Edinburgh named UK’s best shopping destination outside of London

The best UK shopping locations outside of London have been revealed – and (drum roll, please!) Edinburgh has claimed the number one spot.

It signals a massive turnaround for Scotland’s capital, which for decades has been seen as the ‘poor cousin’ to neighbouring Glasgow as a place for shoppers to spend their hard-earned cash.

The study, conducted by WeThrift, was based on a ten-point system including the number of shopping centres, Instagram posts, the annual rainfall, number of car parks available and more.

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Ednburgh, which was handed a huge boost with the opening of St James Quarter in June 2021, beat off competition from the likes of Manchester, Leeds and York, scoring 74.5 out of 100.

The #shopping hashtag has been used 20,862 times in the Capital by users on Instagram, the second-highest number of that hashtag anywhere in the UK.

Edinburgh, it was noted, also boasts the cheapest public transport in the UK, with average costs down to £1.80.

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Commenting on the news, Steve Spray, Fund Director at LaSalle Investment Management, said: “I was very pleased to see this, but not surprised.

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Edinburgh has come on leaps and bounds as a shopping destination in recent years - and is now the best in the UK outside of London.

“Retail has had a bad time, but Edinburgh has genuine grounds for optimism.

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“Since our development of Multrees Walk, 20 years ago this year, the east end has been transformed by among many other schemes, the opening to the public of St Andrew Square gardens and the construction of St James Quarter.

“Multrees Walk has become the leading luxury goods location outside London – but despite the lack of tourists our visitor numbers have recovered really well post-Covid.

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“As the survey identified, the city has great public transport and the Council deserve credit for amendments to planning policy, which together with Jonny Walker, Jenners and our redevelopment of the former BHS among others will definitely accelerate that recovery.”

The best UK shopping locations have been revealed – and Edinburgh is officially the number one retail ldestination outside of London.
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Trailing closely behind Edinburgh in second place was Bristol, which received a total score of 74.2 out of 100.

Bristol is home to more designer stores than any other UK shopping destination (309), plus there are 259 car parks located in the city, meaning parking for shoppers that drive is no issue.

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Third place went to York, which received a total score of 71.1 out of 100. The data discovered that York is the safest shopping destination in the UK, with a safety index score of 74.74.

York is also blessed with a relatively low cost of public transport (£2.00) as well as plenty of furniture shops in the city – 55, to be exact.

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The rest of the top five is made up of Brighton in fourth place (69.8) and Leeds in fifth place (65.0).

Glasgow, meanwhile, didn’t do too badly, with Scotland’s biggest city coming in sixth in the UK for shopping, scoring 60 out of a possible 100.

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Top 10 Cities in the UK Best For Shopping (outside London)

1 – Edinburgh - 74.5

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2- Bristol - 74.2

3- York - 71.1

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4- Brighton - 69.8

5- Leeds - 65

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6- Glasgow - 60

7- Sheffield - 59.7

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8- Belfast - 59.6

9- Birmingham - 58.5

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10 – Leicester - 58.2