The Best Places for Christmas Shopping In Berkshire

From large shopping malls to small, independent stores, Berkshire is brimming with places to visit for your Christmas shopping.

The festive season is the busiest time of the year for the retail industry and shelves will be stacked with the latest toys, gadgets and fashion items.

If you’re wondering where to get your hands on those must-have presents or stocking fillers, we’ve put together a list of the best locations in Berkshire for your Christmas shopping.

1. Reading

The Oracle centre dominates the Reading skyline and is the perfect place for a Christmas shopping trip in Berkshire. With more than 80 fashion and lifestyle outlets, including the House of Fraser department store, it’s possible to do all your Christmas shopping under one roof.

There are popular clothing and shoe stores selling big-name brands, an array of jewellers and fragrance outlets plus music and book shops. Stop for a bite to eat or something to drink in one of the many bars and restaurants dotted along the River Kennet and you can even catch a movie at Vue cinema.

The Oracle is fully accessible for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility and there are pay-as-you go car parks on site.

Away from the Oracle, Reading has plenty of other shopping and dining options on its main routes in Broad Street and Friar Street, along with some well-established independent stores and galleries.

Reading is easy to reach by rail, bus and car and there are several more town centre car parks aside from the Oracle.

2. Bracknell

The Lexicon retail and leisure complex is the jewel in the crown of Bracknell’s recent regeneration project and a great Christmas shopping destination in Berkshire.

Shoppers will be spoilt for choice as there are more than 70 stores selling everything from ladies’ and men’s fashion to technology products.

If you want to take a break, there are numerous places to eat and drink that cater for every taste as well as an on-site cinema. The complex also organises family events including an annual Christmas art competition that is popular with children.

The Lexicon is easy to manoeuvre around for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility, and there are large car parks at the complex and four others within walking distance in Bracknell town centre.

If you can’t find what you are looking for at the Lexicon, there are a variety of high street stores situated nearby so you will never have to travel far.

Bracknell benefits from a reliable rail and bus service and is close to both the M4 and M3 motorways.

With its world-famous castle and rich royal heritage, Windsor is a town on the River Thames and one of the prettiest locations in Berkshire for Christmas shopping.

The compact and historic town centre is easily explored on foot and there are several smaller shopping centres and shop-lined streets providing an interesting mixture of high-street names and independent stores.

Many of Windsor’s shopping areas are pedestrian-only, making them safe to stroll around. The streets are peppered with independent outlets selling original, handmade goods in addition to larger, household stores that cater for everyone.

Windsor Royal Station occupies the town’s former railway station where you can still see Queen Victoria’s royal waiting room. It has been transformed into a covered shopping area containing upmarket brands along with a tempting selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.

The majority of Windsor town centre is wheelchair accessible, though certain areas near Windsor Castle are hilly and some shops, restaurants and hotels are less accessible. There are three main public car parks near the centre of Windsor and the town is well served by rail, bus and roads being a short distance from the M4 motorway.

4.  Wokingham

The historic market town of Wokingham has undergone a town centre revamp just in time for the Christmas shopping rush.

Much of the work involved the pedestrianisation of Peach Place so that established stores and a range of new retailers are more accessible to shoppers. It also means many of the traditional pubs, restaurants and cafes have outdoor seating and spaces for live events for all the family.

The new-look Market Place is another thriving focal point of the town centre. Wokingham contains many of the usual high-street shops and fashion retailers you would expect to find in most towns along with a number of independent stores, art galleries and cafes too.

Wokingham town centre is wheelchair accessible and relatively easy to walk around. It has a railway and bus station and is only a short drive from both the M4 and M3 motorways.

5. Maidenhead

Christmas shopping in Maidenhead has become a whole new experience since the opening of Nicholsons Shopping Centre.

The new, indoor commercial complex is home to more than 60 outlets including a range of big brand stores and fashion retailers along with a mixture of cafes and restaurants.

Further shopping is available in Maidenhead High Street and there are plenty of independent stores and hidden gems to discover around every corner. You will also find a variety of regular and visiting markets such as farmers, continental and art markets.

Maidenhead town centre is wheelchair accessible and has strong rail, bus and road links.

6. Slough

You won’t struggle to find a shopping centre in Slough as there are three of them – Queensmere Observatory, Royal Shopping Centre and The Village Shopping Centre.

Queensmere Observatory is the largest and contains more than 120 shops, cafes and restaurants to cater for every taste. It has stores selling fashion, shoes, jewellery, fragrances, leisure items, homeware, the latest electronic and gaming products and everything else you would expect to find in a large shopping centre. It is fully accessible and there is a large, on-site car park.

The Village Shopping Centre and Royal Shopping Centre are smaller and have the feel of indoor markets with an array of stores and shops selling international cuisine. Step outside the shopping centres and you will also find an array of stores in Slough High Street.

Slough has strong rail and bus transport links and is near the M4 motorway. There are three main pay-as-you-go car parks near the town centre. 

7. Woking

Just next to Berkshire over the county border in Surrey is the bustling town of Woking where Victoria Place – a multi-storey shopping and leisure centre – provides Christmas shoppers with everything they need. Around 150 stores, restaurants and cafes make up the centre, which is fully accessible and has its own on-site parking.

Major retailers including M&S are flanked by popular high-street brands, while Gordon Ramsay’s Street Burger is just one of the many options for eating and drinking.

There are three main town centre car parks while a short distance away is Woking railway station with its links to London Waterloo.

Christmas Markets in the Berkshire Area

If you love a good Christmas Market or Christmas Fair then Berkshire is the ideal location for you. There is a plethora of Christmas Markets in the region, and all are just a short train, bus or car journey away.

The German-style Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is the biggest in Hampshire with its alpine-style chalet stalls set among the stunning backdrop of the historic cathedral. Further west in Wiltshire is the Marlborough Christmas Cracker Fair with more than 80 festive stalls while Blenheim Palace Christmas Market in Oxfordshire is always popular with shoppers.

Also nearby is the Christmas Fair at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, the Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace and the Oxford Christmas Market.  

Looking for Somewhere to Stay in Berkshire?

Berkshire Rooms offer a range of fully serviced homes and apartments in Reading, Bracknell, Windsor, Wokingham, Maidenhead, Slough and Wokingham. Get in touch now if we can help you.