Between Highcross Leicester, Haymarket shopping centre, The Lanes and St. Martin’s Square, visitors looking for a spot of retail therapy are spoiled for choice. Just drop into any Leicester shopping centre and you’re bound to find an abundance of bargains and fashion favourites galore.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, Highcross Leicester is it. Opened in 2008, the shopping centre is the jewel in the crown of Leicester’s urban renewal; dramatically updating Leicester’s previous city centre shopping centre, the Shires. The £350 million redevelopment certainly puts Leicester on the map as a major shopping hub and is an architectural masterpiece to boot, particularly Highcross’ John Lewis.
One of the retailer’s largest stores to be opened outside of London, the John Lewis is a stunning centrepiece with a glass exterior covered in a white filigree pattern, paying homage to Leicester’s close historical ties to the textile industry. Inside, the store is four floors of high street and high-end fashion, beauty, accessories, toys, tech and homewares, and its third-floor eatery boasts some of the best views across the city.
Next door is Leicester’s only city centre multiplex cinema, Showcase de Lux. With a similarly striking exterior, Showcase offers a superior cinema experience, thanks to the leather reclining seats in all of its 12 screens, and a broad range of programming.
With over 150 stores, Highcross is not short on choice. Offering men’s and women’s fashion, homeware, footwear, tech, jewellery, toys, and health and beauty, the centre can truly live up to the maxim of ‘shop ‘til you drop’. Fortunately, it also has plenty of tasty dining options to perk you up. Choose from chain favourite sit-down restaurants like Frankie and Benny’s, Nando’s, Pizza Express and Byron Burger or on-the-go options, such as Costa Coffee, Yo! Sushi, McDonald’s and Greggs.
Haymarket shopping centre might not be as big a name on the city’s shopping landscape anymore, thanks to Highcross Leicester, but it’s the oldest shopping mall in Britain.
With over 60 shops, ranging from small vendors to high street retailers like H&M, Pandora jewellery, Boots, Primark and TK Maxx, you’ll find everything from greeting cards to ladies’ and men’s fashion and accessories, and stationery, as well as a handful of beauty salons.
Tucked away from the main road is the pretty, pedestrianised St. Martin’s Square. Nestled inside the red brick square, you’ll find a knot of unique small businesses and eateries with benches outside for you to take a pew, sip on a coffee and while away a few minutes.
Harriman & Co. should be on the agenda for visitors looking for slick, contemporary homeware and stationery, while vintage lovers should head to Vintage Scene for a good rummage through much-loved treasures from the past. St. Martin’s Square is also home to Escape Asylum; one of three of Leicester’s escape room games which challenges you and your fellow problem-solvers to break out of a choice selection of game scenarios in under 60 minutes with as few clues – and arguments – as possible.
If you’re looking for some evening entertainment, 33 Cank Street and 45 St. Martin’s are not to be missed. The former offers an adventurous selection of cocktails, with names that pay homage to the life and times of Leicester city, while 45 St. Martin’s is a chic wine and champagne bar, serving some of the highest-quality tipples in the world.
The Lanes is a charming cluster of high-quality independent stores less than a 15-minute walk from our Leicester City Centre hotel. Here you’ll find narrow Victorian streets bustling with shoppers looking for a unique find.
For contemporary furniture and interior design-led home furnishings, head to Harlequin where you’ll find everything you need to redecorate your home. The Lanes Fine Jewellery offers a shopping experience as luxe as their goods, where you’ll find bespoke jewellery and fantastic personal service.
As well as shops, The Lanes offers an abundant selection of eateries, including the cosy Mrs Bridges Tea Room and Cocoa Amore; an award-winning chocolatier where you can pick up the most indulgent chocolates or try your hand at making them yourself in one of their workshops.
There are no fewer than seven Leicester hotels to suit your needs when planning a visit - so you can choose whatever's best for you, whether you're indulging in some retail therapy or treating yourself to a night out.
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