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Shopping in UK: Top 10 Biggest UK Shopping Centres

International students in England often find that there aren’t many entertainment options, especially when the weather is cloudy. However, when holidays arrive, the scene changes dramatically. Various shopping malls become bustling hubs of activity. As one of the most prosperous and commercially vibrant regions globally, Britain boasts numerous large shopping centres. What are the top 10 biggest and nicest UK shopping centres? Let’s explore them together!

Top 10 biggest shopping malls (listed in order by size)

Shopping Malls
Rank Shopping Centre City/Town Area(m2)
1 Westfield London Shepherd’s Bush, London 235,900
2 Metrocentre Gateshead, Tyne and Wear 192,900
3 Trafford Centre Trafford, Greater Manchester 188,000
4 Westfield Stratford City Stratford, London 184,100
5 Bluewater Greenhithe, Kent 169,200
6 Bullring Estate Birmingham 163,000
7 St James Quarter New Town, Edinburgh 158,000
8 Manchester Arndale Manchester 155,200
9 Merry Hill Dudley,West Midlands 155,200
10 Liverpool One Liverpool 154,000

10 best shopping centres in the UK

1. Westfield London (London)

Westfield London, officially opened in 2008, is the largest shopping mall in the United Kingdom and Europe. Covering an impressive area of approximately 235,900 square meters, this bustling retail hub boasts 450 stores that cater to a diverse clientele. From opulent luxury brands to more budget-friendly options, Westfield London offers services for everyone.

Westfield London

Notably, if you’re a connoisseur of luxury, you’re in for a treat. The mall features a curated collection of 35 luxury brands, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking high-end fashion, accessories, and lifestyle products. Additionally, Westfield hosts large-scale public events, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

2. Intu Metrocentre (Newcastle)

Intu Metrocentre, also known as MetroCentre, spans an impressive 192,900 square meters, making it the second-largest shopping spot in the United Kingdom, second only to Westfield. While it may not be situated in the heart of Newcastle, a mere 10-minute train ride from Newcastle Central Station will whisk you away to this retail haven.

However, what really sets Intu Metrocentre apart is its unique layout: it comprises five distinct shopping zones, each colour-coded for your convenience. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrancy of red, the freshness of green, the chicness of blue, the playfulness of yellow, or the elegance of platinum, there’s a mall to suit your taste. Besides, there are many facilities such as a VIP lounge, multi-screen ODEON cinema, food court, and so on.


3. Bluewater Shopping Centre (Kent)

Bluewater Shopping Centre, nestled in Kent, sprawls across 160,000 square meters and boasts a whopping 330 stores. But it’s not just about retail—this shopping mall is a harmonious blend of shopping, leisure, and natural beauty.

It is a landscape enveloped by 50 acres of verdant trees, serene lakes, and inviting parks. Therefore, it’s a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle.

Although Bluewater isn’t smack dab in the centre of London (it’s 28.6 kilometres away), the super-efficient transportation system ensures easy connectivity. Hop on public transport, and you’ll be there in no time.


4. Intu Trafford Centre (Manchester)

Located in the city of Manchester, the Intu Trafford Centre stands as a grand testament to Baroque architecture. Its intricate design, characterised by bold colour combinations and an asymmetric layout at its core, makes it a true gem among shopping malls in the UK.

Moreover, as the largest food court in Europe, the Intu Trafford Centre tantalises taste buds with a diverse array of culinary delights. From international cuisines to local favourites, it’s a paradise for food lovers.

With a constant stream of visitors, the Intu Trafford Centre buzzes with energy. The mall boasts over 10,000 parking spaces, ensuring hassle-free access for all.

Trafford Centre

5. Westfield Stratford City (London)

Westfield Stratford City, situated in Stratford, London, is a shopping haven that demands your attention. Since its grand opening in September 2011, it has become an integral part of the city. Sitting next to the iconic London Olympic Park, this mall enjoys proximity to several landmarks, including the East Village, Stratford Station, and Stratford International Station.

Hungry after all that shopping? Explore the 80 restaurants and food spots within the mall. Whether you crave international cuisine or local favourites, there’s something for you.

Besides, with more than 250 brand stores and a 24-hour casino, the excitement keeps going. 

6. Liverpool One (Liverpool)

Located in Liverpool, Liverpool One stands as the city’s largest open-air shopping destination. With over 170 stores, luxurious golf centres and ODEON cinemas, it’s a retail paradise that caters to diverse tastes.

Liverpool One (Liverpool)

Craving a bite? Explore the array of bars and restaurants. Whether you’re after a quick coffee or a lavish meal, Liverpool One has options aplenty.

And for the young, don’t miss the enchanting Disney stores. From Mickey Mouse to Elsa, the magic awaits.

7. Bullring & Grand Central (Birmingham)

The total area of Bullring Business District combined with Grand Central is nearly 160,000 square meters. It has been Birmingham‘s main shopping mall and one of the landmarks since the Middle Ages.

But the Bullring didn’t opened to the public until 2003, with 240 stores and restaurants. The shopping mall interconnects New Street, High Street, St. Martin’s Church and the open-air market. As long as you are not tired, it will not be boring to stroll here for a long time!

Bullring & Grand Central

8. Meadowhall (Sheffield)

Meadowhall, located in Sheffield, stands as the largest and highly acclaimed shopping centre in the area. Within its sprawling expanse, you’ll find an array of offerings, including department stores, both large and small chain outlets, private boutiques, and charming restaurants that showcase national flavours.

Exploring Meadowhall is a delightful experience, and it’s no wonder that many visitors lose themselves in its labyrinthine corridors. Moreover, remember to take advantage of their generous business hours—open until 9 p.m.—to fully immerse yourself in the shopping and dining delights that Meadowhall offers.


9. Intu Lakeside (Essex)

Intu Lakeside in Essex, nestled by the serene Alexandra Lake, boasts an impressive array of amenities. With 245 stores to explore, along with 50 restaurants and cafes, visitors can indulge in a delightful shopping and dining experience.

This shopping mall has undergone several renovations, including the addition of Italian porcelain floors, new lighting, high ceilings, and glass roofs, which flood the space with abundant natural light.

Beyond shopping and dining, Intu Lakeside offers a variety of entertainment options. Visitors can enjoy activities such as golf, an indoor trampoline park, and catch a movie at the theatre.

10. Westgate Oxford (Oxford)

Westgate Oxford, originally established in 1972 near Oxford Castle, transcends its role as a mere shopping mall. It has evolved into a tourist attraction with charming sidewalks and expansive glass roofs that allow natural light in.

However, the true highlight lies in its rooftop dining options. Numerous restaurants offer romantic settings where you can savour delicious meals while gazing upon the wonderful Oxford skyline. It’s a feast for the senses—a blend of culinary delights and breathtaking views.

What are the criteria for evaluating the best shopping malls?

  • Relevance:
    Relevance assesses whether the mall’s objectives and design align with global, country, and local needs, policies, and priorities. It also considers adaptability to changing circumstances.
  • Location:
    Proximity to residential areas, transportation hubs, and other traffic.
  • Facilities and Amenities:
    Quality facilities enhance the visitors’ experience. Cleanliness, security, restrooms, seating areas, and family-friendly amenities are needed.

Conclusion on UK shopping centres

The United Kingdom boasts a rich and diverse landscape of shopping centres, each weaving its unique thread into the fabric of urban life. From historic arcades to modern retail hubs, the biggest UK shopping centres serve as more than mere commercial spaces—they are cultural touch-points, social arenas, and economic engines.

If you’re thinking about studying in the UK, it’s crucial to find the right student accommodation. That’s where uhomes comes in. It’s a reliable platform that helps students like you find the perfect place to live in LondonManchesterGlasgowCardiff, Birmingham and many other cities. So far, they’ve helped more than 55,000 students successfully find their dream homes.



Yes, the Metro Centre is larger than Bluewater. While Bluewater is one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, the Metro Centre holds the title of the largest in terms of retail space.

In the context of overall shopping experience and brand presence, Bluewater is often perceived as hosting a wider variety of high-end shops compared to the Metro Centre. Thus, shoppers might find Bluewater to be more expensive in terms of the retail brands it houses.

The largest indoor shopping centre in Europe is the Aviapark in Moscow, Russia, which boasts an impressive total retail space. However, within the United Kingdom, the title of the largest goes to the Metro Centre.

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