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Scottish street crowned best in UK for independent shops ahead of Christmas

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Two Scottish streets have been named as the best in the UK for independent shops ahead of the festive shopping season.

With Christmas just weeks away, people across Scotland and beyond will be thinking about what to get their friends and family. While buying your presents online undoubtedly has its advantages, nothing can compare to the buzzy atmosphere of doing it in person.



Some streets are better than others in terms of ambience and the quality of shops, though, which is why experts at American Express have compiled a list of the top 10 streets across the nation for independent shops — with Victoria Street and West Bow in Edinburgh coming out on top.

Among the most picturesque parts of the Scottish capital, the two connected streets form a unique winding cobblestone lane that starts at the eastern end of the famous Grassmarket and leads up to George IV Bridge.

Victoria Street, named after Queen Victoria, has a magical charm that conjures up images of the quirky Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. Its colourful businesses include everything from bookstores and whisky sellers to fashion boutiques and chic cafés and restaurants.

Those looking to get all of their Christmas shopping done in a single afternoon could easily find presents for their loved ones among the various shops packed into the small historic streets — and still have plenty of time for a pint or a bite to eat.

There is nothing quite like doing your Christmas shopping in person(Image: georgeclerk / Getty Images)

Elsewhere on the list, High Street in the Hampshire town of Stockbridge came in second place followed by the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells in third. Rounding out the top five are Church Street in Hereford and Broadway in the Cotswolds.


To put together the list, experts at American Express and data analytics company GlobalData considered a number of factors, such as researcher recommendations, occupancy rate, variety of business types, and the proportion of independent shops and restaurants.

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More information about the research and the top 10 can be found on the American Express website.

The top 10 streets for independent shops in the UK

  1. Victoria Street & West Bow, Edinburgh
  2. High Street, Stockbridge
  3. The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells
  4. Church Street, Hereford
  5. Broadway, Cotswolds
  6. Town Centre, Petworth
  7. High Street, Burford
  8. Magdalene Street, Cambridge
  9. The Lanes, Brighton
  10. Town Centre, Llandeilo

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