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I visit the West field Shopping Center only if I really have to as I have very mixed reviews about this place. I live in Derby so this is the closest place to do the high street stores but I will go into more detail about why I feel this way. Firstly, the basics. The West field center is opening hours are fairly good for people who work in the week and need to pop into town after. There hours are: Mon - Wed 9am - 6pm Thurs - Fri 9am - 8pm Saturday 9am - 7pm Sunday 10-30am - 4.30pm This can sometimes confuse people as some of the department stores within the center are open and closed at different times like Sainsbury, Boots & Marks & Spencer; these are open later. Next is the parking issue. From what I remember there are around 7 levels of parking all of which seem to get very full at peak times and you can be queuing for up to an hour to get in and out of it at busy weekends and since this is the only parking that is signposted and near the center you don't have lots of choice but to park there. The prices for parking are ridiculous - Its cheaper to get the bus I find! Its around £1.80 up to an hour then it shoots to £3.60 for up to 2 hours and it goes up to around £8.00 I think. An all day ticket on the bus is £4.20 so I prefer to pay this! So now onto the actual center, There are many high street shops under the one roof such as Lush, The Body Shop, Thornton's and New Look but not so many new ones! They have simply just been moved from outside where they used to be. There seem to be too many phone shops and not enough charity and different branded shops. A big issue that I think has arisen now is that the few shops that are left on the old streets are now probably seeing less and less sales since nobody now wants to venture outside of the center. Primark is a fair bit of a walk from the center and this actually puts me off going there anymore because it is quite a venture out, I think this should of also been moved inside. Inside the westfield as you walk through they have a lot of smaller stalls located in the middle of the walk ways. Some sell jewellery, handmade things, bags etc which I think is great to look round but there are also stalls such as a beauty product stall where the same people are constantly coming up to you hassling you if you want to try their products. I find this very annoying and off putting when shopping and as I used to work in derby town i used to get them ask me everyday! The westfield center does have a fantastic baby feeding/changing room, which being a mother, I think this is a huge pro to having the center! It has lots of baby changing tables, bottle warmers, a small gated play area for siblings & cubicles with chairs for breastfeeding. Having this is a godsend when your a mum so this I really love about the westfield. A downside to westfield is that it is just way too hot and I can't always shop very long I just want to get out of there as fast as I can as I just get too hot especially with the pushchair and running around after two children! The westfield has a food court upstairs which has a burger king, Chinese, hot potato and a subway. I've been and sat down a few times but it is VERY cramped and not a lot of room to queue. The big downer is there is not a McDonald's it is outside!! There is a few restaurants upstairs such as a pizza express and a Nando's. I have never ate in these but they do always look fairly busy. In the westfield there is also a showcase cinema de lux which is located at the top. I will write a review separately on this but I think its great that they now have a cinema in derby town. So to conclude my review I think Westfield is more of a shopping Hell! Too hot, gets too busy, expensive parking, food court not to my taste and all the good shops have been left outside!
Westfield Derby Derby, DE1 2PQ TEL :01332 366383 OPENIG TIMES Mon - Wed - 9am -6pm , Thurs - Fri 9am - 8pm, Saturday 9am - 7pm and Sunday 10.30- 4.30pm Some bank holidays like Easter Sunday and Christmas Day they are closed. That is just the shops but the restaurants and the cinemas have different opening times so you need to check if you plan on going to the cinema or theatre or to eat in some of the restaurants there. WHAT WILL YOU FIND HERE? Well there are 232 individual shops, quite a few of them phone shops it seems to me. There is only one charity shop in the centre ( Oxfam) as the rents are probably too high so if you want charity shops then you need to venture out of the shopping centre and into the rest of the city shopping areas. There are quite a few cafes and stalls as well as a huge eatery area on the second level where you can choose from different eateries and then sit with friends who have bought from another eatery. There are also a few large department stores which include Debenhams, M&S, Boots and BHS. The website also lists Wilkinsons , Argos and Matalan but these are actually outside the main centre so you will have to get wet or cold and venture outside to visit those. We also have a cinema de Lux which shows the latest Dolby 3D Digital projection and sound systems, with over 2,000 seats across 12 screens. I have never been to this cinema as i resent paying for parking and then extra for the cinema when we have two slightly out of town which have cheaper seats and free parking. The offspring have been and rate it highly as there are posh seats and they reckon it is worth the money. We also have a theatre which closed for some time but has recently re opened and we missed it so will be going again later this year. I do like live theatre and apart from this theatre in Derby we also have the Assembly Rooms where concerts and other live performances take place. Also in the market square we have the brand new Quad with small cinema and gallery as well as live performances too. USING THE CENTRE I have to admit I have a few regular shops and rarely venture beyond these. My personal favourites are Lush, Boots and sometimes the Body Shop and I can choose from two different ones in Derby, one in here and one outside. I also find myself drawn to Superdrug and Bodycare as well as the 99p, Poundland and similar. Clinton Cards gets my visit sometimes as well as a lovely little shop called Aroma with Bomb Cosmetics and Yankee candles. I am not a great shopper who spend hours wandering around the shops but I do know if I want clothes I have a range of stores to choose from and if I want Primark I need to venture further out of the centre but within the centre there is H&M, M&S, Debenhams, Monsoon, Republic and many more. We also seem to have a plethora of card shops which never ceases to amaze me as you can buy cards from so many places and these shops are not cheap. The other shop that fascinates me is the Build-a Bear shop which sometimes has queues outside it. Considering we are supposed to be in a recession the jewellery shops including the rather pricey Pandora also seem to be busy most of the time. There have been quite a few shops that have closed down which may be a combination of high rents and the economic climate. We lost our Habitat fairly quickly and a few smaller non chain shops have gone which is always sad when something fails. The M&S has several sections and even though I think it is only spread over two floors its layout is so complicated that I tend to avoid going in there. They have all the usual clothes for all ages and quite a big food section but if I want some of their food I tend to go to the one in Ashbourne which is easier to navigate around and always has plenty of stock. Debenhams is equally complicated with inner escalators to different parts of the store. I hate shops that are not obviously laid out so that you end up walking miles to get to the part you want so this again, is a shop I tend to avoid unless I want something specific from them. The thing I do like about Debenhams is that it is a real Department store with lots of franchise stores within so you do get a good range if you can ever find the one you are looking for. One of my favourite shops for clothes is Monsoon but I do tend to wait for the sales as they are expensive. If I have a wedding or special occasion I head for Monsoon first but failing that I have to head out further afield to other shops usually outside the Westfield centre as many of the clothes shops inside cater for the younger generation with mini skirts and things that I would look pretty awful wearing. There are several shoe shops ranging from two Clarks shops through to shops with shoes like Irregular Choice and Eco and then we also had Shoe Zone and Diechmanns as well as shops like H&M and Debenhams who don't only sell shoes but do have a pretty good range of their own. The Boots in this centre is huge and I can't imagine there is anything sold in Boots that you wont be able to find in this one. I spend far too long in this shop. I have my eye tests done in the Opticians, I get my photos printed here sometimes,.You can get your medications dispensed or over the counter and of course there is a good range of baby clothes and toys and so much more. I could go on but I am going to write a separate review on the Food Court and There is little point in listing the shops one by one as that would be pint less and tedious for everyone concerned including me. We were told that this centre was supposed to be like Meadow Hall but in my view it falls way short of that. It is a pretty good shopping centre with plenty of parking though it is not cheap to park. There are several options for parking but I like the one below the original Eagle Centre as there is a bookcrossing point in the taxi waiting area where I pick up and leave my books so that one is always my first choice. Derby does have shops beyond this centre and there is a pretty good covered market attached to the shopping centre which sadly seems to be losing quite a few stalls recently which makes it less attractive. There is a great West Indian fruit and vegetable where I can reliably find ingredients for West Indian cooking from Salt fish, ackee,eddoes, chokoes, breadfruit and huge avocados through to, coconut milk and every sort of chilli from Bird's eye to Scotch bonnet s. Another favourite place is a Chinese massage and herbalist place where they do amazing facials at a reasonable price, A nail boutique and a cake decorating stall all of which offer something a bit different. A pet stall has a good range for all kinds of pets ,a card stall sells cards and party stuff at a lot less than the shops in the centre proper and finally a great fresh cheese stall where you can buy Derby Sage Cheese all year around and it is the only place I know where you can do that year round. Although it is lazy shopping all in one area it is mighty convenient and the only shop I tend to venture out of the centre for is Primark as almost everything else I can get under the roof . If I park in the car park near Matalan it costs £3.20 but if you spend £5 in the shops in that area then you get it back. Sometimes I do that and visit Matalan or B&M which are there but it is outside the main centre so you have to brave the elements for a short while which can put me off if it is raining heavily. Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same username. ©Catsholiday