“ Address: Kimberley Way / Ashford / Kent / TN24 0SD / England „
The McArther Glen Ashford Outlet is located near to Ashford Town Centre and there is a free shuttle bus that runs between the town centre and the shopping outlet. The shopping outlet is also within walking distance the Ashford International Train Station.
If you are driving, the outlet is a few minutes off Junction 10 of the M20 motorway.
Design Of The Outlet
The outlet is constucted from high tension steel with a canopy above which runs throughout the perimiter of the site. There is a large car park in the centre of the outlet with the shops creating a circe surrounding this.
At the entrance to the outlet there is a large wooden pedestrian footbridge which leads to shops either side. There are toilets at the halfway point of each site and there is another set of toilets in the 'Food Court which is located at the far end of the outlet.
The Food Court consists of a variety of food outlets such as McDonalds and Spud U Like as well as a tradtional fish and chip shop. There are two snack type places where you can get cokkies, muffins, browie, ice cream and milkshakes. Just outside the Food Court, there is a large childrens play area which includes a large climbing frame as well as slides and tunnels.
There is a large car park which is located in the middle of the shopping centre with the shops being designed around it. The car park does charge a small fee for parking which is about 50p for 2 hours, £1 for 2-4 hours and so on. Parking used to be free but unfortunately, people took advantage of this and used to park their cars here while at work all day s charges have now been put in place to reduce this.
There are many desinger shops here but despite its name, there are actually high street shops such as Marks and Spencer and Acesorize.
There are over 80 shops here which range from perfume shops, clothes stores, homeware stores and toy stores with many more inbetween. The shops are semi-enclosed as there is a large over head canopy but as it is not fully enclosed, it can occasionally get a bit chilly.
As well as the designer shops high street brands like Next, Marks and Spencers.
Personally, I think that some of the shops here are a little overpriced although I have never really been into designer items anyway. The reason I like visiting the Ashford Outlet, is that there are certain shops that always seem to have massive sales on where you can buy named items at silly prices. For example, this weekend, myself and my boyfriend went shopping and found Lee Cooper had a sale on where T shirts were only £8 and you could get two winter jumpers for £15.
There are many other shops which seem to have constant sales and these include Levi, Reebok and Donnay just to name a few.
For shopping needs, the Ashford outlet does provide a wide range of shops with most items covered. The shopping environment is spacious and fairly relaxed with coffee shops dotted around the site, and the Food Court at the far end for you to relax and enjoy something to eat.
This had to be one of the most depressing shopping experiences I have ever been on.
I Know Outlet centres are always different to say a large under cover shopping centre but this is classed as a 'Designer Outlet' ,so that gives you an impression that it maybe a step up from the usual out of town centre.
Depending which way you enter Ashford you may have to struggle with the road layout , I did , so was glad to arrive and park my car, recently they have started charging £1 to park for 4 hours , ok its not much but why? I was told it was to do with being near the International Station and to stop people leaving a car all day?
But before I had even parked my car properly I was surrounded by two Car wash people waving a filthy looking shammy at me and spluttering something in broken english, I hadnt even gone to the machine and put my pound in yet.. then when i did so and came back to my car another one ran towards me waving the said shammy again . . this really does not give the impression of anything being designer so far..
Well to cut a long review short... If you are prepared to walk in a very drafty open air shopping parade ...eat junk like Mcdonalds and KFC , there really wasnt much choice..shop in so called designer shops where 50% of the customers speak as good english as the people employed to wash the cars.. (it seemed to be a haven for young eastern europeans to kit them selfs out in cheap Ralph lauren as soon as they arrive in Dover )..Then this is the place for you . I'd prefer Blue Water thankyou...where the parking is free and its under cover!
I haven't been to the Ashford Designer Outlet in years but over the Easter weekend, we thought we'd take a trip there for a change. The outlet is just outside of Ashford town centre, which is about an hour's drive from Central London, so not at all difficult to get to for any southerners.
The outlet is huge and you can't miss it as it's covered by what looks like a big circus top around the outside, similar to the Millennium Dome roof. Inside, the car park takes up all the space in the middle and is surrounded by a huge circle of shops. I was pleased to find that the car park only cost £1 for up to 4 hours of parking which I thought was good value for a place like this.
The shops are all designer shops and the majority are fashion but also sports and outdoor, bags and accessories, jewellery, and home and gifts. Some of the brands sold here are Gap, Ben Sherman, Levi's, Next, Ted Baker, Fred Perry, Ralph Lauren, Marks & Spencer, Fat Face, Tommy Hilfigure, Whittard, Adidas, Lacoste, Nike Factory, Ripcurl, plus many others but far too many to list here!
The outlet wasn't quite as good as I remembered it being and there weren't that many shops that really took my fancy. The outlet is supposed to be a place to pick up good quality designer goods at discounted prices but to be honest I didn't really see very much that was either in a sale or at reduced and affordable prices. I'm always very careful with money but my husband often likes to buy things for himself but even he came away without buying anything so it wasn't a very successful shopping trip.
For the children, who may easily get bored with shopping, there's a play area towards the far end of the outlet with swings and slides. Behind the play area there's the food court where either the men can wait while the ladies shop or just to take a break during the shopping. You can choose from McDonalds, Caffe Nero, Harry Ramsden's, Millie's Cookies or Spud U Like. Admittedly, there's not a huge range of food places to choose from, but you get a choice of hot or cold food, savoury or sweet, so there should be something there to tempt you.
Overall, I wasn't impressed with the outlet and unless you can afford to spend your money on lots of designer clothes, then it's probably not for you. I definitely won't be going back there any time soon but will be sticking to Primark, Matalan and New Look instead!
I have been going here for a couple of years now. I first heard about if from my brother who also goes there. When I looked it up online I liked that it had a very good range of different types of shops, not juts clothing like some of these outlet places have.
Whenever I go there I just love shopping there. They are open until 8pm everday monday to friday which makes it easier to use and get it to in time.
What I like so much about it here is that it is all open plan. It isn't a shopping centre. It is set in a circular shape with the car park in the middle. It is open air, which is very nice in the summer. I sometimes don't want to go to shopping centres because I feel like once you go in, that's it your there. At Ashford it doesn't feel at all like that and you can easily get to wherever you want to go. Having the shops ina circle around the car park means you can either just go to the shops you want or look around everything. It also means that if going around the whole place, you wont miss a shop. I have a back problem and can't always walk very far so it's great for me as I only have to walk if I can that day.
There are a couple of coffee shops dotted around and a great food court where they have a McDonalds, Harry Ramsdons and a spud-u-like. There are cash points, toilets and an information desk also located in the food court. There are also toilets, drink and snack machines and changes machines dotted around the shops.
There is a wide range of shops around the centre including Tula, Marks and Spencer, The works and Clarks. As an outlet centre you normally get quite good savings. The savings differ from store to store and can be anything from a 5% to 75% discount.
New customers registering online can save a further 10% at most stores through their welcome email. Just print the email they send you and take it to the information desk. They then give you a card for that day to use in most of the stores. Beware though, you can only use once it each shop and some of the stores don't acept it. A great way to save a bit more though.
I have been to the Ashford Retail outlet centre three times now, each time I have found the prices good and came back with some great bargains. I actually went today which inspired my review.
The centre is around an hour drive for me, you can access it by bus or train but I find it easier to just jump in the car and drive there.
The shops are all located outside in one big circle, you wont get wet in the bad weather though as they are all covered with a decent amount of rood. There is also a Mcdonalds, Harry Ramsden, Spud u like and millies cookies, so you wont find yourself going hungry halfway through your shopping.
I have never had a problem parking as the location has a lot of spaces, you have to pay though and the charge is £1.00 for 0-4 hours and £10.00 for anything over this. So don't stay too long. I would say that if you go over to the outlet as a couple, look at several of the shops and have something to eat, you still won't be there over 4 hours. Still just keep in mind to have an eye on your watch though just to make sure.
I find the bargains very good and in my experience have found the discount to be around 20-30%, this is very good considering most of it is designer. I go there to shop mainly just for lacoste and fred perry, today a managed to pick up the following bargains:
Lacoste t-shirt - was £50.00, now £12.00. Saving £38.00
Lacoste t-shirt - was £41.00, now £22.00. Saving £19.00
Fred Perry polo shirt - was £55.00, now £35.00. Saving £20.00
Overall I saved around £77.00, with a total spend of £69.00. So you can see that the savings are great, I did have to use £10.00 petrol to get there but I found it worth the cash.
The centre is open until 8pm on a weekday so you could also pop there after work. Overall I love the centre and would recommend you check their webpage to see if the stores are ones that you normally like.
The McArthur Glen Designer Outlet is in Ashford behind Ashford International Train Station. The location is easy to get to by car, train or bus, with access from the M20 as well as being within walking distance from the town or train station.
The walkway between each shop is outside, however it is under cover offering protection from the rain.
Due to the close proximity to the town there is a charge for parking in the ample car park. The cost is £1 for 1 to 4 hours or £10 for over 4 hours.
There are plenty of shops in the complex, offering something for most people. Many of the stores have a limited range and offer limited sizes, which I understand is more than likely due to the fact that it is an outlet. I visited the outlet today and noticed that a lot of the items on sale in a number of stores was exactly the same as the stock that was on sale in June, the last time I visited.
There are a few bargains to be had, particularly if you purchase a lot of sportwear, mountain-ware or sailing-ware, however you need to be prepared to hunt for them. Many of the stores are overstocked and cramped meaning that it can be difficult to browse.
There is a variety of stores and I would recommend going if you have something specific to buy in a specific shop, in that case you may find it cheaper than in a regular store.
There is a food court offering fast food and snacks. In the main complex there are two coffee shops on opposite sides of the complex.
Outside of the food court there is a play area, which according to the website is safety approved. At weekends or during school holidays there are often other activities (eg. face painting, bouncy castles) to keep children entertained.
If you do go, make sure that you pay a visit to the information centre in the food court and ask for a discount card. They are given for a number of reasons based on where you work or live.