It is the time of year when even the most reluctant shoppers are sucked into making purchases for family and friends. Of course, with internet shopping now more prevalent, some of the crowds can be avoided by buying online.There are some times, however, when you need to browse for inspiration or want to see the items in the flesh. If you do have to hit the shops avoid the soulless out-of-town centres and homogenised high streets. Head to one of these quirky locations to pick up some truly unique purchases.
The Brighton lanes are a puzzle of passageways filled with boutiques and independent shops. The spot is great for jewellery shopping with antique stores and designer shops displaying an array of sparkly treasures. You can avoid the December weather by hopping door-to-door and can even snag some refreshments along the way from some of the cosy teashops or veggie-friendly restaurants. There are home decor items, vintage finds and art pieces to be procured and proudly taken home. If you or your shopping companions are in want of some of the chain stores afterwards, you can find the mainstream shops conveniently located just a street away! Rent Dee’s Audi TT to take you from humdrum London to a shopper’s paradise.
Edinburgh Old Town
In the heart of Edinburgh’s old town and just a minute walk from the famous Royal mile, The Grassmarket is a picturesque spot for some festive shopping. You can stock up on an array of Scottish wares, from whisky to herringbone tweed, or buy some delicious local produce. You won’t be disappointed with the variety of handmade goods, oddities and souvenirs you can load up your shopping bags with. Walk up and down colourful Victoria street, peruse the market stalls and stop off for a pub lunch to fuel you for further shopping. If you are in search for some well-known brand names as well, then the major thoroughfare of Princes Street is just a five minute walk away. Borrow Himanshu’s Lexus RX with easyCar Club to avoid lugging your heavy purchases around town.
The shopping in Camden Town comes in two forms: traditional shops and sprawl of markets covering the North end of town. The stalls on Buck Street are filled with cheap fashion items and t-shirts with slogans, but the Camden Lock Market stalls have more of a boho feel. Here you can buy everything from great street food and artwork. Stop by some of the shops that line The Stables for neon clubbing attire, musical instruments, retro outfits and handmade knitwear. Camden is also a great spot to pick up some alternative clothing with both the goth and punk styles being well catered for. For something more fancy, point your feet in the direction of Primrose Hill for the well-stocked bookshops, baked goods and health food. Hire Robert’s Smart ForTwo to cruise around the city with ease.
Bath Guildhall Market and Milsom Street
If you like shopping with a difference then Bath is a great choice. Bath’s Milsom Street is a shopping destination so historic that it is described as selling the ‘prettiest hat you can imagine’ in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Today, the road still has the original shop fronts along with a superb selection of designer stores and quirky boutiques. At the street’s centre is a cobbled square which is perfect stopping point for a bite to eat. Opposite this concourse is Jolly’s, one of the world’s oldest department stores, which has recently been revived and is well worth sticking your nose into. Even older than Milsom Street and Jolly’s is Guildhall Market. This covered shopping area has been on the site for eight hundred years and sells deli products, household items, novelties and even haircuts! If you need the perfect shopping-mobile, rent Sam’s Ford Galaxy to take you from A to B.