A visit may mean venturing beyond Oyster Card territory, but these bargain-filled outlet shops are sure to be worth the trip. Here's where to find London's favourite brands at the very lowest prices.
Nestled in the stunning Somerset countryside, the Mulberry factory shop sells a good selection of bags with 30-50 percent off regular shop prices. It’s divided into three sections: discontinued bags, factory specials (one-off styles you’ll only see in the factory shop) and seconds (bags that didn’t quite make the mark). You’ll still need a few bucks in the bank: the cheapest handbag currently in store is the ‘Mitsy’ at £325. They appropriately have a good range of the popular ‘Somerset’ style.
Possibly London’s best designer outlet, the new Aquascutum shop is full of brilliant buys. Head here for sharp suits, classics macs and perfect knits at up to 30 percent off – a luxury cardigan in soft grey cashmere is just £70. You’ll even find a good selection of accessories and golf gear. The store is laid out like a large and slightly less fancy Aquascutum mainline store, so you enjoy all the perks of a princely browsing experience – orderly displays, lots of sizes, comfortable changing rooms – but with far more palatable price tags.
The makers of the classic bovver boot sell out-of-season stock and factory seconds at their shop – current styles include patent leather and floral print styles, and silver-and-white brogues. Clothing and accessories will be arriving soon. Expect to pay £25-£35 per pair instead of the usual £90-plus. Stay at The Legacy Lime Trees Hotel, cheap, clean and smack bang in the middle of Northampton town.
This popular Somerset shopping spot, a short drive from the Mulberry factory shop, above, has a Clarks outlet as well as over 90 other high street and designer brands with discounts of up to around 60 percent. Labels include Loake shoes for men, Adidas trainers, Levi’s, Osprey London, Jaeger, Whistles and Joules as well as discounted homeware from classic brands like Denby, Le Creuset and Wedgwood. Stay at Clanville Manor, a pretty country B&B and self-catering from £45 per night.
The historic mill belonging to this 200-year-old company nestles in the heart of the lush Derbyshire countryside. The adjoining factory shop stocks a good range of knits at up to 60 percent off. Expect to pay £35 for a slightly imperfect sweater. Stay at The Red Lion, a smart B&B in the historic Peak District town of Matlock. Rooms from £45.
In need of some new huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ gear? Or left your jacket in the Shacklewell Arms? Head to Tyne and Wear were you can enjoy discounts from 30-70 percent off at Barbour’s large factory shop. Current bargains – out of season and discontinued stock – include classic waxed numbers from just £99 instead of the usual £200 and up. Stay at the Sir William Fox Hotel, an elegant townhouse with rooms from £35
This attractive, open-air discount hamlet, nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside and only about an hour’s drive from London, is a magnet to shoppers from across the globe. The draw? A raft of luxury labels – including Paul Smith, Burberry, Diane von Fürstenberg and Vivienne Westwood at vastly discounted prices. Lulu Guinness is the latest pop-up (until May 12 2013), with the designer’s iconic bags at 30 percent off. Hip French label Sandro is due to open on April 16, selling one-year-old stock (spring/summer 2012) at 40 percent off, while the British Designer Collective, now in its fourth year, arrives on May 2. Stay at The Bell at Hampton Poyle, a handsome, cosily furnished boutique hotel with excellent pizzas and 'l'Occitane miniatures in the bathrooms.
The heritage fashion and accessories brand has set up shop in former sports pub the Duke of Wellington, and made it a real destination for luxury knitwear and beautiful leather goods. Bag a cashmere sweater from the fabulous Alistair Carr-designed range for £50 to £225, or a statement clutch bag for £95, while well-made polo shirts are two for £60. Come on Wednesdays: that’s delivery day.
A 'concept' designer store in Aldgate selling clothing, jewellery, homeware, art and tech. And the concept? To create a 'community for creativity'. So while you can pick up a trendy watch here, you can also mill around taking in the visual delights at your own leisure. Set in stark white minimalist surrounds, with exposed wooden floorboards, Laboratory S gives the impression of an art gallery, which it is in a way. The 'pieces' on sale have been made by contemporary fashion designers, artists and scientists – yes, real life scientists come up with the innovative tech you can purchase here, such as the Resound No.2 oak and ceramic iPhone amplifier. Laboratory S also hosts pop-up shops and fashion workshops in the space. See their website for further details.