With its quirky shopping areas, traditional markets, bustling high streets, and factory shops for some of the biggest names in ceramics, Staffordshire has long been a fantastic spot for some retail therapy.

In 2021 however, it went up to another level with the opening of the huge McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands in Cannock.

It's a brilliant day out for family or friends and the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping in Staffordshire!

Here's our rundown of five of the best reasons to visit the newest major fashion shopping destination in the UK, home to 80 of your favourite brands and restaurants, sustainable shopping, children's playground and many great Staffordshire attractions on the doorstep.

Your favourite brands

Spanning 285,000 sq ft, McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands is home to 80 of the most well-known stores in the world, offering discounts of up to 60% all-year round.

You'll find designer brands including BOSS, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, The Cosmetics Company Store, Coach, and Kate Spade, not to mention a huge selection of treats for kids of all ages at Haribo.

And there's more to come, with another 50 stores to be added in Phase Two.

In the meantime, visit this December as they celebrate their first Christmas.

Take a selfie in front of the huge Christmas tree, in the giant bauble, or beside Santa's sleigh, and enjoy live entertainment from the brass band, and some naughty elves as they wander around.

Refuel at top restaurants

Of course, with a day of bargain hunting, you'll either want to fill up before hitting the stores, or refuel after working up a big appetite, so you'll be pleased to know there are some enticing eateries to try as well!

Take a break and refuel at top restaurants like Wagamama, Slim Chickens, Five Guys and Pizza Express, or refresh with a brief pit-stop at Starbucks and Smoothies Plus UK.

There's everything you need for breakfast, lunch or dinner, so shop, eat, recharge and repeat!

And remember to follow McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands on Facebook and Instagram, where you'll find plenty of exclusive offers in the run-up to Christmas and throughout the year.

Sustainable shopping

You might not automatically associate saving the planet with saving a few quid, but the centre is committed to creating a greener, more sustainable retail destination for customers to enjoy.

The centre has around 400 newly planted trees, along with solar panels, electric car charging points, and bicycle parking, and even on-site beehives and a wormery!

Many of the stores are equally committed to sustainability.

Denby Pottery sends zero waste to landfill, GANT has partnered with SEAQUAL to remove 165m tons of plastic from oceans, and Levi's repairs and redesigns clothing to make it last a lifetime.

Fun for younger visitors

With its state-of-the-art playground, and the neighbouring Mill Green and Hawks Green Valley nature reserve, there's plenty to keep younger visitors occupied at the centre.

The unique play area has a huge range of activities, with climbing towers, connecting bridges, tube slides, balance beams, climbing walls, trampolines and more!

And there's also a walkway into the nature reserve too, with a network of footpaths to explore on foot.

Ideal for letting off some steam after a day at the shops.

So much to explore!

At the heart of the UK, the centre is so easy to get to - just 15 mins drive from Birmingham, with easy rail connections to Birmingham New Street via Cannock Railway Station on the doorstep. 

There are great places to stay in the vicinity too, like The Moat House Acton Trussell and Chase Golf Club within a 20 minute drive, so you could combine your shopping trip with a bike ride at the beautiful Cannock Chase Forest (pictured), or a relaxing stroll at Chasewater Country Park.

Soak up some culture at Lichfield Cathedral, take time to reflect at the National Memorial Arboretum, visit the wonderful gardens of The Trentham Estate and Weston Park, or create a unique souvenir of your Staffordshire break at the potter's wheel at World of Wedgwood.

A day in Staffordshire just won't be enough! Head to our Things to Do section for more great ideas for days out in Staffordshire.

Image: Maria Davies