“ City streets, markets, shopping malls, large retail parks... „
Having lived in the west of Scotland in small towns all of my life I have always had to travel to meet my shopping needs with Glasgow and Clydebank being my normal haunts but over the recent years I have begun to use Stirling as a shopping option more and more thanks to the huge transformation which has taken shape throughout.
Stirling is an old town with a castle and not much else on offer until huge improvements to the shopping facilities (namely the Marches and Thistle shopping centres) have caused the town to be a name which is linked to shopping. With excellent rail and bus links to the town centre right beside the shopping areas the town has become a popular shopping area for people to take a trip to for the day and thanks to huge amounts of parking areas it has become easier for people too.
The shopping centres themselves are well designed and linked with both having a clean and welcoming feel to them as well as spacious walkways. There are a huge variety of shops on offer including:
Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Next, Game, HMV, JJB Sports, Vodafone, River Island, Marks and Spencers, Debenhams and BHS to name but some
The stores themselves are all well maintained and kept clean and fresh making the experience feel a pleasant and relaxing one. The centres have good accessability with no stairs to worry about.
The people in Stirling are on the whole friendly and the shopping experience there is on the whole one which is enjoyable and allows for a great amount of purchases with nice travel links nearby.
- Clean and well maintained shopping centres
- Excellent variety of shops
- Good accessibility
- Excellent travel links
- Friendly and helpful people
The experience of shopping in Stirling is one which has improved hugely over the years and is an enjoyable plus relaxing experience with the shopping centres allowing for all year round shopping without worries about the weather.
The Thistle shopping centre in Stirling has grown dramatically over the past few years. The shopping centre is located right in the middle of town and is a short walk from the train station and Stirling's main bus station is joined on to the centre so there will no be any problem with the availablilty of transport for shoppers. The Thistle centre is open seven days a week from 9-5.30 with the exception of Thursday which is late night shopping and the shops are open till 8.
In recent years the shopping centre has doubled in size with a whole new section that has been built. There are a wide variety of shops on offer ranging from clothes shops through to jewellers and also music and entertainment stores. The centre includes a few main large department stores which are Marks and Spencers, Debenhams, BHS and Primark. The rest if the shops that you will find at the Thistles Shopping Centre are:
. 3 Store
. Ann Summers . Bay Trading
. Beaverbrooks . Bhs
. Bodycare . Boots
. Burtons . Card Factory
. Carphone Warehouse . Celtic Store
. Chisholm Hunter . Claire's Accessories
. Clarks . Clinton Cards
. Country Casuals . D2
. Debenhams . Dorothy Perkins
. Ernest & Jones . Evans
. First Sport . Game
. Going Places . Goldsmiths
. H Samuel . Hawkins Bazaar
. HMV . Holland and Barrett
. Internacionale . JD Sports
. JJB . La Senza
. Marks & Spencer . Next
. O2 . Oasis
. Optical Express . Orange
. Peacocks . Phones 4U
. Priceless Shoes . Primark
. Quiz . Republic
. Rieker . River Island
. Savers . Schuh
. Sports World . Superdrug
. Symingtons . T Mobile
. The Officers Club . The Perfume Shop
. Thorntons . Tie Rack
. Top Man . Top Shop
. Trade Secret . Tresspass
. USC . Vision Express
. Vodafone . Wallis
. Warehouse . Waterstones
. WH Smith . Zara
As you can see Stirling offers a wide variety of stores however one criticism is that alot of these shops are a bit small in comparison to the branches open in the big shopping centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Having said this there a still alot of nice items in these stores and some real bargains to be found! At the minute the Thistles centre just like any other shopping complex is suffering from the current recession and there are a number of empty stores as a result of recent close downs, so the shopping centre is beginning to look a little empty but this is not just Stirling.
In terms of places to at eat and drink there are a few on offer. The complex offers a number of different food options including the The Marches Restaurant, Les Cygnes Cafe, Greggs, Costa Coffee and mathiesons as well as restaurants in the main department stores like BHS and Marks and Spencers. There are also loads of option on the surrounding streets.
The Thistle Shopping Centre in Stirling is perhaps not as big as some shopping centres that can be found elsewhere but it is more than worth a trip and has alot to offer shoppers.
How Stirling's shops have changed over the 18 years I have lived in the area...now the town is a bustling shopping centre, attracting people from all over. When I first became old enough to appreciate shopping (about 10 years ago - I'm only 20!), Stirling was Rubbish (with a capital R)! The Thistle Centre did have 3 big stores - Marks and Spencers, Frasers and Debenhams. And there were a few smaller shops such as Prinicples and JJB Sports. But that was it - so to do any serious shopping, a trip to Edinburgh or Glasgow was essential! But recently the Thistle Centre has expanding into the Thistle Centre Marches and now incoporates a huge variety of shops, from Specialist to general, from discount to the very expensive. There is no need to travel any further than Stirling for a decnt rumage in the Sales! And, the shops are all in close proximity to each other so there is no traipsing miles down one street as in Edinburgh or driving between shopping centres like in Glasgow. More recently, the Thistle centre has been refurbished. It now has a fancy glass roof and a no smoking policy has been introduced providing a very comfortable and relaxed shopping environment. There is a multi story carpark attached to the centre - cositng from 70p and hour. And the centre is a mere 2 minute walk from the both train and bus stations. And now I learn that there is a huge expansion programme underway to expand the shopping centre even further! And also a new Town Leisure complex incorporating a huge cinema and a new bowling alley! Very exciting indeed and hopefully worth the wait! All in all, Stirling is a great shopping centre and improving all the time.