just a five minute walk from the station. Housed in a spectacular building that dates back to 1865, you could easily spend half a day here browsing among the stalls, shops, salons and cafes, selling everything from art and craft, to handmade jewellery and beauty products. And when you’ve finished, the Premier Inn hotel near the Leeds Corn Exchange is just a short walk away.
With 800 stalls, Kirkgate is the largest covered market in Europe. Attracting over 100,000 visitors a week, its filled with independent traders, selling everything from vintage fashion and homewares to jewellery. Even if you’re not an avid shopper, it’s worth paying a visit for its beautifully historic setting - there’s been a market here since the 1820s.
Fancy treating yourself to a designer purchase or two? Leeds isn’t short of places to delight those who can’t resist a label.
Vivienne Westwood, Azendi, Mulberry, Jo Malone... If you like your shopping of the luxury variety, point your designer shoes in the direction of the Victoria Quarter. This beautifully restored Victorian arcade boasts the biggest stained glass roof and is filled with marble pillars, intricate mosaics and boutique shopping at its finest. Easily the most upmarket shopping centre in the city, it’s so posh, Louis Vuitton has its own VIP suite here. And there’s a Premier Inn hotel near the Victoria Quarter that’s the perfect place to stash your shopping bags - so you can hit the shops again.
For five whole floors packed full of designer brands, head to Harvey Nichols’ Leeds store. One of only eight in the UK and the first Harvey Nicks to open outside of London, you’ll find it in the Victorian Arcades on Briggate, the city’s busiest shopping street, of the Victoria Quarter. It has departments dedicated to womenswear, menswear, beauty, food and wine and brands such as Victoria by Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth & James, Nicole Farhi and Gucci.