Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city so it comes as no surprise that it boasts some of the country’s best shopping opportunities. With a selection of stores to rival London, but a more laidback atmosphere and less tourist traffic a la Oxford Street, Birmingham is a wise choice for a weekend shopping spree, and is fast establishing a name for itself in the world of fashion.
Start your spree by visiting the world renowned Selfridges department store in its specially designed building inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequin dress, a modern landmark on the city’s skyline. Stock up on designer fashion and homeware, and have a bite to eat at Yo Sushi, and a refreshing cuppa at the inhouse Starbucks.
Next door you’ll find the Bullring Centre, home to over 160 shops from Debenhams to Punky Fish to Hawkin’s Bazaar. Also available is a good spread of restaurants with well-known family favourites like Wagamama, Nando’s and Pizza Express among others.
The Mailbox is a luxurious shopping destination on the waterfront. Home to Harvey Nichols, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani and other designer stores, the centre is a modern fashion hub. There’s also a large range of home and lifestyle shops where you can seek inspiration for your house and purchase an array of classic and contemporary home accessories.
Dining opportunities are aplenty at the centre. Choose from restaurants like Cote Brasserie, CafÃ© Rouge and Gourmet Burger Kitchen among others. While at The Mailbox, you can also get your hair done at Toni & Guy or Nicky Clarke, and go for a spa treatment at the Petit Spa.
The Pallasades Shopping Centre offers a range of cheaper shops and high street brands like Peacocks, Claire’s and Footlocker. Its central location just above the city’s New Street Station is a great place to start the day.
Bull Ring markets is a vibrant outdoor set up with 140 stalls held six days a week. Visit the markets to stock up on anything from fresh fruit and veg to lingerie. The Rag Market is a ladies’ favourite with an unrivalled choice of fabrics and gown designs on offer.
On weekends Handmade Birmingham arts and crafts fair springs up alongside Bull Ring market. The weekly event is a great place to buy original souvenirs.
New Street Farmers’ Market is held every first and third Wednesday of the month. Here you can fill up on fresh goods from the local area for prices that won’t break the bank. The friendly stallholders happily hand out testers, and you can grab a light lunch at the market too.
The Jewellery Quarter
They say 40 per cent of the UK’s jewellery is made in Birmingham’s prized Jewellery Quarter where over 100 craftsmen design stunning pieces, some tailored to suit individual requests. Explore some of what’s on offer by window shopping or popping into the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Vyse Street.
After a full day out indulging in shopping and sightseeing, you’ll appreciate a hotel in Birmingham with amenities like a 24-hour shop for midnight munchies, and a hearty breakfast to keep you energised for day two.
Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey’s other articles here to find out more.