“ Address: Glasgow Road / Gretna DG16 5GG / Scotland „
Gretna Gateway Outlet Village is located in the town of Gretna which is not to be confused with Gretna Green which is actually a seperate town albeit only a few hundred metres from Gretna.
Whereas Gretna Green is famous for weddings Gretna is now famous for having it's own designer outlet shopping centre.
Opened in 1999 the outlet village has steadily expanded to where there are now over 50 different stores with new one's popping up everytime I visit.
Finding the shopping village is easy as it is situated right next to the motorway and because it is so huge you would need to be blind to miss it. If coming on the motorway from either England or Scotland just take the turning to Gretna and follow the signs to the carpark.
The car park is huge and has hundreds of spaces so even on it's busiest day there should be plenty of spaces available. Parking is free at Gateway and there is no time limit on how long you can stay and there are loads of disabled spaces right next to the entrances.
I remember when Gateway first opened it was billed as being a designer dicount village and to begin with it did have a lot of designer stores there such as DKNY and Ralph Lauren but over the years most of the designer stores have dissapeared and it's become much more high street in the types of stores it has. For example there is an M&S outlet which anytime I have visited has always been the busiest store there.
Other famous stores include a Cadburys outlet, a Gap, Antler luggage, Claire's Accessories, Game, Hallmark, Reebok, Rockport and Edinburgh woolen mill. There are also loads of home stores selling bedding and home ware and quite a few sports shops and even jewellers. Including independent stores there should be something for everyone at Gateway but when it comes to clothes the shops are definately more skewed towards women than men with the majority of shops stocking only womens clothes.
When it comes to dicounts it really depends on the shop on how much you can save compared with on the high street. Some shops offer quite generous discounts whereas others are prety much the same as they would be anywhere else. The M&S is really good with everything being cheaper than it is in the Carlisle branch that is only 10 miles away.
I also bought an Antler bag there once which I got for about 50 per cent cheaper than I could find it online. The whittard shop is another good one for stocking up on mugs and kitchen things cheap.
When it comes to eating at Gateway there are quite a few options to choose from including a Costa coffee, Subway, O'briens and a Thorntons cafe. Most of them also have outdoor seating which is nice when the weather is good.
Walking around the outlet village is an enjoyable experience as it is designed really well and the management make sure it is kept spotlessly clean with plenty of litter bins around. There are also quite a few benches so that you can have a rest when shopping becomes too much.
For kids they have a play area and they also have plenty of toilets spaced around the village which are also spotlessly clean.
Gretna Gateway makes a nice day out and although the majority of the shops there aren't really to my taste for most people there should be enough choice to find something they want to buy.
Even when the tourist buses are in the car park the village never seems crowded and you never have to worry about there being too many people it becomes chlostrophobic as the village is laid out in a really spacious way.
For the disabled the village is laid out flat with no steps to worry about.
If you fancy going to Gretna Gateway then the opening hours are 10:00AM until 6:00PM 363 days a year inluding all sundays and bank holidays.
Gretna Gateway Outlet Village is a large retail park situated in the town of Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway. Just one minute from the M74/M6 (North or Southbound), It's a handy location to be aware of, not only for locals, but anyone who is travelling between England and Scotland.
~About Gretna Gateway~
Gretna Gateway was built in the 90's and then extended further a few years ago. Home to over 50 outlet stores, 5 cafes, outdoor and indoor Children's play areas, tourist information and extensive rest room facilities it's an ideal half day trip out or a superior alternative to a service station for travellers.
The Outlet Village has masses of free car parking, and even have overflow facilities should the large main car park be full (a likelihood on Bank Holiday weekends). There is also Coach parking facilities available.
The centre itself is uncovered, and being that it's in Scotland it can be very cold and become a bit of a wind tunnel! However on nicer days, it's really pleasant to visit, being very clean and well maintained with plenty of facilities for the whole family. On Bank Holiday weekends and weekends leading up to Christmas, free entertainment in the form of Brass Bands and Children's entertainers are often provided.
The whole centre is open from 10 AM until 6 PM 7 days a week and only closes on Christmas day and New years Day.
~ The Shops ~
Gretna Gateway offers the usual suspects found in an Outlet Village. A few examples are:
Lilly And Skinner
Prices candle makers
Car Phone Warehouse
A full list of stores can be found on the Gretna Gateway website, provided further in my review
There is a pretty good mix of stores here, and they are all very well cared for and provide excellent customer service. The bargain potential is hit and miss, while at least 30% discount has to be offered to trade at an outlet Village, some stores really do only have rubbish left, or very limited sizes.
My personal favourites are: Shoe shop Lilly And Skinner, Claire's Accessories (which stock the same as high street but with 30% discount!) and M&S (where the clothes are usually very limited on size, not my thing but the lingerie section is fantastic! I have picked up Bra and Knicker sets for under £3 here!)
Sadly, this Outlet Village lacks Next, and has no Children's wear retailers at all. Even M&S don't stock kids wear here. I wouldn't recommend you ditch the high street for this outlet village or come expecting massive bargains, but the stores are definitely worth a browse and you may just hit lucky.
~ Eating ~
There are 5 food establishments at Gretna Gateway. These are:
Costa, Subway and O'Brien are exactly as you would find them on the high street. There is limited indoor seating in these eateries, however there is a large outdoor eating area available to customers of all 3. Cafe Thorntons and Mathiesons are the more tradition Cafes you may expect. I'd recommend Thorntons, they do great Sarnies and the ice cream cones in a variety of flavours are delicious!
If none of these tickle your taste bud's, there are 3 good pub/bar restaurants all within 5 minutes walking distance of the free parking.
~ Kids Facilities ~
There is a free outdoor play area for children, which is extremely handy to know if your travelling with children and they have some energy to burn off! It's very well maintained, but aimed predominantly at under 7's.
Hyper Active is an indoor play area for children. it's not massive but it is pretty good for under 7's. It cost £3 for an hours play which is pretty usual for this kind of attraction. It has a seating area for parents and also provides refreshments. Children's parties can be booked here also, for any locals reading. It's very clean and the staff where very pleasant when we visited.
~ Other Facilities ~
Toilets: There are toilets situated at both ends of the Gateway Village, both having plenty of cubicles (in the ladies...I can't comment for the men's!) and disabled cubicles. the toilets are extremely clean and modern and well maintained.
Wheelchair Hire: Wheelchairs are available to hire from the Management Office. I don't know how much this costs or if it's refundable as I've never needed to make use of this facility
Cash Machines: There are 2 free cash machines at both ends of the gateway Village.
Tourist Information: The Tourist Information office is situated in the middle of the centre and can offer information on local attractions.
~ Overall ~
Gretna Gateway is a nice little shopping centre, that has great facilities but doesn't offer the range of stores you will find on the High Street. If you are local, then I would recommend this as an every now and then half day run out, but I doubt you would be able to make a whole day of it. Similarly I wouldn't advice anyone to travel great distances just to come here.
Who I really recommend this little gem too, is people travelling between Scotland and England. This is a far better stop off than a service station. You can eat, freshen up, and if your travelling with kids they can burn some energy in the play areas. It's clean, friendly, offers plenty of free parking and you may even pick up a bargain!
~ Detail's ~
For more information on stores, offers, facilities and directions visit www.gretnagateway.com