For some of us, last minute Christmas shopping is as much a tradition as the tree and the turkey. Here's where to check off your Christmas list in Manchester.
Even the most ardent Christmas shoppers often forget something on their festive lists and find themselves making an eleventh hour rush. Whether you're planning ahead or leaving your gift-hunting expedition for the last minute, there's no reason you shouldn't have a jolly good day out when you do hit the shops. We’ve compiled some of the best places to fill your stockings, as recommended by the savviest Christmas shoppers at our Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport.
Bustling Manchester is packed with boutiques and high street favorites, but to really get into the Christmas spirit, start off at one of the city's world-famous Christmas markets. They're held throughout the city center during the entire month of December. If you're trying to finish your shopping without trekking from store to store, try Harvey Nichols or House of Fraser on New Cathedral Street. A little more patience for the crowds will be rewarded at Manchester Arndale – the chosen destination of Santa himself, whose Grotto will be open to visitors throughout December.
The Trafford Centre
The Trafford Centre is intent on outdoing Santa’s Grotto this year. Embracing the festive season with both hands, they've organized a program of events including a visit from the iconic Coca Cola truck on 26 November and an on-site ice rink to help you get into the spirit between purchases. No matter how fussy the recipient, finding an ideal gift should be easy with over 230 stores to choose from, including Selfridges, Waterstones and the Disney Store.
Bargain hunters will love Cheshire Oaks, a designer shopping center with an array of outlets from Barbour and Burberry to Molton Brown and Le Creuset. This year they've organized a series of Christmas Star Buys for lucky festive shoppers, slashing prices on a range of desirable products like Bose speakers and Reiss occasion wear. Follow the gold stars marking the shop fronts of participating stores to find a deal!
The Lowry Outlet Mall
The Lowry Outlet Mall showcases discount products from some of the most popular names on the high street, including Gap, M&S and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Between 5-8 December the Mall will also host a Victorian Christmas Market, with over 100 stalls selling festive food, drink and decorations and costumed characters mingling with the crowds for a Dickensian touch.
The largest open air shopping center in the UK is worth the jaunt from Manchester, especially if you're in a crunch to satisfy the demands of everyone on your Christmas list. Find plush designer brands like Ted Baker and The Kooples on Peter’s Lane, or head to South John Street to pick up something for the football fanatic in your life - Everton and Liverpool football clubs both have outlets here. Paradise Street is full of cutting edge fashion from trendy shops like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. Holiday hours mean you can shop until 9pm on weekdays from 21 November to 23 December.