“ Take the M62 to junction 38 follow signs for Beverley, then take the A1035 to Hornsea. „
Wanted a trip out for some new clothes and thought I would give Hornsea Freeport a try, well was I impressed they have loads going on there, fundraising for charity, Santa's grotto and even Chico is making an appearance. They have many new stores open including one I went to which was called Connections Fashion house. I bought a new top from there and they were very friendly. I would recommend anyone to have a trip to Hornsea Freeport as it is alive and kicking again.
Hornsea Freeport is a small, designer outlet village situated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is situated in the seaside town of Hornsea and is based on the site that used to be home to the famous Hornsea Potteries. Getting there is relatively easy coming off the M62 Motorway at Junction 38 then following the signs for Beverley, Hull before joining the A1035 to Hornsea itself - It is in close proximity to the seaside resort of Bridlington (about 30 minutes drive) and as we own a static caravan in-between both Hornsea and Bridlington Freeport is a place we tend to visit quite often during the caravan season.
Car parking at Hornsea Freeport is plentiful with a large dedicated area located at the entrance of the centre and has a separate section for cars with disabled badges. Toilets, baby changing facilities and a single cashpoint are located just as you enter from the car park and the shops in the outlet centre themselves are located in single story units that are accessible via footpaths which all link together. As you enter the outlet itself there is a large paved area which contains sheltered benches where people tend to stop off and sit down with a drink or to have a rest.
For anyone looking for a spot of extensive retail therapy then I'm afraid you won't find Freeport to be a suitable place to empty your purse or wallet as, unfortunately, over the years the site has seen the closure of a number of shops and in their place has been left empty units. What is left though is a few familiar high street names offering discounted items at quite reasonable prices, and if you are lucky you may just end up with a bit of a bargain.
So what's there?
Well, not that much to be honest. Predominately the area houses a lot of Fashion shops with names such as Alexon, Regatta and Sportz having largish units offering ladies, gents and children's apparel - all at prices lower than their high street shops. Clarks own a large unit which is well stocked with shoes for everyone and is one of the better places to buy from as their prices are very reasonable.
For shopping for gifts Hallmark offers a wide selection of greetings cards and collectables at reduced prices and also stock a decent selection of Yankee Candles at prices much lower than the RRP (one of the reasons we tend to visit Hornsea Freeport is to buy our candles here) and Thornton's have a small shop onsite where you can pick up chocolate, toffee and sweets at reduced prices (the other reason we come!)
There is a single restaurant/Cafe onsite run by 'LP4' who offer snacks and meals at lunchtime. There tends to be plenty of tables available at all times of the day here and it is a handy place to pop into for a cuppa. The meals on offer are basic really with sandwiches, salads and chip-accompanied meals being offered for purchase - we tend not to bother eating here as we never seem to work up an appetite from the limited shopping we do but often call in for a drink.
Looking at the website for Hornsea Freeport it doesn't surprise me to see that in fact there are just 26 shops located in the outlet: http://www.hornseafreeport.com/shopsandoffers.php and whenever we go we find that we are in and out within an hour or so. It isn't a place to go to spend the day looking around the shops yet we still go back time and time again.
Why? Well because there is a certain charm to the place, it is always immaculately maintained with no litter or rubbish on the walkways and there is an 'olde worlde' feel to the area which is like stepping back in time. It is rarely busy (apart from school holidays) and there is always a quietness and gentleness that seems to hang in the air, there is no hustle and bustle and I'm sure to some it would be a pointless experience, but for me I do actually like the place.
In all honesty I don't know how the majority of shops been able to maintain any commercial viability as there barely seems to be enough people spending money there and many times when we have been I have seen shops with absolutely no customers in them. The empty units dotted around confirm that some businesses have been forced to close which is always sad and overall the whole place, to me, seems like it could do with a kick up the backside to try and make it busier and better.
The lack of facilities doesn't help though, a single cashpoint for the whole of the outlet isn't very good and indeed we have visited when it has been out of service. No cash = no shopping for some and as we called there mainly to get a drink from the cafe we had no other option but to turn back as we didn't want to eat therefore couldn't use our debit card just for the sake of a couple of coffees.
Reading some information on the website for the village it didn't surprise me to find out that as of July last year the company has been in Administration, however the new owners are confident that they can bring new life to the area by attracting new retailers and personally I hope they can. It would be a shame to see the end of Hornsea Freeport as it does offer day-trippers and local residents somewhere to go to for a drink and a look around the (limited) shops. We visit the area a lot during the caravan season and hope to continue to do so in the future even if it is just for a few candles and some treats from Thornton's.
To conclude then; I do like visiting Hornsea Freeport even though the shopping experience is limited, it could and should be so much more than it is and I do hope that in time it does become bigger and better. It isn't a place I would recommend anyone making a special, dedicated trip to as you would be disappointed with what you find there at the moment - however if you are in the area, or visiting nearby Bridlington on a weekend away then it is well worth popping in for a short mooch around. As far as a rating for the place goes, 3/5 dooyoo stars seems reasonable - a lack of facilities and shops are the negatives but there are some shops that will appeal and the prices are lower than the high street so an average score for an average place seems to be fair to me.
The website for Hornsea Freeport can be viewed at: http://www.hornseafreeport.com/index.php and opening hours are Monday to Saturday 09:00 - 18:00 and Sunday 11:00 - 17:00.
Thanks for reading my review.
Freeport at Horsnea is not one of the best shopping outlets I have been to.
At the moment its being re furbished so in some parts of it the track is single file, making it very difficult to walk round, especially if you have a pram or are in a wheelchair.
The choice of shops isnt too great either. There is a Laura Ashley, Thorntons chocolates, tog 24, Mad house clothing, Pilot a few underwear shops, the rest are boutiques or shoe shops. My favourite Select has recently closed.
The prices are not really that much cheaper than on the High street.
There did used to be a butterfly house and an outdoor play area with go karts but that was closed all this summer so i'm not sure if it will re open or not.
There is an arcade with a small childrens play area in, which is ok . You have to pay for the play area but its not a lot of money and the kids wear bibs and only have an hour to play so it doesnt become over crowded.
As I lived in Hornsea for a while I thought I would focus this review on the Hornsea Freeport which is situated on the edge of this seaside town in the East Riding of Yorkshire between Bridlington and Hull.
Hornsea itself is a lovely looking small town with a small centre - no chain stores here due to council objections, but thats another story - and a lovely beach area which has recently been renovated. We still go down to Hornsea once or twice a year as I have friends there and it's my bloke's home town so the inevitable family visits occur. I must admit coming from Arbroath which is a bigger seaside town I found life hard there as there is no anonymity living there and I didn't realise how much I took a decent size supermarket for granted (there is a small Co-op and a Heron frozen food shop) as well as having shops like Woolworths, WH Smith and Boots as there are none of these in Hornsea. There is a large sandy beach though so if you are in the area you can make it a nice day out as well as visiting the Freeport shopping area. There is also The Mere to pay a visit to. This is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire and is spectacular to see although can be spooky on days where the mist has come in off the sea which can happen quite a lot even in summer so take a jacket with you as it can make it chilly. There is also a local museum where you can see a big selection of the highly collectable Hornsea Pottery and Hall Garth Park to wonder through and is great for taking kids to play. Just outside Hornsea on the way in from Beverley there is Honeysuckle Farm where you can see lots of animals and attractions such as milking and cart rides. For eating out I would recommend the Victoria pub which is just at the first roundabout as you come in from Beverley. They serve an excellent selection of food and are pretty reasonable for the portions you get.
Plenty to do on a day out but this is a review on Freeport so I'll get back to that. This Freeport site was once home to Hornsea Potteries which I visited as when my teenage girls were small but it closed it's doors in the year 2000 which was a shame as it had many interesting attractions as well as seeing the pottery itself. Established in 1949 this was a bit of a blow to the town as many people were employed here, however Freeport were involved in this site from 1994 and it became the ideal place to expand the outlet retail centre and this now employs many people in the wide variety of stores on site. Still at the site are the model village exhibition and the butterfly walkthrough which is lovely as well as an indoor childrens play area which has an under 4s area too. There is a small charge for these which at my last visit in the summer I think was around £1 each. If I remember correctly children go free in the model village but don't quote me on that one. One thing I do miss from the old potteries time is the Birds of Prey exhibition as this is no longer available here but if you are interested there is one at the potteries centre just outside Bridlington.
This centre was the first of the now 6 Freeports situated round the country and for anyone who hasn't been to an outlet centre before they consist of a variety of stores, a lot of which sell excess stock or end of line ranges at knock down prices. Sometimes some of the products can be seconds but legally these should be marked so that you know what you are getting for your money. The other outlets are Fleetwood - near Blackpool, West Lothian - on the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh, Castleford - just off the M62 near Manchester, Talke - near Stoke on Trent and Braintree - in Essex.
If it's fashion you are after then there is quite a big selection of different shops including high street stores such as Select and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill where you can get amazing discounts compared to the high street prices. There is also Double Two which is fantastic for getting good value men's shirts and the Designer Room has lots of expensive designs at great prices. There are also bargains to be found in Giorgio, Alexon, Damart and Mexx and for the sporty outdoor types there are great deals at Tog 24 and The Sports Mill. For those who prefer the casual look there is a large wrangler store too.
For footwear you can visit Famous Footwear which has a large selection of top brands including Kickers and Pods which is great if you are looking for kids school shoes. Lilley and Skinner are another good retailer for shoes if you are looking for something special and for men there are shoes available as well as the suits themselves at The Suit Company.
There are a large variety of stores available for making your home special including the floral Laura Ashley and Ponden Mill for all your curtains, bedding and towels. You will also find lots of other goodies in Ponden Mill who sell prints, bathroom and kitchen accessories such as wash mitts and salt and pepper pots, and even some smellies which include fancy soaps and bath bombs. If it's crystal or crockery you are after then you should have a look in Darlington Crystal and Churchill China where I hate to go as I am always sure I will knock something over and embarrassingly break something. A place to be avoided if you have young or clumsy children in tow. Both these shops have a gorgeous selection of special items as well as some more affordable designs which can make a lovely wedding gift or birthday present for collectors of special selections such as Winnie the Pooh or Beatrix Potter.
If you have a more unusual taste in furniture and love the big hardwood items as I do then Nickleby's is the shop for you. This
shop is actually split into 2 sides with fashion on one side and furniture and accessories on the other. There are some excellent tables, chairs and wooden chests for sale here and I would have loved to have bought a large old style wooden bed that they had available but didn't have the room for it or the funds at the time as with all furniture of this quality you do have to pay a large price for it. There are also some wonderful candle holders and vases as well as some wooden figurines which always for me brings images of Africa. This has got to be my favourite shop in Freeport and although it can be a bit of a tight squeeze to get round it is well worth the effort.
Hallmark are a good stop for all your cards and gift wrapping needs and again you can sometimes get excellent bargains especially just after christmas for those of you who like me buy my next year's wrapping and cards at this time.
The Book Depot has much more than just books although their children's section is fantastic and my kids loved looking round this one. They have a great art section including the painting equipment from brushes to canvas as well as selling many books on this subject and all the great artists themselves. There are also games available for the pc and a selection of cds and dvds too. You can often find good stocking fillers for kids here as they sell hard to find things like magic painting books and small jigsaws really cheaply.
Another good shop for buying gifts is Woods of Windsor. Now if you have a sensitive nose and sneeze easily then this probably isn't the store for you as they sell traditional English perfumes and lovely gift packs and soaps. If you are a fan of Lily of the Valley or Lavender fragrances then this is a definate must to visit. As well as the scents themselves they do a range of everything from bath salts to drawer liners so this could be a great place to stop for a present for your mum or grandmother. They also have more up to date items such as shower gel and body spray so there really is something for everyone if you like the floral varieties on sale here.
Claires accessories have everything a little girl could want in their range of jewellery, make up, bags and hair accessories. My girls would have spent hours in here if I had let them. They usually have 20% off all marked stock at the outlet store but also have other offers which include a great idea of a pick and mix section where you choose 5 items for £5. When the girls last did this we worked it out that it would have cost them around £15 each for what they had selected if they had gone to a normal branch of Claires. Loads of glittery small items make great cheap pressies for putting in their stockings - I don't know about you but I find it hard to get items around £1 anymore for this task.
Great shop and they do sell things for ladies too in the shape of hair brushes and really lovely hair clips and slides although they are generally quite a girlie marketed company.
Now I have quite a sweet tooth and no outlet village would be complete without the promise of some sweet treats to end the visit. The 2 main shops to provide this are Julien Graves, who specialise in fancy dried fruits and nuts and one of the most fantastic shops in the world - Thorntons. Now I'm a big fan of Thorntons choccies but do think they are very overpriced for some of their stock. Yes it tastes damn good but you always want more. Before I start making this look like I'm writing a Thorntons review though I will say that this is a great store to stock up on all your favourites at a fraction of the cost. You can get bigger bags of misshapes and even their ice cream is cheaper at the outlet store. Lovely end to a shopping trip in summer.
One shop which is missing now much to my regret is The Gadget Shop which used to be great for picking up some more unusual items such as magnetic spinning things and lava lamps. I miss this shop immensely and used to spend quite a bit in here on gifts which just weren't available in the mainstream. Such a shame they closed.
Facilities at this Freeport are toilets, free parking and a couple of cafes. As it is set outside in a village setting all the shops are on one level so wheelchair access is good with ramps to all stores.
In summary though I wouldn't say Freeport is as good as the MacArthur Glen outlets which is another review for another time as we moved from Hornsea to Selby which had one of these just up the road from us on the outskirts of York. It doesn't have the big name stores such as Reebok and Calvin Klein for example but it does have lots character and charm and the setting is perfect for a gentle stroll round with it's abundance of trees and plants as you walk from store to store. The car parking is good and we usually go all the way round to the back on the gravel parking area in summer although this can tend to attract big puddles if it has been raining so try to get in one of the front car parks then.
I have really enjoyed writing this review and I would hope that some of you may visit not only this Freeport but Hornsea too as it can be lovely in the summer and with plenty of things for young children to do it makes a great day out.
We recently made a visit to this little gem of a place whilst on a visit to my folks in Flamborough. We had such a pleasant day I thought I should write a review to let others know what they are missing.
Where is it?
Now most people coming here will be coming by car, if this is the case then your best bet is to head for the M62. Once on the M62 you need to get to junction 38 and then pick up the sighs for Beverley. From there you will see signs for the A1035 to Hornsea. Then you will pick up the Brown tourist signs for the Freeport and hey presto there you are.
If you don't have a car you could always get the train or bus to the nearest main place which would be Beverley. From there you can get the bus to Hornsea bus station and then catch the number 550 bus. This runs every 40 mins from 9am until 17:50 and takes around 15 mins to get there.
So nobody has the excuse that they can't get there, and it is well worth it.
What is there
After you have parked in the ample parking facilities, You walk into the complex as it opens up into a massive courtyard Filled with seats and tables. Around this area you will find Various food outlets to choose from, not a macdonalds in sight though. Instead you have a choice of:
Burger and hotdog shop
Fish and Chips (well it is the seaside)
Pizza outlet (not pizza hut thank god yeuch!)
Fresh Jacket Potatoes with fillings
Rather expensive posh typeo cafe
Ice cream and treats too
Shops (My top picks)
The Sports Mill, Here you will find all varieties of sports clothing, although mainly footwear there is a good selection of well reduced clothing and accesories for both sexes and all ages.
Regatta and Tog 24, These are your outdoor wear outlets, all your top quality rainwear and winter woolies here. You will notice that they are so much cheaper than your high street store, however there is a certain amount of hitting it lucky involved.
Ice Jeans and Wrangler , Here you can get all your denims at such cheap prices, although they are mainly classed as factory seconds I struggle to find the problems. All I can say is they must be perfectionists.
Edinburgh Woolen Mill( Incorp Pringle)
London Leathers Direct
Ladieswear and teen fashion
Direct Design Studio (Pilot)
Double Two (ladies)
The Designer Room
There are plenty of childrenswear ranges amongst these outlets,
Lilley & Skinner
The House And Home
The Book Depot (inc Arts & crafts)
The best thing about the Freeport is the setting, you see it is not just row upon row of shops. They are set out in a way that makes it like shopping amongst nature, There are well kept flower borders and shrubbery. But it is not just put in slap dash, no there has been such thought put into the arangement. This makes it so much more of a relaxing and pleasant day out, it's retail with therapy not just retail therapy. The shops are so well laid out that you can have a really relaxing long distance stroll without even noticing how far you have actually walked.
For the kids
Yes this place has been developed with children in mind, so you know they don't just want your money. This is yet just another example of why it is a day out place.
This is a great place for the toddlers, it has a large ball pool for them to play around in. There are also snake slides and other activities, as well as this there is a seperate soft play area for the younger less stable toddlers.
They even cater for parties, for a set price per head, over a two hour period they get around 1 1/2 hours in the play area. They also get party food and drink and pre organised games with prizes for the winners
For a fixed fee of 5 quid per year you can join your child up to this club, this will entitle you to a reduction on the above facilities. As well as this they will recieve a free t-shirt and ball cap and regular newsletters from sharkey.
Here you will find a wide range of activities for even the most hyper of children, which most of them are on a day out. So there are plenty of other activities for the slightly older ones to help them on the way to knackerdness.
>The crazy golf course
>The model village (which my son even though only two seemed to find it really fascinating)
Star Attraction for me
Butterfly World, This is like an indoor rainforest with ever variety of butterfly possible to fit under one roof. Amongst all this you will find waterfalls and pools and such amazing plant life only substainable in this enviroment. This means that it's not just like nipping to the local gardencentre, this is a must for those horticultural enthusiasts but asthmatics should be aware of the humidity levels within this area. But all in all it is a trully remarkable sight and a must see if you go, I just loved it and my son was fascinated with the flutterbys.
NOTE the above activities do cost extra and prices may vary, but it is not overpriced at all.
>Toilets, There are two sets of toilets situated top and bottom of the Freeport. They both seemed to be kept very clean and hygienic and pleasant smelling, and it does include bog roll.
>Disabled and Baby change, These unfortunately are a shared facility which does seem to be the case at most places. So you could end up waiting a while for people to finish if it is busy, which is a problem for both cases. But I suppose you can't have it all
>Cash Machine, This is situated next to the entrance to the Freeport, you will not be charged for your transaction as it is a proper bank one. Although all the shops accept cards the cafe and extra activities require cash payments. So don't end up having to walk back to it whilst the child waits (impatiently) make sure you have it on you.
> First Aid and Lost Persons and Goods, Pretty much what it says really, never needed this facility thank God.
Well need i say more than I have, if I haven't persuaded you by now then nothing will. Even though it is a freeport with shops, it kind of lets you know that there is more to life than just shopping and the settings just enhance the fact even more. So get yourself there and shop,relax,eat,drink and have a jolly good day out and spend as little or as much as you like.
Web address: www.freeportplc.com
On the above address you will find all the neccessary extra info to make sure it will make a great day out for you and all the family too.
Freeport is probably one of the worst outlet centre I have ever been to. Living close to the outlet, I do visit it a lot, but I feel that the selection of shops is poor. One of the main let downs of Freeport Hornsea is the lack of a music outlet. I am into music, and a place to purchase cd's like XS MUSIC AND VIDEO, which appear in other Freeport outlets would be perfect. The outlet only offers specialist shops, and a couple of High Street favourties, like Tog 24 and Thorntons. Most of the outlets are of no interest to me at all, like the Suit Outlet and Warner Bras outlet. However, the outlet does include some reasonable shops, such as Laura Ashley, a book store, Ponden Mill, and The Gadget Shop. The outlet is probably best at Christmas, to buy presents from. The VF Outlet is also very useful, selling cheap jeans and streetwear at very reasonable prices. All in all, the outlet is probably worth a visit if you are passing that way, but I wouldnt make a special trip to go there. The prices arent much different to those in the High Street, and other outlets such as the McArthur Glen outlet in York offer more choice and value shoppping.