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Top Shopping Centre Towns and Cities: East of England

Posted 6 March 2020 by Keith Osborne

We look at a choice of places to live within easy reach of the best shopping centres in East Anglia and the East Midlands...

Whether for necessity or for pleasure, shopping is an essential part of life and while buying online is ever more popular, it’s not the same as seeing things first-hand. Many of the country’s biggest purpose-built shopping centres are attracting millions of people a year by complementing the stores with a great range of places to eat and drink as well as leisure facilities, creating destinations that combine practicality with fun.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at Britain’s largest and best-known shopping centres and some of the best places to consider making home to provide easy access to them. We start with the East Midlands and East Anglia.


intu Derby

intu DerbyThis is the region’s largest shopping centre by some margin. Located in the city centre, just minutes from the bus and rail stations, it also offers over 3,600 parking spaces. In addition to the splendid array of shops, it is home to the Derby Theatre, ten-pin bowling, adventure golf and a Showcase cinema.

Littleover, a few miles south-west of the city centre, has a number of well-ranked schools (including the ‘Outstanding’ Littleover Community School for secondary students) and is close to the Royal Derby hospital. Under an hour away, Buxton is perfectly located for enjoying the Peak District and also offers great architecture and culture. Famous for its brewing history, the market town of Burton upon Trent has its own terrific shops and amenities and is only 11 minutes from Derby by rail.


Highcross, Leicester

Highcross LeicesterThe impressive range of shops and eateries here is matched by a 12-screen cinema, adventure golf, gym and indoor climbing. Highcross is right in the city centre, so if there’s still the energy to explore the surrounding streets, there’s not far to go. It has over a thousand of its own parking spaces in addition to another 2,000 with John Lewis, but it’s also only 10 minutes from the station.

There are a number of brand new homes being built at Kibworth Harcourt, a village 25 minutes’ drive or a bus ride south-east of the city with some good shops and pubs, and a golf course. Glebelands is four miles north of Leicester and close to the A46, granting easy access to Nottingham and Derby. It also has a ‘Good’ primary school to appeal to young families.


intu Victoria Centre, Nottingham

intu Victoria Centre, NottinghamWith some premier brands under its roof and a central location in the city, there’s a lot to offer here. There are over 2,000 parking spaces but with the bus station adjoining it and a 15- to 20-minute walk to the station, public transport is a great option too. Meetspace VR is a special feature here, a virtual realityl social gaming and e-sports arena. Cineworld and the Theatre Royal and Concert Hall are just a couple of minutes away.

The market town of Bingham is 12 miles east of the city centre, only three stops away by rail and under half-an-hour away from the Victoria Centre. Beeston is only three miles south-west of the city centre and close to the main campus of the University of Nottingham. The suburb of Wollaton is home to the ‘Good’-rated Middleton Primary and Nursey School and on the doorstep of the delightful Wollaton Hall, Gardens and Deer Park.


The Mall Luton

The Mall LutonThere are over 100 shops and places to eat here, and being just five minutes from the station and on the doorstep of numerous bus services is within easy reach while leaving the car at home. There’s a Kids Club with nursery, crèche and soft play area to keep them entertained. A host pf other shops and an 11-screen cinema are in the surrounding streets.

Luton is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its convenient and frequent rail services to London. There’s a major mixed-use regeneration underway right next to the station. The growing new town of Wixams is half-an-hour north of the town on the A6. Hitchin is a popular and well-connected town 15 miles south-east of Luton with its own range of good schools, shops and amenities, and entertainment venues.


Queensgate, Peterborough

Queensgate, PeterboroughJust opposite Peterborough’s well-served station, Queensgate is already home to a wide choice of department stores, specialist shops, cafés, beauty and fitness facilities, but it is undergoing a £60million extension to accommodate a luxury, 11-screen Empire cinema. Conveniently located for public transport access, it also provides four car parks with some 2,300 spaces in total.

The town of Whittlesey is six miles east of Peterborough with a rich history and popular Friday market. Huntingdon, another Cambridgeshire town with excellent transport links, and the villages around it are under half-an-hour away by car. Alconbury Weald is bringing thousands of new homes to a former Royal Air Force site off the A1.


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