An overview of some of the best UK shopping centres and markets for groups and coaches!
BOUNDARY MILL STORES
At Boundary Mill Stores, their philosophy is to offer quality branded goods at up to 75% off the recommended retail price. Both regular visitors and those new to Boundary Mill Stores will always find something exciting to tempt them, as they have regular special events and of course ever-changing stock and sales. It is one of the best destinations for quality and affordable shopping, all under one roof.
The popularity and success of their all-inclusive tours continues and they are pleased to announce several new ones for 2013. All can be adapted and tailor-made to a group’s specific needs and requirements.
Boundary Mill Stores have fantastic events and promotions for groups throughout 2013. The stores will be holding sales during February, June, August and December, with Season Launch Events in late March and late September. There is late night shopping throughout November and December, before of course large Boxing Day and January sales. They can offer passengers additional incentives during this period, so organisers should contact one of their coach co-ordinators for further details.
Their flagship store is situated at the end of the M65 at Colne and they opened their fifth store in Sheffield last year – conveniently located just off junction 33 of the M1. Other stores are located in Grantham, Newcastle and Walsall. All stores feature great value catering facilities, which can comfortably accommodate groups. Groups will be welcomed by one of their friendly Coach Co-ordinators, who will provide any guidance and assistance required throughout the visit. If the coach is carrying 20 passengers and stays for a minimum of two hours, Boundary Mill Stores offers the driver £10 cash and the Group Organiser receives a £10 Boundary Mill Stores gift voucher. There is plenty of free parking for coaches at all of the stores and there are no restrictions on how many times a coach or group organiser can visit. All stores now have a Coach Co-ordinator and offer a “meet and greet” facility. In order to make visits run as smoothly as possible Boundary Mill Stores ask organisers contact the Coach Co-ordinator at the relevant store prior to visiting.
Over recent years the market has won many awards including NABMA’s ‘Market of the Year’ in 2006, 2009 and 2012, the UK Coach Award’s ‘Most Coach-Friendly Shopping Attraction’ in 2012, and BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming Award’s ‘Best Food Market’ in 2008.
The market is located in the heart of Bury town centre and is reputed to be one of the most popular shopping destinations in the North West, attracting 1500 coaches every year. Its 370 stalls are mainly undercover and the market is all on one level and accessible to all, with disabled facilities centrally located in the modern Market Hall.
The market has an abundance of multicultural cafes and takeaways, so there’s sure to be something to suit everyone’s taste. Greek mezes and continental platters, Asian foods, toasted sandwiches, full English breakfasts, British fish and chips and the local delicacy of Bury black pudding, served hot or cold with lashings of mustard or piccalilli, are all available.
The coach parking at Bury Market is free and drivers are given a £5 lunch voucher (which can be used at five cafes on the market). Situated off junction 2 of the M66 on the borders of Lancashire and Greater Manchester, Bury market is clearly signed with brown tourist signs. The best days to organise trips are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when over 500 retailers are open in Bury. Groups visiting Bury for a day out should also leave time to visit some of the town’s other attractions, including the East Lancashire Railway, the Fusilier Museum, The Met theatre or Bury Art Gallery.
T: 0161 253 6520
Romford is home to the largest street market in the south east and combines great shopping with regular events, such as St. George’s Day celebrations on Saturday 20th April and family fun and entertainment over the Easter period.
With more than 150 regular stalls, Romford Market has a great atmosphere and is located in the heart of the town centre. It is held three times a week: Wednesdays and Fridays from 8.30am to 4.30pm, and Saturdays from 8.30am to 5pm. The range of goods on offer includes fresh meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, the latest fashions, mobile phone accessories and household goods. As well as the wide array of shopping opportunities, the market has family events, open-air entertainment and children’s rides throughout the year. An extensive choice of cafes, bakeries, pubs and restaurants runs alongside the shops and stretches for the whole length of the market. There are also four main shopping centres in Romford for popular high street brands: The Liberty, The Mercury Mall, Romford Shopping Hall and The Brewery. Romford Market is easily accessible by road, rail and bus and has 5,000 car parking spaces close by. There is plenty of coach parking with a customer drop-off area and coach drivers get complimentary refreshments & snack vouchers.
The market’s rich history dates back more than 750 years when it began as a sheep market after King Henry III gave instructions for the town to have a market every Wednesday. A 13th century rule that no other market can be set up within a day’s sheep drive (about six miles) from Romford still exists today.
T: 01708 434113
Lakeside shopping centre is another conveniently located destination, just off the M25 near junctions 30 and 31 in West Thurrock, Essex. With over 13,000 free parking spaces and lots of useful, modern facilities, Lakeside is a great place for a group day out. There are over 300 shops, restaurants and cafes and late opening until 10pm on weekdays. Other facilities include plenty of information points, shopping lockers, parent and baby rooms, babysitting services and a chapel.
Four key anchor stores (Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, Debenhams and Primark) are complemented by 50 cafes and restaurants. Outside, the 26-acre Alexandra Lake includes a PADI certified diving school complex, which offers scuba diving, sailing, powerboating, fishing, watersports and pedalos.
Lakeside has an ongoing programme of special events held in the centre, including fashion shows, children’s events and charity fundraisers. Even if visitors get tired of the shops and the events, there is a Vue cinema onsite and even the Dove Spa, where customers can enjoy bespoke facials, treatments and beauty procedures.
T: 01708 869 933