For small budgets who dream of pretty brands in their wardrobe, the solution is often to go shopping during the sales. But there is also another option: outlets. While some are well established in London, others are scattered all over the UK. French Morning London gives you good outlet addresses to shop without feeling guilty. Visit https://www.the-shops.co.uk for more about how to find the shops you want to visit.
Bicester Village, Oxfordshire
Situated in Oxfordshire, Bicester Village is just an hour from London and Birmingham. It is easily accessible by car (free on-site parking is available) and by train, which departs from Marylebone Station. In this village of brands, more than 130 designer boutiques await visitors: Dior, UGG, Ralph Lauren, Zadig & Voltaire, Timberland, Levi’s… with discounts of up to 60% during the sales period. If you’re feeling peckish, there are several cafés and restaurants along the shoppers’ route.
La Galleria, Hatfield
This large shopping centre is located in North London. Accessible by car (parking is paid until 6pm) or train (from King’s Cross towards Hatfield station, then it takes 25 minutes to walk or take a bus), the place has 80 shops offering major brands or designers with up to 60% discount: French Connection, Ghost, Austin Reed, Calvin Klein Underwear, TK Maxx, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, Claire’s Accessories, M&S and Nike Factory Store to name but a few. For those who go shopping, head to the Odeon cinema or one of the restaurants in the shopping mall.
Braintree Village Outlet Shopping, Essex
Located in Essex between Chelmsford and Colchester, Braintree Village Outlet is easily accessible by car (1,500 free parking spaces) or by train from Liverpool Street to Freeport Braintree Station. Among the brands on offer are: Next Clearance, M&S Outlet, Nike Factory Store and GAP Outlet, as well as Billabong, Ted Baker and Bench. Promotions range from 30 and 80%.
York Designer Outlet Village
The Village of Brands is a 10-minute drive from downtown York, with free parking for shoppers. It has a good variety of shops including good GAP, Hamleys, Next, M&S Outlet, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Michael Kors. As an added bonus, to keep children busy while shopping, the venue has a playground and activities such as make-up, crafts, magic and balloon modelling workshops.
Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, Scotland
Gretna Green is located in Scotland, on the way to Glasgow. If you live in the area, it’s ideal, but from London it will take between three and four hours by train. So it’s best to stop there if you’re on your way to the north of the country, otherwise it’s not worth the trip just for shopping. With more than 50 factory outlets, this brand village has M&S Outlet, Nike Factory Store, GAP Outlet, Austin Reed and Polo Ralph Lauren, among others.
Swindon Designer Outlet
Situated in the Cotswold and Wiltshire countryside and close to Swindon town centre, this outlet is just an hour’s train ride from London’s Paddington Station.
There you can find the must-see GAP Outlet, M&S Outlet, John Lewis Home Outlet and Levi’s, as well as designer shops such as L.K Bennett, Jaeger and Hugo Boss.
Dalton Park Outlet, Yorkshire
Dalton Park is located 20 minutes’ drive south of Newcastle and half an hour north of Middlesbrough. Free parking is available in the centre. From London, the journey will take nearly four hours. It’s up to you to see if it’s worth it. It’s the largest retail outlet in the region, offering discounts of up to 50% on brands such as The M&S Outlet, Next Clearance, Home Bargains, Nike Clearance Store, Joseph, Radley London and Denby Outlet. Free family events are held regularly to entertain visitors.
Festival Park, Wales
Located at Ebbw Vale in South Wales, Festival Park is located at junction 28 of the M4, along the A467 and A4046. There are 1,000 free parking spaces and the Ebbw Vale Parkway station is nearly two kilometres away. Brands present include Clarks Factory Shopping, M&S, GAP, Sports Direct and Rugby Heaven as well as a large Nike Factory Store.
In addition to its shops, Festival Park is home to the UK’s longest Supertubing track and the largest free children’s play castle in South Wales and The Owl Sanctuary.
Clarks Village, Somerset
A three-hour train ride from London to Wales, this shopping centre is located in the village of Street in Somerset. With over 90 shops including M&S Outlet, Monsoon, Next Clearance in Timberland and Jaegar, the location has a wide variety of shops offering discounts of up to 60%.