Manchester for shoppers:
a suggested one-day itinerary
If you’re looking to make an early start on your Manchester retail adventure, then never fear: this is one city that knows how to shop. Begin your day on the town with a visit to Manchester Arndale, central Manchester’s biggest indoor shopping mall. First, settle in for a quick breakfast — the centre’s eateries open from 7am on weekdays, and 9am on weekends — and then hit the shops. You’ll find all the high street highlights here (there are more than 200 shops on-site), and can even avail yourself of the centre’s team of complimentary personal shoppers if you’re seeking something special.
After a more traditional shopping morning, devote your afternoon to the Northern Quarter: one of Manchester’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, and home to a fleet of quirky and creative independent boutiques. Head to Afflecks for top-notch vintage finds, venture to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre for prints, jewellery and other pieces made by local artists, swing by Piccadilly Records for some retro vinyl, and visit Junk Shop for sustainable fashion. Better yet, the Northern Quarter is as renowned for its culinary style as it is its fashion sense. Treat yourself to a restorative meal at Home Sweet Home, whose American diner-style brunches are the stuff of legend, before continuing along the shopping trail.
Evening: The Lowry or the Trafford Centre
The evening brings you a choice: do you save or splurge? If it’s the former, then head west to the Lowry Outlet. A highlight of Manchester’s Salford Quays — the city’s redeveloped waterfront district — the outlet mall offer discounts of up to 70% off, which makes for blissfully guilt-free shopping. That said: if you don’t mind splashing some cash, then round out your evening at the Trafford Centre, which is also located west of central Manchester, and ranks among the largest shopping malls in the country. With interior design straight out of Vegas (think: glass atrium-style ceilings, palm trees, marble colonnades, and colossal chandeliers), it’s a sight to behold. And with 200+ boutiques — including Selfridges, Ted Baker, and Calvin Klein — the Trafford Centre was also made for fashionistas.