For the ultimate shopping experience, forget packing your passport and attempting to wedge tiny lotion bottles into the airport-approved baggies before boarding a flight to London or Paris – Kildare is the new shopping destination on the map with everything you could want and more.
A short hop, skip and a jump from anywhere in Ireland, by road or rail, Kildare has an abundance of shopping that will keep you and your wallet busy. Chief among these, as any savvy shopper knows, is the Kildare Village Outlet which offers up to 60% off designer labels.
And with summer almost upon us there has never been a better excuse to whip out the plastic and update your wardrobe with a few key designer pieces. Pick up some fashion forward looks at boutiques such as Anya Hindmarch, Lulu Guinness and Kate Spade, pimp out your feet at L.K. Bennett and Kurt Geiger, give your kitchen a splash of floral kitsch at Cath Kidston, pamper your bedroom at Bedeck or give your bathroom that hotel feel at Molton Brown.
Kildare Village Outlet has turned its shopping experience into an art form – taking away all the stress associated with city centre shopping. The outlet has done away with the main irritant – bags – by offering a hands-free option for €5 where your purchases will be collected and held for you at the information office until you are ready to collect them.
Be sure to take a trip to the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centreand Museum of Style Icons too. The museum, which houses garments worn by screen legends such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, will inspire your fashion choices. Then bejewel yourself with some exquisitely designed Newbridge pieces on sale at the Showrooms.
If designer goods aren’t your thing there are plenty of other shopping options in Kildare. Take a trip to nearby WhiteWater Shopping Centre with anchor stores Debenhams, M&S and H&M, plus over 60 leading retailers including Karen Millen, Zara and Carraig Don.
If you are fonder of rummaging at stalls, Kildare is bursting with markets to whet your appetite.
Naas Country Market takes place every Friday in the town hall from 9.45am-12.15pm and offers tasty local produce, bread, artisan jams, flowers and crafts. Take a wander around Crookstown Craft Village, open Monday to Sunday from 10am-6pm, and observe artists painting, potters at their wheels and knitters spinning yarn and designing clothes with all sorts of handmade goodies for sale.
If you prefer buying things with a bit of history, visit Straffan Antiques and Design Centre and be sure to pop in to their delightful Victorian tea rooms which offer 15 varieties of tea and homemade cakes and scones.
Take our advice – you won’t get to do it all in a day so book a room in one of Kildare’s many B&Bs, self-catering cottages or luxury hotels so you can spread to retail therapy over a weekend and avoid buyer’s remorse. Oh yes, and wear comfortable shoes!