The best shopping centres in Essex

If serious shopping’s on the agenda but the crowds of London don’t hold any appeal, it’s worth hopping on the train to one of the excellent shopping centres in Essex. Many shopping centres on our route are under half an hour from Fenchurch Street station and boast all the high street favourites, as well as smaller boutiques, vintage outlets. And, of course, many top notch eateries to stop for lunch.

Lakeside Shopping Centre

The seventh largest shopping centre in Britain, Lakeside shopping centre couldn’t be easier to get to by train. Our Chafford Hundred station is directly connected in front of the entrance.

And the shopping? In short, it’s fantastic, the centre benefiting from a recent multi-million pound overhaul. You’ll find all the major department stores, including Debenhams, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer plus independent shops selling everything from canvas prints to crockery, perfume to retro sweets. There’s high street and designer fashion alike, plus plenty for children to do.

You could easily spend a whole day at the centre – exploring the Disney Store, watching the latest blockbuster at the Vue cinema or enjoying lunch at one of the many eateries.

West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP

Nearest station: Chafford Hundred

Grays Shopping Centre

Boasting 55 shops all on one level, Grays Shopping Centre, a short walk from Grays train station, is perfect if you want to get your errands done with speed. Hairdressers, gift shops, beauty outlets, several banks, a Post Office and various food shops (including independent butchers and vegetable stalls) offer all the essentials, and the choice of cut price stores is a bargain hunter’s dream – 99p Stores, Savers, Wilko and Poundworld can all be found here.

Grays Shopping Centre. Grays. Essex. RM17 6QF

Nearest station: Grays

The Royals Shopping Centre

A stone’s throw from Southend seafront and seconds from Southend Central train station, The Royals is super-convenient, right on the high street where you’ll find even more shops including Topshop and Topman, Miss Selfridge, Oasis, Monsoon and Marks & Spencer alongside dozens of independent jewellery and clothing stores. Walk up to the Odeon cinema to the newly redeveloped Victoria Shopping Centre for New Look, Argos, Peacocks and Game.

In the Royals, uncover some bargains in Primark and TK Maxx, treat yourself to some jewellery in Pandora or take advantage of the many beauty stalls and shops. Tik Tok is an excellent clock and watch repair shop and stockist, Australian brand Taking Shape caters to curvy figures and Miss Wish boutique always keeps up with avant garde fashion trends. But if relaxation is your weekend goal try Lashious, offering all manner of spa and skin treatments plus massage and spray tanning.

The Royals Shopping Centre, High Street, Southend-on-sea, Essex, SS1 1DG

Nearest station: Southend Central

Eastgate Shopping Centre

You’ll find the big names here from Topshop, H&M, New Look and Primark to the likes of Debenhams, Superdry, Ann Summers, Clarks, Clintons and Select. Virgin Media and Carphone Warehouse happily take care of phone and technology needs while Asda, The Furniture Shop, Domo and Linens Direct can help with home and living queries. Sporty people are well catered for, with Champion Martial Arts, Gym4All and Trespass on hand. The health and beauty options are endless too, with Angel Beauty Parlour, Belleza Beauty and Ultimate Hair & Beauty offering an extensive range of treatments plus several makeup and beauty shops.

When a cup of tea (or something more) is in order, there are plenty of options, from McDonald’s and Nandos to Subway, Starbucks and Taco Bell. Once refreshed, a trip to one of the famous local markets will be well rewarded. Boasting stalls bearing fresh produce, art and crafts, clothing, homeware and more, Basildon and Pitsea markets are well worth a rummage. A short taxi ride out is Battlesbridge Antiques Centre, the largest in Essex.

Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon, Essex, SS14 1EB

Nearest station: Basildon

Don’t forget Westfield Stratford City!

Although it’s not quite Essex, Westfield Stratford City is easy to get to with direct trains to and from Liverpool street station to Stratford, or you can change at West Ham from other c2c services onto the Jubilee line.

It’s a shopping centre that needs no introduction as any shop you could possibly dream of can be found here.

Nearest station: Stratford

Save a 1/3 on your c2c rail fare when you shop in a group with Group Save

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