It’s home to one of the top 10 UK shopping centres, bustling high streets and independent boutiques stocking local designers and many hidden treasures, so come prepared with comfortable shoes and an empty suitcase when you visit South Yorkshire.
Shop the latest looks at a mix of high street and designer brands at Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Located midway between Rotherham and Sheffield on a former steelworks site, the indoor shopping centre opened its doors in 1990 and is now home to 230 stores – from fashion and beauty to home and technology. There’s also an 11-screen cinema and 50 venues to eat and drink – take your pick from Mexican, Italian, American, Thai and of course, British restaurants. If you’re visiting by car, there are 12,000 free car parking spaces or direct access via bus, tram and train. In fact, there’s even a landing pad for any affluent shoppers stopping by in their helicopter.
Alternatively, and very conveniently, Crystal Peaks shopping mall and retail park is very handy for access from the M1 motorway, and sells pretty much anything you’ll need. Frenchgate Shopping Centre sits in the heart of Doncaster – home to 120 international and independent brands. And once you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, refuel with a quick bite to eat at one of the cafes or sit down to a meal at one of the food mall restaurants. There are 1,700 paid car parking spaces and a transport interchange welcoming shoppers via bus and rail.
Step outside of the Frenchgate centre and you’ll enter Doncaster town centre, home to one the most highly-regarded markets in England – popular not only with loyal locals but also a celebrity following. TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson, stopped by recently to enjoy the local produce. The biggest traditional market in the North, browse the 400 stalls that have been at the heart of the town for hundreds of years – from fishmongers and butchers to fresh fruit and veg stalls and gourmet bakeries.
Open three days per week – Tuesday, Friday and Saturday – the town centre attraction incorporates four large market halls, each boasting its own unique offering, as well as the main bustling outdoor market. If you’re visiting on Wednesday, there’s also an impressive antique and bric-a-brac market.
Located midway between Rotherham and Sheffield on a former steelworks site, the indoor shopping centre opened its doors in 1990 and is now home to 230 stores – from fashion and beauty to home and technology
For a unique boutique shopping experience, visit Tickhill and Bawtry – neighbouring towns on the outskirts of Doncaster. Both village locations offer an array of fashion, footwear and accessory boutiques catering for anything from an informal occasion to cruise-wear.
With cobbled pathways and narrow walkways, it’s worth taking your time to explore the areas – you may just stumble upon some hidden treasures. Shop designer brands at discounted prices at Lakeside Village, Doncaster. There’s up to 60 per cent off 45 famous name stores offering men’s, women’s and children’s fashion and sportswear, footwear, gifts, beauty, homeware and accessories. Stores include an M&S Outlet, Next Outlet, Jeff Banks, Moss, Ernest Jones and Gap Outlet.
If you need a break from bargain hunting, grab a bite to eat at Greggs, Costa or Thornton’s Chocolate Cafe. Or for something more substantial, stop by at neighbouring venues Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC and a Beefeater bar and restaurant. If the children need some entertainment, there’s a ‘Cheeky Monkeys’ covered outdoor adventure playground and an indoor soft play area for toddlers. Situated alongside the shopping outlet is a man-made lake – hence the Lakeside name.
Follow a trail around the lake using your phone to scan the QR codes installed on wooden posts, to find out about the history of the town. It takes around an hour to walk the outer edge of the lake at a steady pace. Rotherham Imperial Buildings is a creative hub and shopping arcade. The restored Grade 2-listed structure is located at the top of the high street overlooking the town’s eye-catching cathedral. Shop the independent fashion boutiques or grab a coffee and cake and admire the view – it’s quite something!
There’s also a rather unexpected button tin kiosk sitting in the very centre of the building. Owned by a local artist, you’ll find Gemma Nemer inside her studio running vintage craft workshops and selling her hand-made creations from the kiosk – pretty bunting, textile jewellery, tea cosies, aprons and more, all made from traditional fabrics and, of course, buttons. Just outside of Rotherham town centre, you’ll stumble upon Parkgate Shopping – one of the largest retail parks in the country, home to more than 40 retailers.
For a unique boutique shopping experience, visit Tickhill and Bawtry – neighbouring towns on the outskirts of Doncaster
Its fashion offering includes big brand names: M&S, Primark, H&M, TK Maxx and more. Plus Nando’s, Frankie and Benny’s and Costa – whether you’re visiting for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed. Offering free parking, the retail park is open seven-days-a-week, with late-night opening weekdays. Fox Valley recently opened its doors on a former steelworkers site at Stocksbridge – situated between Barnsley and Sheffield. The development is home to fashion, beauty and home stores, beauty salons and a gym; both high street names and local independent boutiques.
When you need to rest your feet, stop at Blakes Tea Rooms in Sanderson’s Boutique, serving a range of speciality teas. Central Bean Coffee house is the iconic, umbrella-shaped building serving sandwiches, coffees and cakes, or for something more formal there’s NYC Bar and Grill specialising in American-style burgers and Ponti’s award-winning Italian Kitchen complete with a prosecco bar and balcony overlooking the centre’s peace gardens and fountain. In Barnsley town centre, you’ll find the Alhambra Shopping Centre – home to a mix of more than 40 independent and High Street stores. Just outside is the town’s famous market.
More than 700 years-old with more than 200 indoor and outdoor stalls, the market trades every day except Thursday; then Sunday it’s a car boot – you’ll be guaranteed to grab a bargain or two. Division Street in Sheffield is a hotspot with hipsters. Home to an array of trendy shops – Vulgar, Cow, Freshman’s and Mooch sit on or just off the street – it is always bustling with fashion-lovers who have a keen eye for pre-loved vintage clothing and retro furnishings. Syd and Mallory have been designing and making clothes from their little yellow shop since 2006, styling Sheffield in indie-punk fashion. Collard Manson is the place to go for unique jewellery, homeware and accessories.
Then step inside The Forum shops and you’ll discover even more hidden treasures – from one of the country’s best loved skate shops, Slugger, to traditional male grooming at Honky Tonks Barber Shop. Lucky Fox is the place to go for lunch, serving up coffee, eggs, fried chicken and cold beer while Steam Yard is Sheffield’s coolest coffee house serving moreish macaroons and delicious doughnuts. Recently refurbished, The Moor at Sheffield is home to department stores, high street retailers, Sheffield market and even a gym and cinema.
In Barnsley town centre, you’ll find the Alhambra Shopping Centre – home to a mix of more than 40 independent and High Street stores
The Moor Market is home to the largest group of independent retailers in the region. Expect to find everything from Nepalese cuisine to fresh seafood, deli produce and craft beers. Alongside the food stalls, you’ll find haberdashery stalls, vintage clothing, hand-crafted jewellery and more. Each and every trader is passionate about what they sell and they’re always happy to answer your questions or tell you the story of how their business began.
On the last Thursday of every month, the venue hosts a tea dance alongside seasonal events throughout the year. It’s a unique shopping experience full of character, the best flavours and an upbeat atmosphere. Sharrow Vale in Sheffield is home to shops and restaurants you won’t find anywhere else. The quirky destination features artist Pete McKee’s gallery, A Month of Sundays, alongside Bullet – full to the brim with nick-nacks, the well established Porter Book Shop and Porter Brook deli – supplying Sheffield with the best cheeses, coffees, cakes and chocolates.
The area is also known for its events, from gig nights to markets. Run three times per year, the Sharrow Vale market is always popular, with 80 stalls selling crafts and local foods from hog roasts to fresh fish, plus entertainment. Oakbrook Road in one of the most unique shopping streets in Sheffield. Home to a wide range of independently-owned businesses – from hair salons and coffee shops to bridal boutiques, florists, home interior stores and award-winning restaurants.
Right at the top of the street you’ll find two AA Rosette restaurant, Rafters, and right at the bottom is Gigi’s Cucina – a family-run authentic Italian restaurant. In between, there’s Oakbrook Coffee House serving up home-made cakes and afternoon teas and book in for a new style at Oakbrook hair salon, Jam, or indulge in a pamper afternoon at beauty salon, Divine. Treat yourself to a new outfit at Finishing Touches ladies boutique, then take home a keepsake from Made in the Cellar who produce personalised, handcrafted and restored homeware items, furniture and gifts – the majority made in Sheffield.
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