“ The Mall / Cribbs Causeway / Bristol „
The mall at Cribbs - big, brash, light, airy ...... in fact, an identikit shopping "mall". All the usual suspects (the "label" stores plus the major high street players) and loads of parking places (attracting loads of cars and making getting in and out of the area at rush-hour and weekends an absolute nightmare!). If you simply can't live without your labels and you want to join in with the world and his wife (and 4x4 and Sherman-tank-sized-buggy) in the conveyor-belt experience that is "out of town retail centre" shopping, then The Mall will be absolute Nirvana for you (as will any one of a zillion out of town cloned retail centres up and down the land). It's kept spotlessly clean by the staff, despite the best efforts of some of the slobs who shop there, and the signage both in the Mall and the car parks is very good indeed. Best summed up as a "marmite" moment - you'll either love it, as many do, or hate it. As I say, it is what it is .......
Visiting Cribbs Causeway at Christmas has usually become something of a tradition for me. It's usually the last big shop before Christmas and it's at a time when me and all of my friends are home and in one place. I love Cribbs as a shopping venue. Here's why:
It is centrally placed for the first reason. It's within access of the M5, M4, M49, M48 and M32 motorways so it's easily to get to. With park and ride facilities and train stations nearby it's an easy place to get to and you can arrive with little or no worry of finding it whatsoever.
Parking is also plentiful and you'll never be stuck for a space. There's absolutely thousands and it's all well marked so that you can locate your car even if it is quite a walk from the mall.
It's huge inside and takes you ages to get around. This is ideal as it stretches out the whole day and if you're stuck for what to buy someone or you need to be inspired by choice then there are a lot of stores around in order to satisfy this. Also, the food court is huge and will allow you to break up the day for lunch by having another wide variety to choose from.
Also, aside from the mall there are a load of other big chains nearby and they are only a short drive from the main shopping centre. This means that if you are after something specialist or can't find anything in the mall then there's a bit extra choice in there.
Christmas is a good time to be there as well. There's a Santa's grotto and usually some kind of themed market outside the main doors. In terms of the decorations, they really go to town on it as well and it always feels really festive whenever I walk in there at that time of year.
My only criticism of the place is with the parking. It can be a bit manic in there sometimes and you can be going at a crawling distance in order to get back onto the motorway as people try and venture out of the area.
Aside from that though, it's a great shopping experience and a visit I would thoroughly recommend.
For a trouble-free visit, there are two things one should bear in mind about the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, a retail centre just outside Bristol.
1. Do not attempt to visit it during the morning or evening rush-hours, especially on Friday afternoons. The Mall is located next to Junction 17 of the M5 motorway, which in addition to being a major north-south route serving the west of the country, also gets chock-a-block with local Bristolian traffic at the beginning and end of each working day. The Mall is hence subject to - and also actually a contributory cause of - local traffic chaos at certain times. Going there on Saturday mornings during the summer months - especially if it's a nice day - is also not advised for a similar reason; everyone in the West Midlands (apparently) piles down the M5 on summer weekends so that, after sitting for six hours in a 10 mile tail-back queue of near-stationary traffic, they can go and stand about in three feet of stationary water at one of the 'surfing beaches' in Devon or Cornwall. The summer weekend traffic usually clears by around lunchtime, but it's a well-known local phenomenon.
2.Do not attempt to visit Cribbs Causeway on Christmas Eve, and especially not during the January Sales.
It's a regular feature on the local news at those times of year, how people are having to sit for six hours in stationary queues of traffic trying to get into, then out of, the Mall. One memorable year during the January sales (2004) people who'd been stuck for two hours trying to enter the Mall, got understandably fed up on finally arriving there and on the first opportunity when they were able, immediately turned round to leave again - only to be stuck for another two hours in the queue to get out.
Sobering stuff. Only to be expected however for the Mall is something of a retail paradise. The large, two-storey shopping complex was built about 10 years ago - but it still looks fresh and new. It is, in terms of the shops there, and the size of the complex - as it was described at the time it opened to the public - exactly like someone's taken (mostly, the better shops) from a regular high-street and deposited them in a brand new venue. Predominantly at the Mall it sometimes appears to be largely clothing and footwear retailers; 'Next' and 'Gap' and 'H&M' and 'O'Neill' and so on; but in terms of other shops there's also a big 'John Lewis,' a large 'M&S', a 'WH Smiths,' 'Boots', a 'Disney Store,' an 'Early Learning Centre' and an 'HMV', 'Currys', 'Games Workshop' etc.
Also one of those heinous 'Bear Factory' outlets on the ground floor, where you get to pay £20 for a bespoke teddy and then spend the rest of the afternoon buying overpriced miniature outfit and accessories for it: try to get the kids past it without noticing for goodnessakes.
As well as shops, there is a large food court near the middle of the complex on the first floor. Regarding the quality of the fare on offer as well as the price, it's nothing to write home about. Your best bet for an acceptable lunch would probably be to go to the KFC outlet there (which isn't saying much.) The Mall building itself is made largely of metal and glass; it looks good and the ceilings are so high that there are large palm trees in giant pots decorating the place, but there is something of a greenhouse effect indoors in the communal areas - which don't appear to be air-conditioned or properly ventilated - on hot, sunny days. There is a large-ish decorative raised pool of water / fountain with sporadic water-jets in the middle opposite WH Smiths on the ground floor. The kids love it, but I do sometimes wonder about Legionnaires' Disease....
The car parking is free and the parking area at the main Mall site is massive; it all looks the same so it's essential to take a note of the co-ordinates of the area you parked your car. There are limited parent and child spaces near the doors (adequate on a quieter weekday, but not nearly enough come the weekend) and disabled parking too. The large size of the Mall can be a problem for those of limited mobility though; one of our elderly relatives simply gave up during a visit there and went and sat in the car.
The Mall is absolutely not set up for pedestrians, but there are a number of other shops a very short drive away on the same site (e.g. a giant Asda Wal-Mart; a Morrisons; a TK Maxx; a Toys R Us; Argos Extra; Tesco Extra; Hobbycraft and so on) standing alone and in a number of smaller retail units adjacent. You could spend all day and more shopping in the area, if you really wanted to.
Cribbs Causeway is situated just off the M5 at junction 17. Before the Mall was open I visited the area quite a lot especially Makro. Around the area is probably one of the biggest Asda/WallMarts in the country, 2 McDonalds, Argos, ToysRUs, American Golf, Currys and a number of other well known shops - including Morrisons.
We still stop off on the way back at the McDonalds drive through particularly with the play area outside.
There is a large free car park at the Mall with John Lewis at one end and M&S at the other. As you walk in the main entrance you can walk through WH Smiths into the mall or, visit one of the many fast food outlets situated on the upper level which can be accessed by steps or lift. Among them is a burger king.
It is clean and there are a lot of varied shops - my last visit was about 8 months ago and was a rush job as we were really just after a snack from M&S, but there are a couple sports shops, a zavvi (which I expect has now closed), plenty of clothes shops etc, really like you'd see in a normal town high street. The only thing I remember well is that it is quite expensive and they don't have discounts like many other out of town shopping villages.
The mall has shops on 2 levels, which can be accessed by lift, stairs or escalators and there's several areas on the top floor where you can sit.
Apart from expense, the only real critism I have is that cash machines are only situated in one area - at the John Lewis end, which is a bit of a trek. With all the other shops in the area, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway can easily be part of a real shopping experience, which is certainly worth taking a look at, and there's plenty of places to eat in and around the site.
I love Cribbs Causeway, the shopping mall is very smart and the parking is fantastic, I have never had a problem finding a parking space. Surrounding the mall there are various stores, a cinema, large supermarket etc.
It is situated close to junction 17 of the M5, near to Bristol, which is a fantastic location for me. You see I live in Devon and have family in Birmingham so when I am travelling between the two it is much better to stop off a Cribbs Causeway than to stop at a service station.
The mall's opening hours are
Monday to Friday
9.30am - 9.00pm
9.00am - 8.00pm
11.00am - 5.00pm
Bank Holiday Mondays
10.00am - 6.00pm
The selection of shops is excellent, John Lewis, Marks and Spencers, Gap, Baby Gap, W H Smiths, BHS, French Connection, Game, Dorothy Perkins and the list goes on with well over 100 shops on site.
The food court is also excellent I like a Pizza from Pizza Hut or a gorgeous cake with a coffee from Druckers but there are several others to choose from if you prefer.
If you are travelling down the M5 it is well worthy stopping to stretch your legs and have a break.
The Mall, Cribbs Causeway can be found at the Bristol exit of the M5, junction 17 if I am not mistaken. The Mall at Cribbs Causeway has thousands of free car parking spaces, including Disbaled spaces and Mother and child spaces which are closer to the building. All of the free car parking spaces are within walking distance of The Mall.
Once inside The Mall, you are greated by an aray of stores over two floors. The decor is reasonably elegant with high ceilings. There are both lifts and stair ways between the two floors. The Mall is very wheel chair and push chair friendly.
The Mall offers a wide range of stores to shop in. From Debenhams to the Early Learning Centre there really is something for everyone. There are places you can stop to get a hot drink, or a snack, such as the small cafe and also Millies Cookies - situated on the top floor.
Cribs Causeway is a top regional shopping centre, it can be found just of junction 17 on the M5.
There are thousands of free car parking spaces, there are also disabled spaces, even so sometimes it can be hard to find somewhere to park, and that is how popular cribs causeway is.
The shopping centre is very modern
The shopping centre is open till nine every night except the weekends then it is open till eight on Saturday and five on Sunday.
The mall has over one hundred shops, high street names including john Lewis, Marks and Spencer's, La Sense, Top shop, Republic.
There are clothing shops for all ages, shoe shops, card shops, you name it they will most probably have it.
The mall is on two levels and the access to the upper level also caters for disabled and push chairs as there are lifts as well as escalators and stairs.
On the upper level there is a section called the food court where you can get various things to eat, there is KFC, McDonalds, some bakery, Chinese place, traditional English fish and chips place that offers allsorts, up some more stairs there is a Nan do's and a pizza hut. So there are plenty of food options.
Other facilities available are cash machines and toilets.
During the Christmas period there is a Santa's Grotto and an out door ice rink which is very popular, you will also find foreign Christmas markets which are fantastic.
Surrounding cribs causeway is a multi entertainment complex. There is a Vie cinema, Bowling, various restaurants and take away establishments.
Other major stores in the area include Tesco, Morrison's, TK Max, Toys R Us, Argos and B&Q. So whilst visiting the shopping centre you can also visit the shops near by to make it an ultimate shopping experience.
If you're looking for lots of shopping under one roof then cribs causeway is the place to go.
The only problem is that if you don't drive then Cribs is a very hard place to get to!
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is now 20 years old, and yet still has a modern feel. Constructed out of town, near junction 17 of the M5 it is one of the largest shopping centres, if not the largest, in the region and so attracts people from far and wide.
The Mall itself has many different shops within it. It has two floors (although in some places there are extra levels such as at John Lewis and in H&M). The shops are along a central spine, with the two flagship stores, John Lewis and Marks and Spencers, located at either end. In the central area there is a fountain, which is a popular meeting place and also a food-court which is currently undergoing a facelift.
Apart from the two main stores, there are many other shops, of various sizes. These include all the main highstreet chains, such as BHS, Boots, Topshop and Carphone Warehouse. In fact, almost all, if not all, of the stores within the Mall are part of a wider national chain, and so there are few independent local retailers. There are also one or two empty units.
Surrounding the Mall there is a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley and many other shops, such as PC World, Asda, Tesco Direct, Argos and B&Q. Plans are afoot to build a museum for the last ever Concorde to fly which was produced at the adjacent Filton Airfield.
A major gripe of the people of Bristol is access to the Mall and wider Cribbs Causeway area is hard by anything other than car, meaning that in today's times of lower household budgets and rising fuel prices, visitor numbers are down, meaning if you can afford to visit the shopping experience will be less crowded.
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, the South West's premier shopping centre based just north of Bristol. You'll find 135 leading stores, 17 restaurants and cafes and a range of excellent facilities all under one roof, giving you the finest shopping choice in the South West.