Newest Review: ... anything meadowhall related. parking is a bit of a faff though, the car parks are devided into colours and you have to drive for quite a ... more
Hope you don't want to sit and eat
Member Name: emmad5689
Advantages: Well laid out, great choice of shops
Disadvantages: Couldn't get a seat to eat
We visited the shopping centre on our way home from our few days away in Birmingham and it was really easy to find, it is situated just off junction 34 of the M1 near to Sheffield. The centre is well signposted and once you leave the main road it only takes about 5 minutes to reach.
We visited on a weekday in August but was still surprised to find the car park with hardly any cars in it, the car park is on the upper level of the shopping centre and provides for children and disabled with plenty of each type of space. There are covered walkways for people to get to their vehicles in bad weather which impressed me as I hate going to a shopping centre where you don't need a coat and then leaving to find it is bucketing down. The car park is in a good state of repair without pot holes and the like and the spaces are wide enough which is a bonus for me as I have 2 young children and generally find normal parking spaces too narrow to leave plenty of room on both sides of the vehicle.
The layout of the centre is basically a circle with legs coming off the four corners each of course filled with shops, there is also a walkway through the middle. When you arrive you are best to find one of the map points and then you are able to look at a large board showing you where you are and where everything is situated and also pick up a folded map which you can carry with you. I personally have a memory like a sieve and so a foldable map is perfect for me as I can only ever remember how to get to one shop at a time.
The toilets seemed to me as though they were only on the lower levels but this wasn't as issue because as each leg of shops comes from the circle there is a lift to allow you to change floors easily, the lift is one that you can see from as you move which our daughter wasn't sure of at the beginning of the day but loved the fact she could see everyone by the end of the day. The toilets are large and clean, they were well stocked and the baby facilities are excellent. Within the baby changing there is room to change about 3 babies at any time with a small room where you can feed your baby in private. A place always impresses e when it provides for nursing mothers as I am someone who did try to breastfeed and I was always wary of going out near to a feed time incase of stares and abuse.
The centre holds many different shops some of which I have only ever heard of and never seen such as Lush and some of which are well known and everywhere such as Boots. There are discount stores such as Poundland and great value stores such as Primark but then there are also the more upmarket shops for when you want something special. If you want to see a full list of stores you can find them by alphabetical order on the website as it seems a bit pointless for me to list them all and there would be far too many. I was impressed by the shops and treated myself to a burner for my Yankee Candles from a beautiful shop although I had to leave my daughter with the other half outside as I would say 90% of the store was breakable!
There are so many choices for food within the centre that you wouldn't be able to ever go hungry, there are the usual Greggs etc dotted around but then there is also a full food hall. The food hall seemed to be having worked done whilst we were there with barriers up and this may be why it seemed so dull if not then I wasn't impressed by the amount of light available to eat by around Frankie and bennies. We decided on a Mcdonalds before we left and we found that the food places all shared the same eating area and we couldn't get seated. Like I said previously the car park wasn't exactly busy and so to find the food hall full I would say there is nowhere near enough seating and the seating already seemed to be crammed in and certainly not friendly to people with buggies.
I was impressed by the layout as it was easy to find the shops you wanted to visit, I was also impressed that there were rides such as a mini carting ring throughout the centre and therefore something you could use for bribery with misbehaving children. I liked the way the baby change was set and it seemed that the constructors had really thought about what someone with a baby would need but then on the other hand it didn't seem like they want people with babies to be able to sit and have some food. The centre is large enough to fill a full day and I would consider doing Christmas shopping there if I didn't do it bit by bit throughout the year as I really think you would find something for everyone in there. The shops are tailored to all budgets and the centre was comfortable to walk around without getting too hot or too cold, there were also benches for those who felt they needed a rest. I would recommend this shopping centre they just need to sort the food hall out.
Summary: Great shopping not so good eating