Located in Fulford, York it is a bit out of the way from the city centre but buses run regularly from the train station and Clifford street and take around 20 minutes. There is also free parking for anyone who wishes to drive there.
ABOUT THE OUTLET
This Designer Outlet is open from 10am 7 days a week. Closing at 8pm Thursdays, 5pm Sundays and 6pm every other day. A few stores don't let you buy anything until 11am on Sundays but most will let you go in and look around from 10.
There is an outdoor play area for children to enjoy and kids entertainment now and again mainly in the school holidays and the lead up to christmas.
The layout of the shopping centre is a huge circle with shops on either side, when I first started going I used to walk round twice, once either side but now I know where my favourites are and the once should do. Although with a few different exit doors I often find myself wandering round several times looking for the right exit.
The centre is always immaculately clean and tidy and all the stores in it are the same, to me it looks newly built every time I visit it.
There are all sorts of shops at the designer outlet I shall list a few and then tell you a little bit about my favourites.
Nike Factory outlet
Birthdays (closing down sale when I was there)
There is also a huge homeware section with many different shops along with more shops selling clothes, electricals, shoes, sports clothes/equipment, perfumes and more.Now for a bit on my favourites:
* Mamas and Papas
Not somewhere I ever thought would be in my favourite shops but a friend had recently had a baby and I was looking for gifts. I would tell anyone who is expecting a baby or knows someone who is to get down there asap! The discounts were unreal for top quality stuff. Newborn clothes were reduced from ¬£28 to ¬£3!!!! Fancy changing mats and bags reduced from ¬£50 to ¬£20 and huge discounts on cots, prams, toys and other little people things!
Again I was looking for a present in here, the baby section was limited but plenty of kids and adult clothes. Some great toddlers jumpers and jeans for under a fiver. Got some jeans for myself for ¬£7 and a jumper for my dad for ¬£8. I think the stuff in here is about half price compared to the regular gap stores and they often have extra money off sales.
* Sports Direct
Sports Direct is a sports shop selling discounted footwear, clothing and equipment. It is quite a lot cheaper than most sports shops for football shirts and trainers. Bikes are also good value. The only thing I will say is that the store in the designer outlet is no cheaper than their regular stores so if you only want something from here see if there is one closer as they are all over the place and online these days.
Obviously nowhere near the fun of the London Hamleys, but a small outlet shop with plenty of toys all with around 20-30% off and some up to 50%. They also have a good few on show to have a look at them working. Some lovely childrens things for a range of ages.
* The Body Shop
Always loved The Body Shop but this is not any body shop. With make up on sale from 50p per item and beautiful bath and body stuff from about a quid a bottle we always pop in here to grab some bargain stuff. Occasionally if it is busy it can get a bit jumble sale like but during the week it's great!
The outlet has wheelchair access as well as wheelchairs to hire.
There are both lifts and escalators up to the food court upstairs.
Toilets both upstairs and downstairs.
Cash machines which never seem to be out of order (a pet hate of mine).
Customer service desk where you can get information and buy gift cards. You can also get childs wristbands in case they go astray (hopefully you won't need them but you never know, especially when they have kids entertainment on like face painting and games).
My favourite part of the outlet has to be the upstairs food court. It always causes debates over where to eat though as everything always smells so good. It gets very busy but they do have a lot of seating and do a good job of clearing and cleaning the tables quickly so there shouldn't be too much problem finding somewhere to sit.
They used to have a viking ship hanging off the ceiling for decoration, and another in the food court where kids used to go and sit and eat in, would you believe I didn't notice if these huge ships were still there.
The choices of food and drink places are....
Spud U Like
Burger Co Express
Pret A Manger
Thorntons (cafe and shop)
The last time I visited which was last month I chose Pizza hut, only because the smell of pizzas was making my mouth water and the queue was shorter than Pizza Express. The Pizza Hut is a bit different to your usual pizza hut as it's not an eat in restaurant with a buffet option, they serve small individual pizzas to take away. I got the chicken supreme pizza and looking at the small box thought I might have to go back for a second one but it was surprisingly filling and I hardly had room for the chips. The meals which include a pizza, drink and chips were around ¬£5 or the pizza alone was ¬£2.99.
I have eaten or had coffee in all of the mentioned places except for Bagel Nash (no reason why I missed this one out, maybe because the smell of pizzas and mcdonalds is too much to resist before I reach Bagel Nash) and every one of them has been great.
I enjoy going to the designer outlet if I have a spare few hours, sometimes you really have to search for the great deals and as someone who can't stand non-essential shopping it can be a bit of a chore. For anyone who enjoys shopping and has at least half a day free it is worth a trip if you are in the area.
It's amazing what you can find here on Dooyoo if you look long enough. I was reading a perfume review and made a comment about the McArthur Glen Shopping Outlet. Since I visit mine twice a year I can't understand why I haven't reviewed it before. There again, it has been reviewed a lot already, so that might have been the reason. For anyone who hasn't heard about shopping outlets in general, these are either factory sites or sites where a complex is dedicated to selling good quality retail brands at discount prices. I'd also like to say that different towns have smaller or larger outlets, while some are located between a round trip of several large towns or cities. Don't think they are seconds or outdated stock; we are talking about high quality, fashionable goods at a fraction of the high street prices.
My nearest is at Bridged, which is a reasonably large town near to Cardiff, Newport and not far from the seaside or the fabulous countryside of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Situated just a stone's throw from junction 36 of the M4 motorway in Wales, you can see it from the road quite easily. It's about 15 minutes from the capital city of Cardiff and about the same distance to Swansea, where you can stay for a fabulous short break or holiday. The online website for this outlet has links to local attractions and for any of you who love Wales, it's another good reason to buy some holiday wear or stock up on presents for Xmas.
I started to visit about eight years ago when I had to leave work due to ill health but still wanted good quality shoes (I have arthritis and need good shoes), but also as I love a bargain as much as I love a day out. As a family, we were staying at a small seaside village on The Gower peninsular and decided to visit this place we had only just come to hear about. Since we all do a lot of walking, as well as swimming, we headed off to the nearest suitable shop to buy beachwear and look at all weather gear. For this, the Mountain Warehouse can't be beaten. Over the years I've bought waterproof trousers for about 15 pounds, boots for about 20 pounds and swimwear for about 5 pounds. I couldn't have bought the same in my local town either as they don't have a local branch. But there are many more shops and lots of other types of goods on offer.
For fashion you can't beat the revamped M & S shop, where you can purchase a complete outfit for less than forty pounds. Menswear is also excellent with Cashmere sweaters a great present idea at about 8 pounds. Other shops include Dorothy Perkins, Next, Gap, Cotton Traders, to name a few. Children's clothes are also catered for with some very famous brand names. Shoe stores are much bigger than a high street equivalent with a massive Clarks store among others.
For presents you can't go wrong with something very unusual from past Times, a lovely shop that has it's own catalogue.
Maybe you'd like to buy some pottery or a wedding gift that's a little unusual? There's a large store that sells the Portmeirion Brand, which, for those that haven't heard of it, is a large pottery brand that started out in Wales and was originally based in Porthmadog, North Wales.
For craft enthusiasts, this is where a lot of card makers go to buy good quality sheets of card, which can be easily, folded using a small set of tools at about 2.50. The sheets are both A4 and A5, which are the most popular sizes; you can even get envelopes and other stationery here. This is where I bought some lovely creamy card to make my daughter's wedding invitations. I paid five pounds for a box of about 70 sheets. Fancy something even cheaper? There is a large size Works store here. Did I forget to mention jewelry and beauty? About five stores sell most things though I find the perfume at Perfume Point really inexpensive and so gorgeous that I can easily spend ages in there. All this shopping can wear you out so where to go next?
How about fish & chips by Harry Ramsden? Or a subway buttie? Maybe a burger & chips from McDonalds? Take a well-earned rest and treat yourself to a meal or snack, it's all good value with comfortable seating and conveniently situated near to the very clean, spacious public toilets.
This is one of the things I love about this particular outlet. It's shaped in a rectangle, with shops either side so you don't have to miss one out. It's all under cover so no getting drenched either. And if it does happen to be raining outside, then buy a cheap brolley or a foldaway raincoat in the knowledge that they can be used again and again.
However, I do hope the sun is shining for your visit here, it's in one of the best locations I have been to, and I have visited a few. Near to the sea and the mountains, what else could you want?
As stated, my review covers the Bridgend Retail outlet. For your nearest outlet you can use the store finder on the website. Happy Shopping and if anyone else wants to tell me about their experience let me know.
This is a shopping centre in Livingston. It contains many outlets for shops to sell older stock or items that have perhaps little flaws in them. I find that the quality of items in these shops are just as good as they are in the normal high street shops.
Next for example has an outlet in McArthur Glen and it tends to sell more out of season clothes, items you remember seeing in Next a few months ago. But the quality of these is just as you would expect from normal Next stores. They just cost less. Any items bought here can be returned to any Next store.
McArthur Glen also has a Cadburys shop! You can buy various Cadbury products at a reduced price including bags of chomps, misshapes and fruit salads. Other outlets you can find in the centre include Clarks, Calvin Klein, Past Times and Thorntons. There are also other shops that dont appear on the high street such as a Reebok shop, Lingerie shop selling Wonderbra, Gossar and Playtex underwear.
This is a great place to shop as it is all under one roof! Inside the mall there are also various places to eat - McDonalds, Harry Ramsdens, Pizza Hut, Wetherspoons, Ashoka Shak and Pizza Express. If shopping all gets a little too much there is Vue cinema upstairs in the mall where you can recharge your batteries and rest your feet.
The mall has its own bus terminal where buses from around the area come from to drop of shoppers eager to get started! It is a little difficult to get to if you can't get a bus to it. There is also plenty of parking if you can drive.
Across from the mall there is Livingstons main shopping centre. This contains all your regular high street shops debenhams, marks and spencers, debenhams, asda, dorothy perkins, burtons, accesorize, bhs etc. This is reallya great area to go to shop as there are so many shops in such a close proximity.
The particular Outlet village I'm reviewing is Cheshire Oaks which is on the Wirral near Ellesmere Port. It is divided into two halves and the whole complex is huge. On one side there are smaller shops and a food court. This features a good selection of fashionable shops and known sports retailers. Most of the places are named after themselves, ie the Nike shop etc and are all direct merchants of brands. As such there are a lot of bargains available as the whole venue has the same ethic of offering top quality products for lower prices. There is a Sony Direct store for example which sells HD Tv's at least ¬£1-200 lower than localised city centre merchants. Cheshire oaks itself is situated on the outskirts of town and is a whole world and law unto itself.
If you are looking for designer suits there are also many options available with a 30% markdown from designer boutiques. As well as this being 12.4% chav I am a fan of the Nike store as I got a pair of running shoes from there for ¬£25 in a two day event sale. In my local town centre they were on sale for ¬£65 a big difference. The reason for the low price in my opinion is that of the 300 strong stores that are there, as they are direct merchants, there is no middle man and price control is in the hands of the store. As such they can afford to reward customers who have made the effort to travel there with a more discount option.
There are also a lot of options for fine dining kitchenware in various locations amongst this venue as well as well as electrical goods stores and a food court with a large play area good for families with children, to relax after a hard days shopping. Needless to say there are other stores there but you get the general idea, high quality for lower prices.
In the newer development on the other side of cheshire oaks in a vast area which must occupy more space than the first phase, the focus is mostly on dining and entertainment. There are various restaurants like Frankie and Bennys, Chiquita etc and many more chain-style eateries even a Burger King. Also there is a large Asda as well as a Sainsburys for convienience too.
Then for after dinner you have the option to catch a film in a large Vue cinema, go to the arcades or bowling alley or even go to the on complex night club Destiny and Elite. You can do all three if you have the inclination.
All in all this development has grown over the years and is easily accessible by car. The biggest problem I think it has at the moment is that it does not have enough public transport links for my liking. This however may never be rectified as it seems to get masses and masses of visitors/shoppers all year round as the car parks are vast and wide on both phases.
This type of venue is probably going to be the future and may bring about the death of city centres in favour of the all in one outlet village experience. You can't deny the charm of the place, but being so far away from everyone, it may not always be a conienient place to get to.
I can only comment on The McArthur Glen Designer Outlet at Sarn, near Bridgend, but I go there quite a lot, so feel I know it well.
Location: Well signposted just off Junction 36 of the M4, this is a busy area, so could be a bit daunting for less confident drivers. There are bus services. Bridgend Designer Outlet is situated next to Sainsburys, the Odeon, and a Harvester Restaurant with an unlikely thatched roof. When you reach the outlet , there is a large parking area, completely free which is a big bonus.
Opening times: Mon to Fri :10am to 8pm.
Sat: 10am to 7pm
Sun 10am to 5pm (some shops 11am)
Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm.
Excellent for evening shopping in the run up to Christmas, and sometimes quite quiet so you can browse in peace.
There is an informative website giving details of Special events or offers, for example a Halloween "Street Party" with crafts and street theatre coming up, or a loyalty discount scheme.
Facilities : Clean toilets. Good level of security staff in evidence, customer service office and first aid available, for example providing a dressing when my grand daughter cut her foot, very professional.
Food: Large food hall, with a variety of food on offer , McDonalds is always the one with the queue, but I prefer the Juice fix bar, love the "skinny Minnie" smoothie, (strawberry and banana) or the paninis especially the cheese and red onion. I also love the Pasty Presto, where the pork and apple pasty gets my vote (large size). The food tends to be a little pricey, but its cheapest if you eat it in the main food hall area. Scattered throughout the main shopping area are 3 food and coffee bars, Starbucks,(I'm not too keen on the coffee there, but thats not specific to McArthur Glen) Sidolis lovely food , expensive, but very efficient table clearing arrangement and Costa coffee (haven't tried it.)
Children: well catered for with a well used play area. Best feature for me is you can sit in Sidolis and watch them play, over a coffee. I think theres also an identity bracelet scheme incase they get lost. Theres also a child buggy hire scheme,as well as wheelchair hire available. In the food hall there is a facility for warming baby bottles. Best of all from time to time in the holidays there is a free Techniquest area. At Christmas Santa visits.Last Christmas we went for the switching on of the lights , but didn't enjoy it as it was horrendously crowded.
Well why do you actually go to McArthur Glen, FOR THE SHOPS.
Everyone has their personal favourites ,according to age, sex, taste.Not all the shops are designer by any means, I wish there were a few more names that can't be found on the High Street, by the way one big gripe I hate being dragged into the Christmas shop in October by an excited 6 year old who has just spotted it. I can't really complain about Next, Clarkes, Claires or M&S being there as I do go in them, but I can find them on the High Street though there may be some bargains to be had, the range is much more limited.
I haven't been in every shop,but have some favourites. I often go into The Works which although mainly a book shop is becoming well known for economically priced art supplies. I do incidentially find the Paperchase shop expensive. Who doesn't like the well set out Julian Graves or the Whittards shop.
I really like the Autonomy clothes shop, and this year bought a super top in their summer sale, Cotton Traders has brill casual shoes and friendly staff, Mexx has good quality, well designed kids clothes, but I've left my very favourite shop of all till last, which is the lovely, lovely Klass shop. This has to my eyes at least a great selection of really stylish clothes, jackets, trousers, evening wear, jewellery, at very reasonable prices. They offer you a free loyalty card, if you spend a certain ammount you get a ¬£10 voucher and you get a small seasonal catalogue thruugh the post. The staff are pleasant and helpful. Recently I bought some evening trousers, and have had quite a few compliments about a jacket I got there.
I could ramble on, haven't mentioned the 2 shoe shops which complement each other, Thorntons or Past Times, a relatively new addition. There is a Perfume shop, and soon a Welsh Clogau Gold shop.You would probably find your own favourites.
This shopping outlet is well worth a visit, you have to shop with care though as prices are not always as cheap as you might hope.Theres more to say, but you'll just have to pay a visit to check for yourself.
For me when I think of designer retail outlet the word phrase sums up a selection of stores that doesn't included the usual high street brands and somewhere to go for something different unfortunately McArthur Glen now renamed East midland retail outlet does not live up to my image.
Where is it?
It is just off junction 28 of the M1 between derby and Mansfield.
Mon, Tues, wed & Friday 10- 6pm
Thursday late opening 10 -8pm
Saturday 9.30 - 6.30pm
Sunday 10 - 5 although some stores don't open till 11am.
What is there?
They have a supply of wheelchairs and cars to let your child be pushed around the stores, it contains customer information and cash point machines as well as toilets.
There are a few clearance stores
Marks & Spencer's - There are some bargains to be had although this store does not stock children's clothes
Mexx. I have been told these are no longer on the high street in the UK and only available from designer outlets.
Calvin Klein jeans
Roman originals which are a shop more aimed at the middle aged customers.
Camille is a lingerie shop and have very helpful sellers who helped me through my pregnancy and do offer a measuring service. They only stock up to a size G though
Designer Kidz which does have the designer price tag. I bought my son an outfit once from here but wasn't over impressed for the price.
Donny- This shop is full of bargains but a nightmare to get round with a buggy. I have bought footwear for both my son and myself and have always found the staff to be helpful.
Brand fusion sell a great range in swimwear .I bought a Speedo swimming costume recently which cost ¬£10.
Tog 23 this is one store I have rarely seen on the town centre.
Clark's factory outlet. - It has a measuring and fitting service like most clarks but I personally have never felt that the measuring has been very accurate. They do sell heavily discounted shoes though.
Pavers. This is one of my favourite stores it is well laid out but again not great access for buggy's or wheelchairs.
Places to eat.
Chapelle is a lovely jeweller with some unique items at great prices. They also sell designer watches.
Claries accessories does off a discount off the usual range of there items.
Beauty - there are two stores Revlon and perfume point both is quite small.
Baby - A Mama and Papa store has recently opened
Kitch n sink is an Aladdin's cave. I have had to return and item once and was happy with the customer service.
Whittard outlet sells a variety of flavoured, tea's coffee's and hot chocolate also carries a range of crockery.
Deny pottery - Sells local pottery from the nearby factory
Pro cook. Sells mostly pans and electrical items
Home, curtains and bedding
Pastimes. A lovely skip back in times also sells some silver jewellery
There is also a Work books outlet which sells discount store
The food court is a great chance to buy exactly what you fancy for lunch. There is burger king, Spud u like, Harry Rmasden's and Subway
I personally always but fish and chips and Can highly recommend the fish and chips. I buy a large fish and regular chips which is adequate for both my toddler son and me. I do find the curry sauce extremely runny and quite a disappointment.
There is a large seating area that has been recently refurbished. I have never had a problem getting a seat although at very busy times a high chair can be limited.
They have a newly refurbished play area as well which is like a woodland adventure playground. It advises that this is not for under 3 year olds but I take my son on and help him. Although if there are much larger children it does tend to be too chaotic for him.
There are also other caf√©'s around which include starbucks and Thornton's.
There is a Dunkin doughnut stall.
They do hold regular events throughout the year and through the summer they are running a series of meets and greet every Friday with children's characters such as Bob the builder and Noddy. It is the final week this week and sportacus will be there.
The parking can be quite difficult on a very busy day.
I do enjoy it for a little trip out. There are no steps so is quite good for anyone with walking difficulties.
You can pick up a bargain but it isn't somewhere amazing to go
For more information see www.eastmidlandsdesigneroutlet.com
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford.
There are many mixed opinions of the Ashford Designer Outlet, so i will give you my verdict on the place. When the outlet first opened it was a big thing for Ashford and it created many jobs and many visitors to the area and it still does. I would say it was not the best design as the food court is very cold in the winter not what you want while you are eating, however they have now put up heaters which help a bit. Although the outlet looks under cover with its tent look, its not. The shops all have their own units but the walk way is like a wind tunnel and you will certainly need your coat if it is raining as you will get wet.
The shops to me are not what i call DESIGNER shops, there are a couple like ralph lauren, tommy hilfiger, toshiba, Bose there are a few sports clothing shops and home sort of shops. Personally i'm not to keen on the place. Don't get me wrong its a great place if you know what you want and can save yourself some cash, but not all the products have 30% off high street prices as i have found out on a few occasions. So just be careful.
McArthur Glen - York.
Apologies for the blatant cheek that appears later on - I'm obviously not that sexist, else I'd be single!
If, like me, you have spent many hours loitering outside a shop whilst your better half pops in for what is described as 'just a quick look', that slowly becomes a lengthy visit, then you will know that the layout, design and planning of shopping centres is fairly important. Without the opportunity to look at something whilst standing there helplessly, or a design feature to ponder, or even a few benches to park yourself on, such visits quickly become soul sapping and lead to endless arguments, mainly concerning the male belief that they are a taxi and wallet service, and the female belief that their partners whine too much and could do with a few smarter clothes themselves anyway....
Located on the outskirts of York, this compact but well appointed Outlet Retail Mall is a pleasant oasis of 'guilt-free shopping', as the literature would have you believe. Containing over 70 outlet versions of high street and boutique names, the mall is different to the usual out of town centres crammed full of the same shops that already exist in your own town. Part of a European wide chain, they are one of the leading outlet retail companies.
Positioned just off the A64 at the southern end of York's Ring Road, it is well signposted and good traffic planning avoids heavy congestion on the access roads to/from the ring road. If you've ever tried to shop in York, you'll know that your best option is the nearby Park & Ride scheme anyway. Those Romans didn't have multi-storeys in mind when they stuck the walls up....
In the mall you can find the usual out of town shopping centre suspects: Next Clearance, M&S Outlet, Whittards (but not for long!), The Works, and also the more bespoke: Armani collections, Osprey, Karen Millen, Nitya, Intimas, and many other random names that make my wife's eyes light up. There's even a Starbucks on the ground floor at one end, with an excess of seating (handy!), and a Caffe Nero at the other end, to conveniently allow idle time to be passed with a newspaper and a coffee.
Set around one large ground floor, with one long looping corridor (and a clever shortcut in the Armani store), and a spacious first floor food court overlooking the full height gallery with excellent views (usually of the sunset when I'm still there!), and decorated with hints of York's Viking heritage (check out the full sized replica longboat that hangs over one entrance), the mall is easy on the eye as well as the wallet.
If you have a toddler who proves hard to keep occupied (and which ones aren't?!), then they also have those sit in plastic cars with a top mounted shopping basket so that you can push them around safely, and they can pretend they're trying to race the other toddlers. Ah, simple pleasures...
Actually - I should qualify that. For the male readers this means that you will be attempting to pack your car boot on leaving in a manner akin to a Krypton Factor contest, carefully weighing up the size and weight of each bag as you try to fit them all in.
For female readers - All the outlets are discounted - some as much as 70%! Think how much you've saved! Well done you....
With 2 large car parks, a huge outdoors play park for kids (complete with metal slides - I thought H&S had banned them!), and a good range of food outlets (McDonalds, Pizza Express, Bagel Nash, Pizza Hut, the place that does filled jacket potatoes etc) to keep the husbands and children happy, this is a good day out shopping for all the family.
For regional comparison - It's not as flash as the Trafford Centre, but is considerably more fun than J32 at Castleford.
Open until 8pm most nights, and 6pm on Sundays, there really is no excuse not to visit.
On a recent trip to York with my Husband, we decided to visit the McArthur Glen designer shopping outlets that are situated just outside of York.
As a real shopaholic this is the place for me as you can grab designer brands at knockdown prices, I love to have designer clothing and accessories but I hate to pay the price so these McArthur outlets have given me the chance of a new winter wardrobe at a fantastic price.
We visited in early January so the sales were in full flow and there were many of bargains to be had, so I feel that this is a place to shout about so I am reviewing it to let everyone know what to expect if they ever visit.
McArther Glen has a chain of outlet villages across the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. These McArthur designer outlets have become so popular that they are developing many other locations around the globe.
What makes McArthur so special is the fact that they offer many designer and non-designer brands at a discounted price, usually this starts at 50% off but I have been known to get things at a massive 80% off making this into a massive saving compared to the prices you pay on the high street.
I have only visited three of the McArthur outlets the first was Cheshire Oaks in Cheshire and the second being in Milan, This is my first visit to the York outlet and I have to say I was very impressed with the wide range of shops that it had to offer.
The major designer branded shops included Armani, Burberry, Bench & Hooch, Chilli Pepper, Fred Perry, Fossil, Timberland, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein Jeans, Calvin Klein underwear, Ted Baker, Paul Smith and French Connection.
These were only a few of the high end shops that stood out for me and I managed to get many bargains, in the Calvin Klein jeans I got three pairs of jeans at 13.50 each as these were in the sale and I got an extra 10% off as I joined the McArther mailing list online at their website www.yorkdesigneroutlet.com I handed the form in at the customer services desk and this got me a voucher to claim 10% off all items purchased within the outlet, but I could only use it once in each shop.
Other shops included Austin Reed, Ben Sherman, Coast, Banana Republic, Gap, Jaeger, Jeff Banks, Levi's, M&S, Next, Olsen, Petroleum and suits for you. I did browse around some of these and picked up some work trousers for 4.00 a pair in the Next clearance shop, so even if you don't do designer items there are many shop to cater for your needs.
FOOD & DRINKS
The food and drinks section is located in the centre section of the outlet but up stairs so you have to take and escalator upstairs to gain access to places such as Bagal Nash, Fat Jackets, Gravely's fish and chips, Caffe Nero, Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut, Star Bucks and Thomas the bakery.
As we spent most of the day at these massive outlets we did have some dinner ant Fat jackets, I had a jacket potato with chilli and my husband had his with cheese and beans, than with two coffees this cost us just under a tenner so I feel that the prices were very good as these are the only places you can eat.
The only thing I didn't really like about the dining situation was the fact that all of the food counters are in a horse shoe shape, and you have to sit in the centre of them all which would not be a problem but as it was busy there was little room to sit and eat and the staff were not clearing tables so you had to clean them yourself before sitting down to eat.
You can also grab a drink of snack in the actual outlet shops at either, Cadbury's, Julian Graves, Lindt, Thornton's and the Thornton's Caf√©, which was very expensive but saved you walking a mile for a coffee.
As I have mentioned it is a very good idea to register to the mailing list online, as you will get a discount voucher for all of your purchases which can also save you up to 10% off everything you buy. This is great as it is all completely free and will just cost you a little bit of ink and a piece of paper to print out the voucher.
If you have this voucher you just go to the customer services desk that is located at the entrance on the outlets, the staff here are very friendly and can help with any queries you may have during your stay.
If you have children the outlets also offer a children's play area, that will keep kids entertained but you need to supervise them if they are under a certain age.
The toilet and baby changing facilities are scattered all around the outlets so you will never get caught short, I found this to be very clean and they were constantly checked and cleaned by staff.
There is plenty of parking so you will always find a space, but during busy periods this can take some time but you will get there eventually.
The parking lot was massive and in my opinion it was very confusing to navigate as I felt is was poorly signposted, so you will have to take note of where you have parked as it would be very easy to forget and you will be walking around for hours trying to find the car.
The outlets are open on a similar time scale to high street shops, but the only difference being that they are open on a Sunday.
Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays hours are 10.00AM - 6.00PM
Thursdays have a late opening from 10.00AM- 8.00PM
Sundays it is open from 10.00AM- 5.00PM
The outlets very ideally located and very easy to find, they are situated just outside of York at the A64 and A19 roundabout. It is very well sign posted from the A19 and the A64 so which ever direction you are travelling from you can't really miss it.
These designer outlets are located at St. Nicholas Avenue, Fulford, York, YO19 4TA, United Kingdom.
Telephone: 01904 682700
There are other McArthur designer outlets in Kent, Wales, Ellesmere Port, Scotland, Wiltshire and this one in Yorkshire.
Other outlets around the world are located in the Netherlands, France, Austria and Italy.
I have visited a few of these McArthur outlets in the UK and to be honest they are all pretty much the same and consist of the same shops, The one in Milan also has the same set up of shop but in my opinion it is more expensive that the outlets located in the UK.
This is a fantastic place for you to really damage your credit card, on my last visit is spent a fortune as the sales were in full swing and I got some really great bargains as they were so good to be missed.
I feel this place will suit men, women and children as there are many shops that are designer and non designer, so there certainly is something for everyone.
Getting there was very simple as it was all very well signposted so it was near on impossible to get lost, which is a real bonus in my opinion.
I recommend the McArthur Glen outlets to everyone who likes designer brands, as they are so much cheaper that the high street. Yes most of the clothing is last seasons but it is only three months behind so for the prices I would never complain.
I have visited the McArthur Glen outlet in Ashford about four time nows. I really didn't know what to expect on my first visit because i had heard so many mixed reviews, however i wanted to find out for myself what it was like.
McArthur Glen is a big designer outlet filled with loads of the big names, selling goods which are either old ranges, or ranges they couldn't shift in the stores. Some are even goods which never made it to the stores. A lot of people always think outlet places are just full of junk nobody wants, well thats what i've always thought anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to come away from my first visit with lots of bags full of bargains.
McArthur Glen have have 7 outlets within the UK, and a further 10 more in Europe. Each outlet centre has around 80+ well named shops. I was very impressed impressed with the look of the Ashford (Kent) outlet. All the shops are covered by a big white tent, which is visible from about a mile away.
~ The All Important Shops ~
At Ashford, you can find the likes of:-
Polo Ralph Lauren
Marks and Spencer outlet
Calvin Klein underwear
Suits you/Youngs Hire
You cannot really complain with the great fashion shops. As you can see above they have a wide range of choice to suit all shoppers. I particularly love Ted Baker and Oasis. I have bought many great bargains from both stores, and they quality of the items is amazing. They all have a wide range of choice in the store, and you really wouldn't think you were in an outlet centre, its like being in the shop on a High Street.
~ Sports and Outdoor ~
Nike factory shop
My other half is more the sporty type than me, so he usually buys a lot in the sports stores compared to the fashion stores. He has bought several pairs of trainers from Adidas, Nike and Reebok, and the price he paid for them was great.
We have shoped at the Mountain Warehouse a few times to buy camping equipment. I had looked online for camping equipment and was shocked at how much some online retailers were selling tents and camping equipment for, so when we were next at McArthur Glen i made sure i popped in to see what the prices were like. I was amazed to see how cheap everything was. They do many great offers, from buy one get one fee, to a certain percentage off your bill. If your looking for camping bits, make sure you stop buy a mountain warehouse store.
~ Shoes & Accessories ~
~ Jewellery and Beauty ~
Claire's Accessories outlet
~ Home and Gifts ~
Christy Home Outlet store
The Paper Mill Shop
Whittard of Chelsea
One shop i really love is The Paper Mill shop. You can buy a wide range of card making and scrapbooking craft essentials that anybody who loves making things need. I cannot help myself but visit this shop on every visit to the outlet.
Another great store from that list is precook, it sells a wide range of kitchen equipment all at good prices, including kettles, toasters, coffee makers, and when i was buying stuff for my first flat i bought most of my kitchen bits from this shop.
I don't find the Zavvi store that much cheaper than the High Street, so i don't tend to buy anything from there. The first time i visited i just assumed everything was cheaper than the High Street, but when i checked it was more expensive surprisingly.
If you enjoy reading books, you can usually pick up lots of bargains from The Works.
~ Food ~
If you are spending the day at McArthur Glen its nice to stop by the Caffee Neros for a coffee and cake to take a break. However if your feeling hungry, then you have a wide range of eateries to choose from in the food court:-
Spud U Like
By the food court you will also find a kids play area, with tables outside so you can sit and eat and your kids can play when they have finished their food.
~ Where to find the Ashford Designer Outlet ~
It is conveniently located right near Ashford town centre, so where your coming from, and however your getting there, you will be sure not to miss it. It is a few minutes drive from Junction 10 of the M20, and if you are coming by bus or train, stagecoach run buses every 15 minutes from the town centre and Ashford Designer outlet.
~ Overall ~
If you are yet to visit, make sure you do soon. You will find plenty of bargains for the home and yourself!!
I have to admit that I love shopping but not at all costs. Therefore I am always looking for outlets and/or sales. Two days ago I have been to the designer Outlet of Mc Arthur Glen in York.
The address is as follows:
YORK DESIGNER OUTLET
St. Nicholas Avenue, Fulford, York, YO19 4TA, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0) 1904 682700
Situated just outside York you get there as follows: at the interchange of A64 and A19 south of York, follow the signs for the 'Designer Outlet'. There is plenty of ample free parking.
There is also a bus connection between the outlet and York Railway Station.
The opening hours of the outlet centre are:
Between 10.00 am - 6 pm. Very big stores like Marks & Spencer will open between 10.30 and 11.00 am.
Which shops are there?
As there are more than 120 shops in the outlet centre there is no point in listing them all up. But I will try to give you an idea:
Next clearance has got outstanding value. I bought track suit bottoms for 3.00 that were 12.00 RRP before. There is obviously not that much choice but what you find is well worth the money.
tracksuit for 9.00 that had a RRP of 49.00. Football shoes for 15.00 that were 45.00 before.
Boots for 19.99 that were 65.00 before.
Timberland fleece jumper for 7.00 RRP 39.00. Wollen knitted jumper 12.00 RRP 65.00. Very good choice of sizes and styles
Good choice but the prices are still pretty high. 15.00 for a jumper of 28.00 RRP.
This autumns collection and still up to date blazer for 80.00 RRP was 459.00. Well worth the money! Very limited choice you got to be lucky to find 2 or three items the same style. Limited choice in sizes as well. What is there is a bargain.
Excellent bargains but limited choice
M & S:
Sorry but there was absolutely nothing I liked and out of all the shops this was the worst presentation. It looked as if all the stuff that can not be sold was just put on the rails to go somehow. Partly very poor quality.
Hamleys. Very unfriendly staff and next to no price reductions. Not worth visiting for reductions of 50 p.
After visiting about 6 shoe shops: It is cheaper to buy on ebay and there is more choice on ebay. Prices for caterpillar boots are too high and the choice is small.
On the whole: It is fun but you need 2 - 3 days to really find the bargains in all the shops. About 20 - 30 shops I would regard as the maximum per day.
I really enjoyed the shopping but found it hard to find my car again - please keep track of your car!
My nearest McArthur Glen is Mansfield and features such stores as Marks & Spencer, Gap, Next clearance, Whittards, Cadbury, Thorntons, Kitsch 'n' Sync, Past Times, Starbucks and a large number of others.
The outlet is a horseshoe shape, taking you away from the car park and into an open arcade, flanked either side by all the stores.
The nature of the retail parks is that all the stores have reduced goods, there's either a clearance, discount option or similar. The M&S is much smaller than most stores but still holds a large amount of clothing and a few other sundries such as gifts. However, you'll find clothing down to as little as 30% of the original price and even the Per Una range is hugely discounted.
Whittards holds current nationwide stock at discounted prices and a large clearance range at the back, somewhat more like a jumble sale in places but with exceptionally high quality goods in most cases.
Thorntons stocks bagged mis shapes at low prices along side their usual stock at lower prices and has a cafe besides. The mis shapes taste just as good as their perfect chocolates so Thorntons is a lovely treat at a fraction of the cost.
Next is a clearance store which would generally be great with prices at around 50% of the original prices in the usual stores but often the pickings are poor. Sometimes you can get some incredible bargains, especially when they have their own clearance when the prices are truly amazing.
However, I noticed when I was there last time that there is a range of clothing produced just for the clearance stores, which just doesn't seem like the bargain spirit to me.
In the middle of the horseshoe is a large food area with various vendors in a semi circle and seating in the middle. There are choices of burgers and fries, sandwiches and a multitude of other foods and drinks to choose from and a playing area to keep the younger ones busy whilst you relax.
It's a pretty good place for some bargains all in all, not ideal if you are hoping for older stock or looking for something in particular but generally you can find something worth buying.
The parking is insufficient at weekends and busy times like Christmas, worth going early or late to counteract that problem.
There are parent and child spaces and disability spaces though not well signed but generally directly in front of the stores.
I love the McArthur glen designer outlets the one I have been going to recently is in Bridgend. I can't believe how cheap the shops there are. The one in Bridgend has many different shops here's a few of them Nike shop, Adidas shop, gap clearance, bench shop, Saltrock shop and loads more to suit different people. The prices of things in there are a lot cheaper then your normal high street shops, the other day I brought a pair of bench jeans for 10pound what a bargain and got my husband a pair of football boots that are normally 110pound that were down to 60 pound. You can also get Helly Hansen coats there for 50pound that are normally 100 pound. These shops are brilliant as there not just left over stock that no one wants there actually things that are out in the shops now. My favourite shop there has to be the bench one as normally this is an expensive brand to buy so I was shocked to see how cheap everything was there were even hooch trousers in there going for 5pound what a bargain.
At the one we goes to there's a few places you can get something to eat but the main place we go to eat is Macdonald's it's in a big food hall with other food shops. McArthur Glen is a bit out the way but it is definitely worth driving over to there is quite a lot of parking there to but it can get very busy so I advise getting there early. I'll definitely be going there to get all my Christmas presents for everyone this year.
McArthur Glen are behind several outlet malls in the UK and on continental Europe, where you can find bargains all year round.
The concept behind outlet malls is to sell off out of season stock or overruns and they first found life in the US but like most good (and some bad!) American ideas, they travelled outwith their borders and soon landed here.
Outlet malls are usually located in out of town locations where rents are cheaper but McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Livingston is the exception.
Livingston is a new town in the Scottish Central Belt. It lies just off the M8 motorway, around 10 miles to the west of Edinburgh, but also within easy reach of Glasgow.
The McArthur Glen Designer Outlet is smack bang in the town centre of Livingston and is part of the town's main shopping area. As a result you don't have to drive there, unlike so many outlet malls which are out of town - plenty of buses serve this one.
The mall features many high street stores and designer names but some stores are better than others.
There is a Gap outlet store which I always visit but frequently am disappointed in. Gap outlets invariably feature remakes of lines instore a year ago. When the new stock comes in its just as expensive as the regular store but if you hold your nerve and wait for reductions, you can get some bargains.
Other high street names to be found are Marks & Spencer, Next, Clarks and Zavvi. Sometimes I find the regular stores have better sales than the outlets so its worth checking before you visit.
Some of the more specialist stores however will offer up the best bargains - for example there is a Tula outlet store which stocks Radley bags and accessories for very reasonable prices - excellent with Christmas approaching - and Cruise which stocks high end designer clothing - such as a pair of Gucci shoes for ¬£75 - at half price at least.
The mall has other designer clothing on offer at Ted Baker, Armani Collections and Calvin Klein.
The mall has a recently opened branch of the Nike outlet which I found particularly impressive - it has an excellent selection of footwear on offer as well as a good range of womenswear and very competitively priced gym bags. I have visited many Nike outlets in the US but this was the first time I had been in one in the UK and I will definitely be back.
The mall also has a pleasant food court for you to rest your weary legs at - it features food from McDonalds, Harry Ramsden's, Pizza Hut and O'Briens. There is also a Vue Cinema within the mall and several bars and restaurants, including a JD Wetherspoons, Pizza Express and Chicago Rock Cafe.
This is an excellent place to visit for Christmas shopping or just for a day out. Any service bus that goes to Livingston stops right outside the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Mall to make travel by public transport straightforward. If you are driving you come off the M8 at Junction 3 and the Outlet is clearly signposted all the way. The centre has a large multi-storey car park which is free to use.
The mall is open seven days a week and you can find out more about it at its website, which is:
I live a stones throw away from Livingstone's MacArthur Glen Designer Outlet, as well as having designer boutiques such as Armani Collections (mostly selling Armani Exchange clothing, which Mr.Giorgio Armani was very hesitant to back and is rumoured to dislike, as it "cheapens" his brand)
There is also-Calvin Klein, Burberry, Cruise Clearance, Aquascutum, Gap, The Perfume Shop, Ted Baker, Next, Donnay, Fred Perry and a couple of others whose names I would've remembered if only they had stayed opened long enough.
These stores, are infact, "Discount Stores", they sell clothes and goods from seasons past, and sometimes ranges that "Never" made it too the shelves, seconds and demerits, sizes only Americans from Disneyland can fit into and clothing ranges only the likes of Kate Moss and her ilk can get away with wearing.
All in all it's good if you know someone who works in your most favoured shop, if you happen to have one, this way they can tell you what days new stock, or what passes as new stock, comes in, (Tuesdays for Cruise Clearance).
I am always cynical about so called "Designer Outlets" as more often than not, there is never anything that grabs your eye or are even lucky enough to stumble upon (Anyone remember Freeport???), they are a stab in the dark, a jumble sale for the 21st century, the poor man's fashion gateway, call it what you will....
Some shops such as "The Fashion Studio, Cruise Clearance and Burberry", have staff who think they have designed the clothes (in some cases I think they actually might have), but they forget, yes they do "FORGET"- they may as well be working in Tesco or Asda, as a shopping assistant is just a shopping assistant, no matter where they work, and I'm not dogging the ladies and gents who work in these multi billion dollar hyper markets who happen to have more "out of date" food thrown out each year than what entire third world countries consume.
Besides, the "Real" stores in which the clothes for this Outlet comes, staff people who "smile" and who aren't expedient when speaking to you, and leave you alone when you have just told them "I have no money, I'm only here to get out of the house!"
Go to McArther Glen, make your own mind up, my idea of a bargain may differ from yours and vice versa, there is a multitude of car parks and spaces, hell, the toilets are even clean (the most important thing on anyone's check-list when visiting these places)
the eateries include "McDonalds, Harry Ramsden, Spud-U-Like and Pizza Hut" (toilets and eateries eh?) however much cheapness this place may scream, the food is always the same price....and if you have the time, you can catch a flick at the Vue cinema house as long as you wrap up nice and warm and take a packed lunch.