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MetroCentre (Gateshead)

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26 Reviews
  • free parking
  • Huge choice of shops and restaurants
  • Easy to get lost
  • Too big
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    26 Reviews
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      10.05.2015 20:47
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      • "free parking "
      • "big range of shops "

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      Lots to see and do

      I was born in 1986 in a town about 15 minutes drive away from the metro centre so have grown up with it as a part of my life.
      This may seem melodramatic but I have gone there not just for shopping but for birthday dinners, fun days out with friends, my first date with my husband was in a restaurant there and we used a florist for our wedding flowers too.

      So I suppose you could say that I have some emotional connections with this place which is a reason to love it. But aside from that, I do think that it is a great place even though I don't like shopping that much!
      Why?...
      -Free parking and public transport links right outside the doors.
      -There are lots of big name chain shops like TKMaxx and marks and spencers but also quirky smaller retailers like the florist I mentioned we use.
      -so many restaurants, if you can't find anything to eat in the metro centre then you must be the most picky person in the world!
      -It's user friendly, all the floors are flat and smooth for wheelchairs and pushchairs and there are lifts.
      It is a big shopping centre so it is easy to get lost if you're not used to it but there are maps everywhere and staff walking around you can ask.
      -There are general fun stuff like the 'metrognomes' which are the mascots. They sometimes make appearances around the centre and on a stage that is set up for things like fashion shows and plays.
      -Comfy seats throughout if you get sick of walking around
      -There's a cinema, bowling alley, and an arcade to keep the kids busy

      So, if you're in the north east region and want to have some indoor fun I definitely recommend you pay a visit.

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      03.04.2015 09:20
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      Advantages

      • "Cinema section"
      • "Indoors so it's warm"
      • "Huge choice of shops and restaurants"

      Disadvantages

      • "Easy to get lost"
      • "Too big"

      A Massive Mall In Gateshead!

      The Metrocentre is a shopping mall located in Gateshead near Newcastle Upon Tyne. I was just a kid when it first opened and it was a very exciting project for the region. The mall was originally very unique with a special atmosphere and odd little independent store that made visiting so interesting. However, over the years the centre has pretty much morphed into every other shopping mall in this country. The smaller shops have been wiped out and the corporate giants have moved in. Combined with an increasing amount of stores that have had to shut up shop due to going bust the Metrocentre no longer has the atmosphere or the style that it once had.

      My last visit was actually yesterday as I live only half an hour away. The transport links are pretty good with buses to Newcastle every ten minutes as well as trains and a huge car park. The centre is mapped into four main segments which are colour coded and the public transport links are found at the corner of the blue mall segment.

      The positive factors about the Metrocentre are the eating facilities here. There are just so many and so many different types of food to choose from. Smaller boutique style cafes rival the cafe chains like Pret A Manger whilst all of the major fast food outlets (Macdonalds, Burger King, Subway) are there but they are also rivaled by places like places like American style diners and casual restaurants. You'll also find specialist food places like Spud U Like, ice-cream parlours, pancake houses, exclusive tea and coffee vendors and more. It's an astonishing choice and these places offer a welcome break from shopping.

      The size of the Metrocentre is hard to describe! It's absolutely huge and walking is really exhausting. One of the biggest problems the centre has is that it lacks a decent mapping system. You can find the odd map on a plinth in the mall along with (very outdated) paper ones to take away but it's still hard to find your way around. I ended up walking around in a circle twice with my group yesterday! A small toy sized train which comes around picking up kids and parents is a good way of getting around.

      The boarded up empty shops do look horrible and it makes the mall seem soulless. Whilst the cinema segment in the yellow quarter feels like it's detached from the rest of the mall. The Village used to be a quaint little segment which felt like a Mediterranean dream but now it just feels overly modernized, lacking character or uniqueness. Overall most of the stores here can now be found on every high street and in every indoor mall in the country. There doesn't seem to be anything special to set it apart. However, it's still a good place to spend the day shopping, pampering yourself, going to the cinema or eating out.

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      21.10.2012 18:25
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      A brilliant shopping, leisure centre all rolled into one!

      The metro centre is literally about 50 minutes south from where I live and myself and all my family, if we need anything for holidays, christmas, birthdays, we always travel down to Newcastle and to the Metro Centre to do our shopping. With four main parking areas in the Red, Green, Yellow and Blue car parks, one of which is a multi-storey it has to be one of the easiest centres to find car parking spaces, apart from at christmas when it is a free-for-all. At christmas there are cars abandoned on the sides of the roads and on pavements. This happens to be the only downside to the Metro Centre, at christmas avoid it like the plague!

      Inside the metro centre you have four main quadrants which correspond to the different coloured car parks, my mum always parks outside marks and spencers as it is the most easily accessible and the easiest car park to exit back onto the A1, taking around 5 minutes max. Other areas in the Metro Centre include the village, which funnily enough is laid out like a village, it used to have a centre piece like a fountain in the middle but now it is only a walkway. This part of the metro centre used to have my favourite two shops in but now they have both closed down, old fizzywigs, selling old sweets and jelly belly jelly beans and wax lyrical which sold candles. When I found out these two shops had shut I was gutted, however the amount and choice of the other shops available make up for it no end.

      The shops which the metro centre offers spans from bridal boutiques, to your average high street shops such as HMV, from branded shops such as Levi Strauss to Gadget shops such as Hawkins Bazaar, from opticians to beauty salons, whisky shops to hairdressers. Many of the shops available are those which are able to be found on the high street plus many more. The metro centre itself encorporates many of the high streets in the UK, into one managable, easily accessible space. There are many seating areas, and information points which offer free maps incase you happen to become a bit lost, as the metro centre is very large. The maps are very helpful and list every shop in the metro centre on the back which is helpful to find the shop that you require.

      The metro centre offers many places where you can go and eat, from your average takeaway eateries such as McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, to your high street shops such as Greggs, Baguette Express, Subway and Spud U Like. The metro centre also offers a chinese buffet restaurant, an american diner called Big Lukes, which is a buffet type menu, with chicken, burgers, pizza, chips etc. It also has a weatherspoons where you can grab a drink or some food, like all weatherspoons it is reasonably priced. The metro centre also has many booths where you can buy food and drinks, such as millies cookies, smoothie shak, pretzls. It also offers restaurants such as Chiquto, Frankie and Bennys, Nandos, Pizza Express and Zizzis. The metro centre also has many small cafes and coffee shops where you can buy early morning coffees and pastries, light lunches such as sandwiches, jacket potatoes etc, these include Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Muffin Break.

      Other amenities that the Metro centre has to offer is an Odeon Imax Cinema, which boasts the newest Imax technology, which makes the resolution a lot clearer and the 3D stands out a lot more. The metro centre also has NAMCO Funscape, which consists of ten pin bowling, dodgems and soft play, it is has said to replaced the metroland mini theme park which was in existence since I was a child. It also has a William Hill bookmakers for if you fancy a little flutter on a saturday.

      The metro centre also boasts a retail park featuring large versions of many stores such as, CSL, Gala Bingo, JJB Sports, Next, Staples, Toys R Us, the retail park also has fast food restaurants such as Pizza Hut and McDonalds.

      So overall the metro centre provides a fun filled and entertaining day out, there is everything that you will ever need located under one building, and I can safely say that the christmas decorations which are put out in December are some of the best I have ever seen, every year there is a santas grotto erected in the centre of the shopping centre. You can walk through and look at all the scenery, one year they had little gnomes and there was fake snow, it was beautiful, you completely forgot you were in a shopping centre. The food outlets at the metro centre are also top class and are well worth a visit, I personally visit Big Lukes as it is a buffet and you can eat as much as you like for a set price which is always a bonus.

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      27.12.2011 20:05

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      now only 4 hours to park ticket if seconds over 4 hours cost £60.what i can not understand is in the front of marks spencer free allday but impossible to find a place.at the rear of marks spencer 4 hours to park.

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      08.09.2011 09:05
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      A great selection of shops

      Metro centre is about 45 minutes up the road from my house and so is a great place to go when we want to do some major shopping. The shopping centre is very easy to find the easiest way being to come off the A1 at Dunston follow the road and you come out straight opposite the green car park, the centre is very well sign posted too.

      The car parks and sections of the centre are split into four colours, red, yellow, blue and green and every couple of rows in each car park is numbered so it is easy to find your vehicle at the end of your shopping trip. There are multi-story car parks in each section as well as floor level parking complete with disable parking at the front, all parking is free all day.

      Through the week the centre opens from 10am - 9pm, on a Saturday the hours are 9am - 7pm, a Sunday is 11am - 5pm (some stores open at 10.30am for browsing) and bank holidays are 10am - 6pm. Metro centre operates a shop mobility scheme allowing wheelchairs to be hired for a £10 returnable deposit and scooters for £2 per day once you have paid an annual fee of £3, I think this is a brilliant idea as my Mam has had two knee replacements and will no longer go to places like this as she can't walk far enough but this makes sure she doesn't have to miss out.

      This shopping centre has really thought of everything to make your day enjoyable, you can hire buggies, boobaloos and lockers, you can get free child wristbands which holds a mobile number in case your child gets lost and there is even a changing room with a hoist and shower. I feel confident that all my needs are catered for by visiting the centre and that myself and my family are safe although the buggy cars can be a bit of a pain when the centre is busy.
      Inside Metro centre there are numerous places to eat and although not the cheapest place there is lots of choice and they cater to every budget. There are 25 restaurants such as Frankie and Benny's, food on the go such as Mcdonalds and plenty of cafes such as Costa and Starbucks. We ate at Spur steak and grill last time we went and we weren't too happy with the food, the steaks were very fatty and our drinks were watery. When we complained we had our steaks refunded, our drinks replaced, free desserts and a coupon for 50% off on our next visit, I would happily give this company a second chance as you could tell they really cared that we weren't happy and other peoples food looked great.

      Metro centre has an upstairs and downstairs and it is set out in a square with a walkway through the middle of it. Each side of the square is a different colour and the grey section runs through the middle, there are escalators and lifts in every corner of the square aswell as extra escalators along the way. There are plenty of toilets and you are never more than a few minutes from one which is great when you have young children and makes you confident you can visit with newly potty trained children. The toilets have always been clean and tidy and there is plenty of space, the baby changing is accessible with a buggy and also always been found to be clean by my family.
      Dotted around the centre you find large boards displaying a huge map and pointing out where you are at any given point, this makes it easy to find the shops you really want to visit and make the maps are very easy to read.

      There are many shops of all types, you have phone and gadget shops, childrens shops, clothes shops and so much more, just about any store you can think of is there. One of my favourite shops is the build a bear shop and I had a lot of fun building my own special Tiger off my Mam for my 21st birthday.
      I really enjoy shopping in Metro centre and it really does have loads of choice although I would say it is quite stressful on a weekend near to Christmas so this is one time I do try to avoid. The centre is friendly to disabled people and children and set out in such a way that there is plenty of room for wheelchairs and buggies - highly recommended shopping centre.

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        15.04.2010 08:45

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        Iam just 5 km from it, Beautiful place for shopping but is also easily reachable by bus and train with frequent service to pretty much the whole north-east! There was car parking with lots of space, this place was so much busy at the time chirstmas and New Year! The centre itself is spread over two floors, and is easy to navigate thanks to coloured zones and many information points with interactive maps. The choice of shops under one roof is amazing. Nice Place for lots of shopping.........................

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        15.02.2010 15:19
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        Worth a visit

        As a resident of Newcastle Upon Tyne, I often travel to the Metrocentre shopping centre in Gateshead to do my shopping. I prefer going to the Metrocentre as opposed to Newcastle city centre because there are more than 300 shops under one (big) roof. Furthermore it is is free to park which is a big bonus.

        Location
        *************
        There are various ways to get to the metro centre, but I always travel by car as it is the most convenient for me. The metro centre is a few miles from Newcastle, in Gateshead. You can access it via the A1 and it is easy to find due to good signposting. There are approximately 8 large car parks which includes multistories, and aside from busy periods such as Christmas, you should be able to find a space quite easily.

        It is also possible to get to the metro centre via public transport. From Newcastle Central station, there are regular trains to and from the metro centre. There is also a large bus station at the metro centre.

        Shopping
        *********
        As mentioned there are more than 300 shops - everything from clothes shops, furniture stores, food shopping (Marks and Spencers) to DIY and Gadgets. There are 4 seperate coloured quadrants and fixed maps are available to help you find your way around. The metro centre is split into different 4 malls, each with a different colour. Popular stores include, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Oasis, Warehous, Poundland, Marks and Spencers, Next, and many many more. Information points are available if you need assistance.

        Food and Drink
        *************
        There are over 50 restaurants in the metro centre. A new foodcourt has recently opened and this combined with the 'Medditeranian village' provide a large variety of interesting and unusual restaurants. There are also numerous fast food restaurants. You really will find something to tickle your fancy.

        Entertainment.
        *************
        Until recently, there was a Metroland at the metrocentre, which was a small amusment park. Sadly this has now closed, although in it's place has opened a large IMAX cinema, with 3D available. This is expensive, but makes for an exciting cinema experience. Its worth a visit. I am aware that a gym may be being built within the metro centre.

        The metro centre has convenient opening times

        Monday - Friday 10am to 9pm
        Saturday 9am to 7pm
        Sunday 11am to 5pm
        Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm

        Visit www.metrocentre.uk.com/ for more information.

        My opinion
        *******
        The metrocentre is well worth a visit. You can avoid the rain, get free parking and have access to a variety of shops. It can get busy at times, but there are also plenty of restaurants if you need to unwind.

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          22.10.2009 17:05
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          Shopping Heaven

          The Metro Centre is the largest indoor shopping centre in the European Union. The centre has been open for 23 years and spans 1.818 million square feet. With over 10,000 parking spaces, directly situated off the A1, with regular shuttle buses from Newcastle and Gateshead, and a train station linking to Newcastle Central; it is the number one choice for shopping in the North.

          The shopping centre has four interjoining areas / malls, red, green, yellow and blue. It also has themed areas including the Village and the Food court. A little known fact is that the centre's original construction was funded by the Church of England, reflected by the Chapel and full-time Chaplain located in the superstore. Until 2008 the centre boasted Metroland indoor theme park, the largest of it's type in Europe. Metroland closed despite petitions and complaints from local residents, and made way for the indoor leisure facilities within the Yellow Mall, including various eateries, a cinema multiplex, bowling alley, etc. In 2007 the Metro Centre purchased the adjacent Retail Park for £82.5 million and rebranded this as Metro Retail Park. Here you will find a Marriott hotel, Ikea, Asda, Barker and Stonehouse and various other superstores.

          The centre opens Monday - Friday 10am to 9pm, Saturday 9am to 7pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm and Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm. For Christmas, it extends it's weekday opening times by 1 hour until 10pm. As with most retailers the centre closes only Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

          If you follow this link you will find a full layout of the store, the shops and the quadrants: http://www.metrocentre.uk.com/sitefiles/Metrocentre%20Shopfinder%202009.pdf

          However, as a brief overview you will find most ladies and mens fashion clothing / shoe retailers within the Red Mall, spilling over in to the adjacent Blue and Green Malls. Debenhams is located in the Red Mall, Marks and Spencers and House of Fraser in the Green Mall. Leisure facilities in the Yellow Mall, BHS, Boots, Banks all in the Green Mall. The Central Mall has a few shops, but it quite often has shows and demonstrations, Santa Claus and kids entertainment situated there.

          Within all of the 'streets' in the Metro Centre you will find 'Street / Market' vendors, who's wares range from Cookies and Sweets to Jewellery and Hats, they are usually seasonal, and a firm favourite of mine is the Chocolate Fountain!

          Their website is very useful, it includes details of promotions and events and also links to Student Discounts available throughout the whole centre. Metro Centre offers a personal shopper service, which is absolutely invaluable, I have taken advantage of this several times, you just need to call 07826 263 741 to pre-arrange a free 1 hour consultation with one of the girls.

          I would recommend spending a full day there, after all there are pubs, numerous restaurants, things to do with the family, plus all the shops you could ever need! For your convenience, the car parks are colour co-ordinated too, so you wont have to search 10,000 spaces to find your car.

          There are good disabled access facilities, including lifts, escalators, a shop mobility centre with free wheelchair hire. There are also parking spaces allocated for blue badge holders. There are plenty of cash machines, public toilets, and baby change facilities, so it makes shopping easier. You are guaranteed to enjoy your visit if you love to shop, and even more so if you don't because there is so much to see and do. It's awesome!

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            24.08.2009 18:11
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            The best shopping in the north!

            This is true shopping paradise! I live in Sunderland so the Metro Centre is about 15-20 minutes by car, but is also easily reachable by bus and train with frequent service to pretty much the whole north-east! There is ample parking and I have never not been able to fine a space - even in the week before Christmas when the place is ridiculously busy!

            The centre itself is spread over two floors, and is easy to navigate thanks to coloured zones and many information points with interactive maps. The choice of shops under one roof is amazing, and is by far the best in the north east. In fact having been to other major northern shopping centres such as Meadow Hall and the Trafford Centre the Metro Centre is the best of the bunch. The usual chain shops are all to be found here - Topshop, Debenhams etc but there are also some more idependent places - though sadly more of these seem to be closing every time I visit. Think it must be the high rent.

            The leisure aspect of the Metro Centre is what makes it such a brilliant place, as it houses a cinema and excellent choice of places to eat all under the same roof as the shops. The choice of restaurants is excellent, with 2 Nando's, Pizza Hut, Frankie and Benny's, Wetherspoons, McDonalds and absolutley loads more.

            Also, the development of the place never seems to stop. The Red mall reopened a few years ago and is by far currently the nicest area of the centre as it is more open than the rest of the centre. The new Qube area looks promising with a YoSushi!, Red House, Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny's and Nando's already opened and more to come. The iMax cinema will also be a great addition.

            The only complaint I would have about the metro Centre is it can be extremely stuffy in summer - maybe the air contitioning could be a bit more efficient!

            All in all a brilliant place to shop and spend your weekend!

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            23.06.2009 20:33
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            Great facilities!!

            As I live just ten minutes away, I spend a lot of time in The Metro Centre on my days off from work. The Metro Centre is a large shopping Centre located in Gateshead.

            I remember when it first opened I thought that the new shopping Centre was huge! Now it doesn't seem quite so big to me - but that might be because I am so used to it.

            The centre itself is spread over two floors with eight (I think:)) car parks. It is excellent for shopping although you won't find many unique little stores - it's mostly big name high street stores. Some examples of these big stores are : House of Fraser, Topshop, New Look, Sports World, Dorothy Perkins, Mothercare, Boots, Lush, River Island etc and many more.
            I don't know the exact number of shops in the Metro Centre, but I would estimate it to be at least 300.

            As well as shopping here, you can also eat at numerous restaurants - from the likes of Macdonalds - to Tapas - Indians - Sushi - Mexican - Nandos - and loads more. There is even a special section devoted just to eateries.
            We sometimes come here on an evening for a nice meal as the Centre is open until Ten pm so we can eat and stay for a few drinks also.

            There is also an Odeon cinema in the centre showing all the latest movies so you can also come here on a day or night out without having to brave the traffic into town.

            At the moment there are refurbishments going on, which have unfortunatly done away with Metro Land - an indoor fairground and Amusements.
            When the refurb is complete, the centre will hold a bigger cinema, lots of new restaurants, and a soft play and kiddy friendly area. This will be fantastic as it will be somewhere new to bring my baby boy.

            I am impressed with the Metro Centre's choice of shops and restaurants, and am looking forward to the redevelopment being completed.
            It is also always lovely and clean, with great baby changing facilities for those of you with little ones.
            Come and have a look if you haven't done so already!!

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            19.06.2009 20:41

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            Go, shop, dine, enjoy.

            The Metrocentre, as the name would lead you to believe, isn't located on the metroline. However, it's on the motorway with parking is free, the train line, and a million bus routes, it would be more difficult not getting there.

            Inside you get all the usual high street things, and a bunch of more interesting ones. Things like a jellybean shop, and a shop that sells paper. Not you ever really need an entire shop of paper. It's just nice to know one's there if you ever do. There's plenty of smaller more independant places dotted around.

            Entertainment wise it's rather good, the cinema is pretty large and is surrounded by eateries and similar thing. There are restaurants in various places and offer quite a wide range of choices, the Mediteranian Village in particular has quite a few restuarants. You also get the usual McDonalds, Burger King... etc.

            The layout is pretty straight forward and there are maps and screens all over the place if you do manage to get lost. There isn't really anything left to say about the place. It's worth a vist, especially if the weather is bad and you want to shop in doors. Hell, it's probably worth a visit anyway.

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            17.06.2009 08:35
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            Choose your time carefully and you'll have a great visit

            The Metrocentre is great for a number of reasons:

            It's handily located just of the A1 motorway south of Newcastle. It has a variety of shops both in the centre itself and in the retail park. It is suitable for shopping, dining and entertainment. There is also free parking.

            The reasons I visit are to go to IKEA, a great furniture and homeware store, the one at Gateshead Metro Centre is large. I also love the restaurants at the MetroCentre. Flatbread Cafe is a hidden gem in the 'Studio' areas of the shopping centre, it is a fantastic restaurant serving small dishes from around the world with large lebanese flatbread, which you are encouraged to share and eat with your hands. The cinema is handily located and is great to visit in winter as you can twin this with a meal at one one of the restaurants without feeling the cold outside. Shakeaholic is also a new addition in the shopping centre, where you can get almost anything made into a milkshake, yum!
            There are also some unique shops and you can find virtually anything there. Primark has a particularly large store as well. There are also facilities for children, such as special trollies to keep them entertained, disabled facilities such as wheelchair hire and special assistance. Another great feature is that you can book a personal shopping experience for an hour for free.Opening hours go until 9pm on weekdays which is great if you only have evenings free.

            The bad points are that it gets horrifically busy at certain points - DO NOT leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute. On one occasion last year it took me 35 minutes just to get from the multistory car park back to the motorway which is normally a 2-3 min journey. Also the store can be hard to navigate around, though this can be counteracted by using the new electronic displays which show you exactly how to get to your required store. There is a lot of building work that finally seems to be coming to an end, but was quite a disruption before.

            Overall, it's definetely worth a visit though choose your time carefully!

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            02.04.2009 19:05
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            Great day out

            The Metro Centre is a great place to go for a day out. You have everything you could possibly want under one roof.
            The opening hours are: Monday - Friday 10am - 9pm, Satarday - 9am - 7pm, Sunday - 11am - 5pm, Bank holidays - 10am - 6pm.

            Metro Centre is not far from the A1 and can be reached by car, taxi, bus and train.

            Some of the shops there include: Debenhams, H&M, New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Next, Mothercare, Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4 U, Barratts, Clarks, Clinton Cards, House Of Fraser, Argos, BHS, Superdrug, Primark, Boots and far too many more to name.
            The wide range of shops cater to all budgets.

            There is also a wide range of Family Entertainment and Leisure facilities available including: Odeon Cinema, Bowling, Childrens Soft Play Area and many more.

            At christmas time Santa is there and there is a beautiful display to take the children to.

            There are a number of different cafe's, bars and restaurants which also cater for all budgets.

            There are differnt parts of the centre which are clearly marked by different colours which will limit your chance of getting lost. Various carparks are also available.

            Just incase you didn't find everything you were looking for while you were inside the centre, why not visit the retail park outside. This includes DFS, Toys R Us and many other shops and restaurants.

            A great day out for all the family and all indoors so you can go along in all weathers

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            05.02.2009 23:33
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            I would not be without this place!

            Firstly I apologise for the length this review is probably going to end up being. How many words does it take to say everything I can about the Metrocentre? Well given that is could probably officially be classed as my second home and pre-baby you were more likely to find me there than anywhere else, I think I am very well qualified to write this.

            The Metrocentre is located in Gateshead, which is south of the river Tyne. Now I believe these days the council is promoting it as Newcastle-Gateshead (they certainly were when bidding unsuccessfully to be named Capital of Culture) but let me tell you they are two VERY different places. Newcastle - trendy, urban city....Gateshead - rough and not in any way interesting unless you count the monstrosity that is the Angel of the North. Put it this way, booking a romantic weekend away in Gateshead would be grounds for divorce, whereas in Newcastle you'd be almost guaranteed a good weekend. So if you are planning a trip that involves staying over STAY IN NEWCASTLE. Buses run from the centre of town to the Metrocentre numerous times an hour, or it will take about 15 minutes (maximum) in the car.

            The Metrocentre is located just off the A1 motorway. It has more than ample parking which is all free. There are 2 multi-storey car parks but the majority are just open air which are far more accessible for the shops. My bugbear is that there are no parent and child places so often I struggle to open the car door wide enough to get the car seat out, but that is just a minor gripe. Loads of disabled spaces though if you need them.

            There is a Marriott hotel next to the Metrocentre which is popular for weddings and is apparently lovely inside (but hideous from the outside). There is also a retail park next door to the shopping centre (not to be confused with the bigger and better Team Valley Retail Park 5 minutes south on the A1).

            There used to be an indoor theme park (very small, more like a fairground) in the centre, called Metroland, but this has now been closed down. I believe the bowling alley and Quasar Lasar are still open though, and there is an Odeon Cinema as well as umpteen resuatrants, cafes and a couple of bars (including Wetherspoons). There are also 3 McDonalds restaurants if that is more your cup of tea and a smoothie and juice bar too.

            The list of shops is almost endless, but I will give a few examples: M&S, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Schuh, River Island, Faith, Dune, Mothercare, Primark, Jane Norman, Principles, Dorothy Perkins, Topman, Topshop, New Look, Oasis, Warehouse, The Disney Store, Next....

            The full list of stores can be found at www.metrocentre.uk.com.

            Shops are open 10am-9pm Monday to Friday, 9-7 Saturday and 11-5 Sunday. They open until 10pm in the lead up to Christmas.

            The shopping centre itself (with the exception of the new Red Mall) does look a bit dated. It is completely surpassed by Manchester's Trafford Centre in terms of style and design but you cannot beat it for size and range of shops. The only think it lacks are the expensive designer shops (such as Molton Brown and Space NK that the Trafford has) but this is more a sign of the north east not having the demand than a flaw of the shopping centre - we do not have shops like this in the city centre either and it's not like they are everyday shops anyway.

            The layout is fairly simple with different sections called different coloured 'Malls'. There are plenty of interactive maps in the centre itself to help you locate specific shops.

            There is an offshoot called the Mediterranean Village with nice Italian restaurants and other places to eat which is very nice for a more expensive lunch, or the food court if you're after a cheap bite to eat.

            There are also market-type stalls in the walkways selling anything from hair stylers to warming gel pads but the sellers are often really irritating at abushing you on the way past with 'Can I ask you a quick question?' which reminds me of our holiday to Egypt when this is how they attempted to entice you into their shops....Very irritating.

            There are Baskin Robbins and Millies Cookies counters at various points throught the malls as well which is great if you fancy a yummy treat whilst indulging in some retail therapy.

            My only real bugbear with the Metrocentre is that lifts are a bit too spaced out for my liking, which is annoying if you know exactly which shop you need to get to but have to take a massive detour to find a lift and get to the first floor to access it. Also, a couple of the toilets closed a few years book again making too large an interval between the remaining ones. They have also not taken down the signs to where the toilets used to be so people unfamiliar with this will end up on a wild goose chase (or should that be toilet chase?!).

            Transport links are not great either unless you go into Newcastle or Gateshead and go from there. We have a Metro line (under/over ground train) yet it does not run to the METROCentre...I alway did find that odd. So I live a 20 minute drive away but by public transport it would take about 1.5 hours. There is a huge bus station at the Metrocentre, but most buses come from either the immediate Gateshead area or the centre of Newcastle. It should be a bit more accessible by public transport I think.

            However, all in all then Metrocentre is a fantastic indoor shopping centre. I was at the Trafford Centre last week and while it looks way more modern, it cannot compare with the sheer range of shops available at the Metrocentre. It is a winner on all fronts!

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            05.12.2008 19:27
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            go on you know you want to.

            I have recently come back from the Metro Centre in Gateshead and wanted to tell you how good it was.

            -----What is it?-----

            The Metro Centre is a large complex that has at least 330 shops in total. There are 5 sections that the shops are situated in; these are red, green, yellow, blue, and the central mall. There is no rhyme or reason for them being like this and there is nothing that would indicate all of the shops of the same nature are together, they are just all scattered around.

            -----Where is it-----

            The Metro Centre is 3 miles south west of Newcastle upon Tyne on the A1 which is West of Gateshead.

            -----Opening times-----

            The Metro Centre opens from 10AM to 10PM daily, except from holidays like Christmas day and New Year's Day. But with this said each individual shop may not open and close at these times, they may have there own independent opening times.

            -----How to get there-----

            There is a lot of different ways to get to the Metro Centre, we travelled by car, but you can also travel by bus and train.

            *****Bus*****
            The Metro Centre has its own dedicated public transport interchange, and over 100 buses per hour arrive at this interchange. The X66 Centrelink operates every 7-8 minutes during the day, every 10 minutes during the weekday evenings and every 15 minutes for weekend evenings. The Metro Centre is only 10 minutes away if you use this service.

            There is also the Metro Centre shuttle 100 which brings you from the heart of Newcastle in just 15 minutes. The service runs every 7 minutes during the day, every 12 minutes during the evening and on Sundays from Newcastle Monument and Central station.

            *****Train*****
            The Metro Centre is on the national rail network and actually has its own train station.
            It is a 7 minute journey from Newcastle Central Station and has trains during the day every 15 minutes, but they are less frequent during evenings and on Sundays.

            -----The shops-----

            There are over 330 shops in total, and I wont list them all, that would take too long and I don't think that I can remember them all anyway. Some of the shops that I remember are listed below:

            Build-a-bear
            HMV
            Superdrug
            Boots
            Woolworths
            Ann Harvey
            Ann summers
            La Senza

            -----Car parking-----

            There are almost 10,000 free parking spaces at the Metro and I have always found that the spaces are mostly full when you go but, that said I have always managed to find a space. The car parks are also colour coded to make this easier to find where you have parked the car after all of that wandering around it is easy to get lost.

            -----Other Services-----

            Dentist - there is a dentist that is also located in side the Metro centre.
            Car valets- you have the option to have your car valeted when you are in shopping, this takes place in the multi storey car parks.
            Restaurants - there are also over 50 restaurants available, so there is plenty of choice.

            -----Contact them-----

            Postal Address:

            Centre Management Offices
            Metro Centre
            Gateshead
            Tyne and Wear
            NE11 9YG

            Email: metrocentre-information@capshop.co.uk

            Metro Centre Information Line:
            0191 493 0219 or 0191 460 5299

            -----My opinion-----

            I have been to the Metro Centre a total of 4 times now and each time I go I am never disappointed. I always find that I get really disorientated when I am in there, I can never remember when I am, or which malls are where from there, the good advantage is that there is a lot of sign posts in there and there are also lots of information points that allow you to have a look at where you are and also how to find specific shops that you are after. I found my self using this all the time as I never knew where I was! There is also something for everyone. At the moment the Metro is getting done up in certain parts of the yellow mall, they are upgrading the cinema and also changing the look of the yellow mall.

            I also like the fact that there are a lot of hotels that are near the Metro Centre, I have stayed in a few of the hotels near there, but the best one that I have stayed in was the Premier Inn, it is only about 5 minutes drive from the metro and is a really nice hotel, and the prices are really reasonable too.

            I try to get down to the Metro Centre at least once a year now, as I really like going shopping there. I normally try to get down at Christmas time as I am always looking for things to get and I find a lot of things that are different, and I am able to get them all in the one day if I want to, but normally I spend two days there, as its too big to get round it all in a day.

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