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Shopping centres and high street stores in Kent

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Find your favourite big-name brands on bustling high streets and get happily lost among designer stores in modern shopping centres. If you love to shop till you drop, Kent is calling your name.  


Canterbury

Shopaholics flock to Canterbury and the award-winning Whitefriars district. More than 70 of the country’s top fashion and lifestyle retailers stretch across a pedestrianised area in the heart of the city. Hop from Zara to Swarovski and Artique Galleries with plenty of restaurants in between to replenish your energy levels.

For fine art, jewellery and antiques, stroll through the historic areas of King’s Mile, St Dunstan’s and Westgate. You’ll find department store goodies at Fenwick Canterbury on High Street, including sought-after brands like Hugo Boss, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren and Coach. The Canterbury High Street Markets take place on Wednesday and Friday.

More than 70 of the country’s top fashion and lifestyle retailers stretch across a pedestrianised area in the heart of the city

If you’re in the market for top-end jewellery in Canterbury, look no further than Fitzgerald Jewellers, which is located close to Canterbury Cathedral. All of the products on offer are carefully designed and handmade on site using traditional methods of jewellery making. Elsewhere, Hadfields of Canterbury is an independent jewellery shop filled with beautiful pieces, lovingly handmade or chosen by a dedicated team of designers and goldsmiths.

Dover and Deal

After exploring the towering White Cliffs, get a retail therapy fix at Dover’s De Bradelei Wharf shopping outlet. From ladieswear to bedding and gifts, you’ll find everything under the one roof along with brands such as Peter England, Nauticalia and Gabicci. Move onto St James Retail and Leisure Park for shopping combined with relaxing breaks at the cinema and restaurants.

Woman shopping for ladieswear

It’s easy to keep up with the latest trends and fashions in this county

Once named ‘High Street of the Year’ by Daily Telegraph readers thanks to a huge array of one-off retailers, Deal is the place to get authentic Kent souvenirs to remember your trip by. A vintage and interiors home store, Mileage is an emporium that bursts with upcycled furniture, printed lampshades and caffeine supplies at the Tea Station.


Read more: How to spend 48 hours in Kent


Medway

Of Kent’s Medway towns, Chatham is the largest of its shopping town centres. Start on the pedestrianised High Street and make your way to Pentagon Shopping Centre for hundreds of leading and independent stores. There’s also a ten-pin bowling alley, should the kids need something to do while you stock up. Head to Dockside Outlet Centre for around 60 per cent off brands.

Maidstone is a shopper’s utopia with two shopping centres, as well as the Week Street pedestrianised boulevard. Fremlin Walk is the home of high street brands, like Topshop and Ernest Jones, within a stylish, open-air centre. To browse indoors, visit The Mall just off King Street. Wander down historic streets for independent stores, with plenty along Bank Street, Pudding Lane and Union Street.

Fremlin Walk outdoor shopping centre in Kent

Shopaholics can engage in a bit of retail therapy at Fremlin Walk

Hunt for treasures in the town centre of Gillingham at the community markets on Monday and Saturday. Then, check out more than 50 stores at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, including homewares, fashion and beauty. If you’re there on school holidays, free children’s activities ensure everyone’s smiling. In Rochester, quirky speciality stores and funky boutiques line High Street and the surrounds.

Tunbridge Wells

History goes hand in hand with shopping in Tunbridge Wells. To start with a bang, visit West Kent’s largest shopping centre, Royal Victoria Place. From Timberland to Pandora, French Connection and Hobbs, there’s not much you won’t find here. The department store Fenwick stretches across three floors of designer clothing, toys and beauty labels.

Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in Kent

With such a wide range of shops, there’s something for everyone at Royal Victoria Place

The Old High Street and Chapel Place showcase original Victorian frontages with charming stores hiding within. You’ll find brands like Little London and Oska between cute toy shops and restaurants for tea and pastry stops. Explore further to find bookstores and gift shops on Castle Street, White Bear Passage and Frog Lane.

Ashford

Do you love a bargain? The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford is the place for you! Find more than 70 big-name labels including Polo Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer and Sandro. If you’ve got the energy for more, the County Square Shopping Centre offers around 50 shops with a selection of restaurants. For authentic souvenirs, the Made in Ashford Store is located in Park Mall. Around 30 local craftspeople showcase their creations for your buying pleasure.

McArthurGlen’s Ashford Designer Outlet in Kent

You’ll be spoiled for choice at McArthurGlen’s Ashford Designer Outlet

Out of town shopping

Serious shoppers hit the jackpot at Bluewater in Greenhithe. It’s the biggest shopping mall in the south, outside of London. Rising from a chalk quarry among 50-metre-high cliffs, Bluewater boasts more than 300 stores, a 13-screen multiplex cinema and over 60 eateries. The flagship stores of House of Fraser, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer join high street favourites and Thames Walk with urban fashion.


Read more

10 things you must do in Kent

Great days out for culture vultures in Kent

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Image credits: ©Ashford Designer Outlet; Fremlin Walk; Hedgehog94/stock.adobe.com; Royal Victoria Place; Whitefriars

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