THE festive season is upon us, which only means one thing: it's time to start your Christmas shopping.
We rounded up the biggest shopping centres in the UK, and we scoured the internet to find the closest – and cheapest – hotels near them.
Here's a look at the best places to bag some bargains and have a fun day out:
1. Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush, London
Coming in first as the biggest shopping centre in the UK is Westfield London in Sheperd's Bush.
Westfield London has more than 300 stores with high-end and high-street brands, all housed in a stunning architectural setting.
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"The Village" is one of London's top designer districts with more than 40 high-end companies, all under cover – perfect for Christmas shopping during rainy days.
There are more than 60 restaurants and bars, too, from quick lunches and snacks to top restaurants.
If you're after a completely stress-free Christmas shopping experience, Westfield also offers hands-free shopping.
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Here are the closest hotels to Westfield London:
- Travelodge London Acton hotel – rooms from £40
- Premier Inn London Hammersmith (Shepherd's Bush Road) hotel – rooms from £53.50
- Premier Inn London Kensington (Earl’s Court) hotel – rooms from £69
- Premier Inn London Kensington (Olympia) hotel – rooms from £90
- Booking.com rooms near Westfield London – from £63
2. Metrocentre in Gateshead, Newcastle
One of the largest indoor mall-style shopping centres in Europe, Metrocentre is located in Gateshead, near Newcastle.
Metrocentre features a little over 300 well-known high street stores spread across five enormous multicoloured malls.
Shops range from major department stores, like H&M, H&M Home, Primark, TK Maxx, and Marks & Spencer, to luxury retailers, such asFlannels and H Beauty by Harrods.
Metrocentre also offers a wide variety of activities – perfect if you're going with the family – you could golf at the world's first Angry Birds Adventure Golf.
Other activities include a 12-screen Odeon IMAX cinema, an American pool hall, an arcade with video games, and 18 lanes of bowling.
Here are the closest hotels to Metrocentre in Gateshead, Newcastle:
- Premier Inn Newcastle (Team Valley) hotel – from £40.50
- Premier Inn Newcastle City Centre (The Gate) hotel – from £47
- Travelodge Gateshead hotel – from £35
- Travelodge Newcastle Quayside hotel – from £27
- Booking.com rooms near Metrocentre in Gateshead, Newcastle – from £34
3. Trafford Centre in Manchester
The Trafford Centre is just five miles west of Manchester city centre and offers plenty of parking spaces and a number of handy transportation links.
The shopping centre features some of the Brits' favourite shops, including Selfridges, John Lewis, Game, Victoria's Secret and Primark, to name a few.
To top it off, there are also experiences for those who don't fancy shopping, including a cinema, SEA LIFE, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, and Laser Quest.
You'll also find more than 60 restaurants, including some favourites like Five Guys, Wagamama and Nando's.
Here are the closest hotels to Trafford Centre in Manchester:
- Travelodge Manchester Trafford Park – from £37
- Travelodge Manchester Sale – from £36
- Travelodge Salford Quays – from £21
- Premier Inn Manchester Trafford Centre South hotel – from £46
- Premier Inn Manchester Trafford Centre North hotel – from £42.50
- Premier Inn Manchester Trafford Centre West hotel – from £42.50
- Booking.com rooms near Trafford Centre, Manchester – from £44
4. Westfield Stratford in London
Westfield's London sister, Westfield Stratford City, has a wide variety of high-street fashion favourites in addition to renowned home and lifestyle brands.
There are around 250 stores, including Zara, JD Sports and Urban Outfitters, plus over 65 dining options.
The shopping centre also features one of Europe's biggest and most advanced cinemas, the 17-screen Vue Cinema. You'll also find the largest casino in the UK, Aspers Casino, which is open around the clock.
Here are the closest hotels to Westfield Stratford in London:
- Premier Inn London Stratford hotel – from £100
- Premier Inn London Docklands (Canning Town) hotel – from £115
- Travelodge London Stratford – from £45
- Booking.com rooms near Westfield Stratford – from £50
- Snoozebox Olympic Park hotel – from £71
- Aparthotel Adagio London Stratford hotel – from £161
5. Bluewater in Greenhithe, Kent
The 240-acre Bluewater estate is in Kent and is surrounded by a 50-acre landscape of lakes, grass, and trees.
Bluewater shopping centre is split into two levels and three big department stores: Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, and House of Fraser.
The shopping centre has 300 retailers, over 50 bars, restaurants, and cafés, and 13,000 free parking spaces.
Bluewater is conveniently located near the A2, M2, M25, and M20, making it perfect for getting there by car.
- Travelodge Dartford hotel – from £31
- Premier Inn Dartford hotel – from £40.50
- Premier Inn Gravesend hotel – from £40.50
- Booking.com rooms near Bluewater, Kent – from £33
6. Bullring Estate in Birmingham
The Bullring in Birmingham is the biggest shopping centre in the West Midlands area.
With more than 160 stores and 40 million annual visitors, this is one of the UK's most loved shopping centres.
A variety of big names are in Bullring and Grand Central, including Selfridges, LEGO, H&M Home, MAC, and many more.
You'll also be able to admire Selfridges's architecture, which was influenced by a Paco Rabanne sequinned garment and is coated with 15,000 metal discs.
More than 60 restaurants and cafés are available, and you'll also find a Treetop Adventure Golf.
Here are the closest hotels to Bullring in Birmingham:
- Travelodge Birmingham Central Bull Ring hotel – from £43
- Travelodge Birmingham Central hotel – from £33
- Premier Inn Birmingham City Centre (Waterloo Street) hotel – from £42.50
- Premier Inn Birmingham City Aston – from £44
- Booking.com rooms near Bullring, Birmingham – from £34
7. St James Quarter in Edinburgh
St James Quarter is the largest retail and entertainment district the city has ever seen.
The Quarter has a location unlike any other, as it combines brands from luxury to convenience and from around the world to local.
The new development opened in 2021, replacing the old St James Quarter from 1973.
The new Quarter features 80 outlets, over 30 restaurants and bars, a food hall and an Everyman cinema with five screens.
More than 1,500 parking spaces are available, too, including disabled parking and parking spaces for families strategically located near welcome points.
Here are the closest hotels to St James Quarter in Edinburgh:
- ibis Styles Edinburgh St Andrew Square hotel – from £144
- Booking.com rooms near St James Quarter, Edinburgh – from £50
- YOTEL Edinburgh hotel – from £88
- Travelodge Edinburgh Central hotel – from £40
8. Manchester Arndale
Manchester Arndale is the largest inner-city shopping centre in the UK, with more than 200 shops, dining and drinking options, and entertainment under one roof.
You'll also find a food market and a food court spread across the local stores, high-street fashion, bookstores, and toy shops.
The shopping centre is easily accessible by car and by foot, thanks to its vicinity to Manchester Victoria station and Manchester Piccadilly station.
Here are the closest hotels to Manchester Arndale:
- Travelodge Manchester Central hotel – from £34
- Travelodge Manchester Piccadilly hotel – rooms from £41
- Premier Inn Manchester City (Piccadilly) hotel – rooms from £48
- Premier Inn Manchester City Centre West hotel – rooms from £42.50
- Booking.com rooms near Manchester Arndale – from £39
9. Merry Hill in Dudley, West Midlands
The Merry Hill shopping centre has around 215 stores and over 10,000 free parking spaces.
The five biggest flagship stores are Next, Asda, Primark, and Marks & Spencer, but there are more well-known brands and independent shops.
There are even more stores, restaurants, and a cinema in a separate retail park beyond the main shopping centre.
The stores include The Range, Currys, B&M Home & Garden and Matalan, to name a few.
Here are the closest hotels to Merry Hill in Dudley:
- Travelodge Birmingham Dudley hotel – rooms from £34
- Travelodge Birmingham Kingswinford hotel – rooms from £32
- Travelodge Dudley Town Centre – rooms from £30
- Booking.com rooms near Merry Hill, Dudley – from £43
- Premier Inn Dudley (Kingswinford) hotel – rooms from £40.50
- Premier Inn Dudley Town Centre hotel – rooms from £40.50
10. Liverpool ONE
Liverpool ONE features more than 170 stores, bars, and cafes, with something for everyone, including the best high street retailers and designer names.
The White Company, John Lewis & Partners, and Beauty Bazaar Harvey Nichols (the only one in the UK) are just some of the shops available.
When it comes to dining options, you'll be spoiled for choice, with more than 35 spots to pick from in The Terrace and all the places in between.
The shopping centre is located a few minutes away from James Street and Moorfields train stations.
Liverpool Lime Street is only a 15-minute walk, and is connected to national lines.
Here are the closest hotels near to Liverpool ONE:
- Travelodge Liverpool Central Exchange Street hotel – rooms from £32
- Travelodge Liverpool Central hotel – rooms from £35
- Premier Inn Liverpool City Centre (Lime Street) hotel – rooms from £52.50
- Booking.com rooms near Liverpool ONE – from £42
You could also book a seat on the Polar Express for Christmas 2022 from £134pp, but you’ll have to be quick…
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