The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! Stores are bursting with Christmas gifts and the hunt for the perfect Christmas party outfit is on.
And while Gloucestershire has plenty of choice for Christmas shoppers, for anyone heading further afield for festive finds, SoGlos rounds up some fantastic Christmas shopping destinations that are all easily accessible on the GWR network from stations in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cam and Dursley, Kemble, Stonehouse, Stroud and Ashchurch for Tewkesbury.
Oxford Street in London
While we never need an excuse to visit the capital, Oxford Street goes all out at Christmas with a spectacular light display sparkling across London’s West End.
As well as taking in the festive sights, Oxford Street has some of the best Christmas shopping destinations in the country too – from Selfridges to Superdry, Pandora to The Disney Store. You can even book in for a blow dry at the Dyson Beauty Lab to get you looking and feeling fabulous this festive season.
Oxford Circus is around 10 minutes from London Paddington via the London Underground.
Cabot Circus in Bristol
With some of the biggest name brands outside of Gloucestershire, including Apple, Harvey Nichols, The Lego Store and Vans, Bristol’s Cabot Circus is well worth a trip in the run up to Christmas.
There’s Christmas crafts to take part in at Harvey Nichols, the chance to write a letter to Santa at The Entertainer and plenty of places to enjoy festive food and drink, too.
Cabot Circus is around 14-minutes’ walk from Bristol Temple Meads station.
From independent toy stores like My Small World to big brands like Boux Avenue, Lululemon, Peloton and Swarovski, SouthGate Bath offers plenty of choice for Christmas shoppers visiting the historic city.
There’s also an ice rink and a Christmas Light Trail to enjoy in Bath, if you fancy a break from the Christmas shopping, too.
SouthGate is around a three-minute walk from Bath Spa station.
Harrods in London
There’s no better time to visit London’s most famous department store than at Christmas. Its spectacular window displays are an incredible sight, not to mention its legendary Christmas World offering everything from luxury hampers to beautiful decorations and of course, the Harrods Christmas teddy bear.
On top of luxury and designer gifts galore, this year the store has been transformed into The Fabulous World of Dior, with immersive pop-ups, a gingerbread-themed Dior café and Dior-themed window decorations, too.
Knightsbridge is around 30 minutes from London Paddington via the London Underground.
As well as shopping for Christmas gifts at stores including Bobbi Brown, Calvin Klein, Dr Martens, Mac, Uniqlo and Hamleys, Westgate Oxford has its very own Christmas market offering everything from personalised Christmas decorations to hot mulled wine.
For little ones, there’s also Believe, Santa’s Magical Reindeer Grotto, where they can meet Norbert the reindeer, make reindeer food, pay Father Christmas a visit and receive a book to take home and keep.
Westgate is around 10 minutes’ walk from Oxford station.
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon
For high end Christmas shopping without the high price tags, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon is the ideal destination.
Pick up the perfect Christmas party outfit from big fashion outlets including Guess, French Connection, Monsoon and Superdry; treat little ones with a trip to Hamleys or the Build-a-Bear outlet; indulge in festive tea, coffee and hot chocolate gifts from Whittards; and get everything wrapped up with gift wrap, stationery and cards from Paperchase.
Designer Outlet Swindon is 14 minutes’ walk from Swindon station.
Arcade shopping in Cardiff
With over 100 shops and eateries, from specialist tea shops and coffee roasteries to vintage fashion stores and one of the city’s oldest record shops, Cardiff’s shopping arcades offer Christmas gifts with a difference.
Located in the Castle Quarter, visitors will find an eclectic mix of stores, including well-known brands and local independents, all situated within seven stunning Victorian and Edwardian arcades decked out for the festive season.
Castle Quarter is around eight minutes’ walk from Cardiff Central station.
Westfield Stratford City
From designer shopping at Armani Exchange and Boss to high street names like Diesel, Hollister, Kurt Geiger, Lacoste, True Religion and Zara, Westfield Stratford City is a shopaholic’s dream at Christmas.
If you’re shopping with children in tow, there’s plenty to keep them happy, with a Biodiversity playground, a bowling alley and baseball batting cages – not to mention a ping pong, cocktail and craft beer bar for young-at-heart grown-ups too!
Westfield Stratford City is around 40 minutes from London Paddington via the London Underground from nearby Lancaster Gate station.
Designer fashion fans won’t want to miss visiting Bicester Village this Christmas, with incredible offers on the biggest luxury brands.
Splash out at stores including Barbour, Charlotte Tilbury, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, Vivienne Westwood and even Gloucestershire’s very own designer brand, Holland Cooper.
Bicester Village is a 17-minute train journey from Oxford station.