Best Shopping Spots in the South West

Best Shopping Spots in the South West

In this article, you'll learn the following:
Ready for some retail therapy? The South West is home to an abundance of great places to shop, offering everything from vintage finds to designer goods. 

Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect outfit for your next big event or you want to browse a bookshop, you’ll be truly spoilt for choice. From large, modern shopping centres to quaint little side streets, there’s something to suit every shopper.

So, grab your shopping partner and head to one (or all!) of the spots on our list, all of which are easy to get to with South Western Railway.

The best places for shopping in Basingstoke

A person looking through clothes rails at a store

Got the shopping bug but don’t feel like venturing into London? Catch a train to Basingstoke and make the most of all there is to offer:

The Malls and Festival Place Shopping Centre 

Festival Place and The Malls shopping centre are conveniently situated right next to each other, just across the road from Basingstoke train station. As Basingstoke’s largest area to shop, there are over 140 big brand stores, as well as arcades and scrumptious eateries here. You can also find plenty of fun family events taking place throughout the year.

Broad Street

Located in the town centre, Broad Street is Basingstoke’s high street and offers a generous selection of shops and boutiques. Head West to discover a scattering of independent stores in Oxford Road, West Street and St Mary's Butts, or East towards King Street to continue your shopping experience. 

Basingstoke Market

Basingstoke Market is in the aptly named Market Place and takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9:00 – 16:00. Here, you can find everything from artisan baking to retro clothing, as well as delicious fresh farm produce.

How to get there: Basingstoke station is located in the town centre, bringing you directly into the centre of all the shopping action.

The best places for shopping in Portsmouth

A person holding shopping bags

The UK’s only island city of Portsmouth is home to much more than its historic dockyard. With plenty of shopping destinations to choose from, it’s the perfect place for some retail therapy.

Portsmouth City Centre

Head to Portsmouth city centre for a mix of high street favourites and independent boutiques. Just a short walk from Portsmouth & Southsea station you’ll find Commercial Road, which incorporates Cascades Shopping Centre and the shops at Arundel Street. This is the main shopping street in Portsmouth so you can expect to find a whole range of goods, from sports gear and photography equipment to books and of course, clothing.  

Portsmouth's Historic Old Town

Portsmouth’s historic old town is a shopping destination just a stone’s throw from Portsmouth Harbour station. It’s home to some real gems, from the Hotwalls Studios that house a collection of artists’ spaces and works, to the South’s leading designer shopping outlet Gunwharf Quays. Boasting a huge selection of top label brands, you're guaranteed to bag yourself a bargain here.

Love Southsea

Love Southsea is Portsmouth’s monthly market, held at Palmerston Road on the first weekend of every month. A variety of trade stalls sell artwork, vintage clothing, homemade jewellery, giftware and more. Once you’re all shopped out, indulge in the delicious street food on sale at the market.

Additional shopping areas include:

Port Solent, for shopping on the Marina
Quirky independent shops and high street favourites in Southsea

How to get there: Hop on a train to Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth & Southsea stations to be in the midst of Portsmouth's shopping areas. 

The best places for shopping in Southampton

Clothes in a store

One of the premier shopping destinations in the South West, Southampton has something to suit every type of shopper. From big bustling centres to diverse markets, you can refresh your wardrobe, revamp your home or stock up on gifts for the people you love.    

Above Bar Street, East Street and Bedford Place

Above Bar Street is Southampton’s central shopping hub, consisting of a mix of high street and independent stores. Head to East Street and Bedford Place to discover a variety of shops, then visit one of the area’s many restaurants to fuel up.

Bargate Market Place

If it’s markets you’re after, visit the Bargate Market Place. There are plenty of regular and speciality events throughout the year, from farmers’ markets to art and design. 

Westquay Shopping Centre and Marlands Shopping Centre

Westquay Shopping Centre is the place to go for some retail therapy. With a huge array of over 100 shops offering styles to suit all tastes, you’re bound to bag yourself a bargain or two. Marlands Shopping Centre is a stone’s throw from the train station and is another fantastic shopping spot. 

How to get there: rail travel to Southampton Central takes you directly into the town centre.

The best places for shopping in Windsor

A person making a store purchase

Historic Windsor is known for its fantastic shopping scene and is one of the top places to shop in the UK. With plenty of shopping centres and quaint shopping streets to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Windsor High Street

Windsor High Street is a fantastic place to begin your Windsor shopping experience. King Edward Court, St Leonards Road, Peascod Street and Lower Peascod Street offer around 150 stores ranging from women’s clothing boutiques and department stores to quirky gift shops and homeware havens.

Windsor Royal Station

Set in an 1850s Grade II listed Victorian railway station, Windsor Royal Station is an elegant shopping centre that’s rich in history. It’s just a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle and there are plenty of high-end shopping options here. Browse luxurious designer goods to your heart’s content, then stop for a bite at one of the many restaurants in the centre. 

Windsor Yards

Windsor Yards is your go-to shopping centre for every type of purchase, from fashion and food to beauty and homeware. There are also plenty of refreshment options like Costa Coffee and Pret a Manger for keeping your energy levels topped up. At just a four-minute walk from Windsor & Eton Central, getting home with your new goods couldn’t be easier.

More of the best shopping spots in Windsor include:

Thames Street
Windsor Independent Market

How to get there: travel to Windsor & Eton Riverside station will place you within walking distance or a short bus journey from all the best shopping spots.

The best places for shopping in Winchester

A person making a store purchase

Vibrant and cultured, Winchester offers a great selection of shopping areas for you to visit. Once the capital of England, this popular ancient city is full of charm, with a bustling high street made up of popular brands, designer stores and places to eat.

Winchester High Street

Winchester High Street is the town’s main shopping hub, where you’ll find a range of stores to suit all budgets, as well as narrow side streets and arcades filled with hidden gems. Browse everything from vintage shops to bookstores, and why not treat yourself to a beauty treatment or haircut? Hungry shoppers will also find restaurants and eateries aplenty.

Winchester Markets

The High Street is home to the weekly Winchester Market. There’s something different each week, from art and design to antiques, vintage and retro collectables. Meanwhile, Winchester Farmers’ Market is perfect for picking up seasonal goods.

The Brooks

A retail complex set in the town of Winchester, The Brooks shopping centre has a great selection of high street stores to check out. It’s here that you’ll find Tot City – a role play centre perfect for entertaining little ones.

Bishop’s Waltham, Alresford and Wickham

Near to Winchester you’ll find the picturesque villages of Bishop’s Waltham, Alresford and Wickham. Each offers their own slice of charm, with a range of independent shops and delicious eateries all tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre.

How to get there: Winchester is a popular little city, so parking is limited at peak times. That’s why it’s often sensible to leave the car at home and catch a train to Winchester station instead. 

The best places for shopping in Exeter

A shop open sign on the door

Exeter is a true hub for shopping, and is equally popular with tourists and locals alike. It has everything a shopping addict could possibly need, with a range of retail opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. 

Exeter High Street

Exeter’s High Street is the main shopping street in the city, offering everything from the quirky to the classic. It’s laid out into four quarters: 

Cathedral Quarter – Elegant and refined, here you’ll find the finest boutique shops and jewellers, plus a quaint selection of independent cafes.
Castle Quarter – This charming and small shopping area is the best place to find hidden gems.
West Quarter – The West Quarter is the city’s top area for independent stores, offering special hand-crafted goods and one-off products.
Quayside – Just a stone’s throw from the city centre, this attractive and cultured shopping spot is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.

Exeter Farmers’ Market

Located on Fore Street and South Street Exeter Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday from 9am to 1pm. The extensive range of West Country foods is the main attraction, with a variety of meat, vegetables and bakery goods on sale. Expect a vibrant atmosphere and community feel within the markets that’s sure to make you feel right at home.

Guildhall Shopping Centre and Princesshay Shopping Centre

Favoured as one of the best shopping centres in the South West, visit Guildhall Shopping Centre and we guarantee you won’t leave empty-handed. Alternatively, head to Princesshay Shopping Centre, a premier shopping destination with a delightful range of shops, bars and restaurants. Its central location is sure to impress, with the magnificent medieval Cathedral as its backdrop. 
How to get there: Catch a train to Exeter Central station and consider your next shopping trip sorted.

The best places for shopping in Bournemouth

A clothes store

As one of the best UK shopping towns, Bournemouth is a fantastic place to visit for a day of browsing.

Bournemouth High Street

Bournemouth High Street offers something for everyone. Find popular high street names on Commercial Road and Old Christchurch Road, or visit the Triangle area for independent bohemian stores. Lansdowne is Bournemouth's buzzing business hub, while Westover Road is the place to go to secure some designer goods.

The Arcade

Bournemouth’s Shopping Arcade is home to a wide range of national brands alongside independent retailers, with everything you need for the perfect shopping day out. With shops spread among pretty Victorian architecture, this shopping centre is the ideal setting for stocking up on those seasonal buys.

More of the best shopping spots in Bournemouth include:

Sovereign Shopping Centre
Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre
Independent and vintage shopping in Westbourne, Southbourne and Boscombe

How to get there: Bournemouth is your nearest station to all the city’s top shopping areas.

Travel with South Western Railway

Ready to spoil yourself? Book your train tickets with South Western Railway to kickstart your next shopping spree. Explore our flexible range of ticket types to find the best one for your journey, and save even more with a Railcard. Or why not invite your friends for a day of retail therapy and save on train tickets with GroupSave?

Don't forget to check out SWR Rewards to unlock rewards when you travel with us. Enjoy discounts on any of our rewards including days out, dining deals, theatre tickets, hotel stays and much more.

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