Newest Review: ... and of course lots of dressed up Northeners. Apparently, The Trafford Centre also has £5.8 million of marble and granite flooring. The mar... more
IS THE T.C THE TOP FOR SHOPPING AND FUN?
Trafford Centre (Manchester)
Member Name: saramac
Trafford Centre (Manchester)
Date: 29/07/09, updated on 29/07/09 (111 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent choice of shops, restaurants and cinema and crazy golf available.
Disadvantages: Too many people and traffic can cause chaos.
I am lucky enough to live about 5 minutes drive from the Trafford Centre, which suits me fine because it means I can "nip" there in the evening for a coffee and a chat with a friend.
Also I don't have to travel far for a generous selection of shops.
The Trafford Centre~
It was built by Bovis Lend Lease , owned by Peel Holdings and opened its doors on~Sept 10th 1998.
We all thought it was never going to be built, the planning process was one of the longest and expensive in the history of the UK and was eventually decided by the House Of Lords.
Even though it was built on marshland called Dumplington, there was alot of opposition to it (don't really know why).
Infact theres still a row of houses to the side of it boarded up with just the end one still occupied it does create quite an eyesore.
With 30 million plus visitors annually and all the jobs its generated and subsequent business that have been built around it I can't see anyone complaining now~
JJB~ sports facility (play football etc)
Indoor Ski place
Driving Range for golf.
What was waste land has been transformed into a thriving community.
How to get there~
Its located between junctions 9 and 10 on the M60.
Theres a good bus service that runs to it.
Hopefully one day our tram service may extend to it, we were promised this but it was deemed too expensive at the time.
10,000 free parking spaces for cars and every car that enters is logged on the "number plate recognition system" therefore stolen, untaxed etc cars can be identified.
Split into 4 main areas over 2 floors its designed to make people enter both upper and lower levels from the car parks.
Approx 280 stores and services.
The design was originally Selfridges in the middle on 2 floors with Debenhams on 1 end, again 2 floors and Marks & Spensers on the other end over 2 floors.
At the last minute M & S pulled out ~its said they thought it was going to be something of a "white elephant"~ how wrong could they be?
The area designated for M & S became The Festival Village with all market stalls until John Lewis arrived and opened its doors to us in 2005.
M & S soon wanted a piece of the action and opened as soon as a store became available even altering it from 2 floors to 4 (its a tad squashed with low ceilings).
From the traditional~
John Lewis, Selfridges, M&S, Boots, Debenhams, BHS.
Miss Selfridge, Topshop, River Island, Bench, Timberland, Mango.
Armani, Calvin Klein, Vivian Westwood., All Saints.
To all your others~
Superdrug, Waterstones, Holland and Barrett, JJB, Currys, Game, Disney Store, W.H Smiths,...... the list goes on......
Where can I refuel~
With over 60 bars and restaurants you choose~
Ma Potters, Pizza Express, Nandos, Cafe Rouge, TGI's.......
Coffee shops~ Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Cafe Nero.......
These are located in The Orient split over 2 floors the lower floor designed like the deck of a ship complete with a small swimming pool(no you can't) and 1,600 wooden seats like deck chairs this is the "fast food area" with the likes of McDonalds, Subway.....
It now boasts the largest chandelier in the world that was made in China and is located near the "newish" marble staircase in the extended food court thats designed like a massive conservatory.
Its lovely to sit there on a sunny day especially in Carluccios siping an iced lemon drink you got to partake of one of those, crushed ice and tart lemon, nothing quenshes your thirst quite like it.
The upper level with more restaurants and an area designed like China Town with Chinese, Indian, Mexican ....... the list goes on...
There is also a petrol station to refuel the car.
What else is on offer~
Namco which includes slot machines, dodgems and a bowling alley.
Laser Quest with a rock wall to climb.
Indoor Crazy Golf.
The Odeon Cinema 20 screens.
Theres also a creche for the little ones.
You really can have a full day out the only negative is... boy does it get busy, thats why Im glad we can pick and choose when to visit.
A rainy Sunday~don't do it~the world and his wife will be there.
There are numerous toilets around the whole centre including ones in some stores(M&S & John Lewis) and the cafes & restaurants, and theres ample baby changing ones with even Mums and Tots toilets together (a little 1 and a big one) which are great unless your child is like my darling son , who couldn't wait if he finished before me and opened the door for everyone to see me sat on the loo.
Disabilities are catered for and you can hire the motorised scooters.
Little sit in cars are now available for tired little legs.
A choice of escalators, lifts and stairs covers just about everyone.
They hold Tea Dances on a Tuesday its lovely to watch them dance and great for the older generation to have somewhere to meet and have a dance~good exercise.
Numerous fashion shows are held.
Beauty weeks with free treatments and special offers.
Job Fairs for jobs in the centre and the surrounding towns.
Fireworks for bonfire night (outside of course)
Christmas they spend an obscene amount of money on lights and decorations and have a massive "switch on" with live music etc.
All together its not just a shopping centre for local people, it offers a whole lot more.
20th March 2008 saw the opening of Barton Square which can be accessed from inside the Trafford Centre through a covered bridge or from outside at the side of the Trafford Centre.
This consists of Home Furnishing type shops~
BHS, M&S, Habitat, Laura Ashley....
What do we think in general~
I personally Love it, but as Ive said its because I can go to suit me.
I Love the fountain that shoots a jet of water up almost to the roof its always a source of amusement especially to children and still makes me jump after all these years because you never know when its going to shoot up.
It provides a safe environment for my 13yr old son and his friends to go and have some fun and freedom from parents and we know the watchful eyes of the many staff patrolling the centre will protect them.
Saying that it does cause major traffic jams and I do know people who hate the place with a passion and refuse to visit.
As for those "nutters" (I dont me offence to anyone) who queue for hours on Christmas Night/Boxing Day Morning (my birthday) for "bargains"~ personally I dont NEED anything THAT much.
It is a big commitment to work there as its only closed Christmas Day and if the centres open all the shops have to be ~this doesn't suit everyone.
Lately a few shops have closed down and it looks a little down market because of this so they need to be careful.
We lost Lakeland and The Pier had a lovely big shop before they went bust.
Up till now they have kept improving the centre and must in my opinion continue to do so.
Mon~Fri~10 till 10
Sat~ 10 till 8
Sun~ 12 till 6
Bank Holidays~ 10 till 8
Mon~Thurs~10 till midnight
Fri~ 10 till midnight & beyond
Sat~ 9 till midnight & beyond
Sun~ 11 till midnight
Its best to check with individual restaurants, Laser Quest, Namco etc. to be sure.
The Trafford Centre,
I hope thats given you an interesting and slightly "different" insight into our local shopping centre affectionately known as the T.C.
Thanks for reading my review.
Summary: Keeps you dry and warm with all the shops, cafes etc you need under one roof.