Shop then drop… in a welcoming hotel: The places to stay in the UK that make Christmas shopping trips easier and a lot more fun
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. Questa settimana: ‘Shop and stay’ ideas for Natale shoppers.
The countdown to Christmas has begun and hotels are preparing to make shopping trips easier and a lot more fun this year.
A VIP mini-break is on offer at Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire. Breakfast at this Tudor-era hotel prepares guests for a day of bargain-hunting before they’re driven 45 minutes to Bicester Village, the designer shopping outlet where some 160 I negozi, including Barbour, Paul Smith and Versace, stock products at discount prices.
A VIP mini-break is on offer at Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire that includes transport to Bicester Village, the designer shopping outlet (nella foto)
Festive sparkle: The tree at Fawsley Hall
Guests are given access to Bicester’s ‘ultra-luxe’ area, L'appartamento, where personal shoppers are on hand to help. Chauffeurs bring guests and their bags back to the hotel where they can relax in the spa and refuel with a five-course dinner. From £530 per night (handpickedhotels.co.uk).
If you fancy a shopping mini-break in London, there are perfect places to stay next to the capital’s ‘big two’ malls. Head to Westfield Stratford and you don’t need to leave the mall to reach a room at the attached Premier Inn, which even has Amazon delivery lockers, so you could pick up online bargains and shop in person. From £47 per night (premierinn.com).
For something more boutique, brand new hotel The Stratford is minutes from the mall and close to independent galleries, artist studios and markets in trendy Hackney Wick. From £149 a night (thestratford.com).
Go west to the even bigger Westfield mall in London’s White City and stay a short walk away at K-West Hotel. This sleek glass building was once a BBC recording studio and has hosted everyone from Bob Marley to the Kinks. It now offers guests super-sized rooms. Plus you’re only a few Tube stops from Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. From £140 per night (k-west.co.uk).
England’s ancient capital of Winchester is one of the UK’s best-decorated cities in the festive season. Fairy lights deck wooden chalets in the Christmas market in the shadow of the cathedral. Santa is in residence at nearby Marwell Zoo, and if you find the ten hidden characters in the Winchester Gingerbread Trail, you could win a Christmas hamper.
Head to Winchester to browse the Christmas market outside the city’s cathedral. The place to stay nearby? The grand Winchester Royal Hotel
Enjoy it all in 16th Century splendour by checking in to the Winchester Royal Hotel, a short stroll from Cathedral Close, where parking is available for those who need a car to transport their goodies home. Suites or rooms with four-poster beds are on offer from £215 per night (winchesterroyalhotel.com).
The Georgian city of Bath is even more elegant now that the cobbled streets are decked with sparkling Christmas lights.
Bath Artisan Market in Queen Square offers an array of handmade gifts – check in to the Francis Hotel opposite to combine shopping with Regency splendour from £169 per night (all.accor.com). You’ll also find plenty of luxury interior shops from India Jane to Oka plus Biba’s latest designs in traditional department store Jolly’s.