When you hear ‘Family Day Out’, I’m guessing that a shopping trip isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind! But sometimes needs must, so we found ourselves this Saturday heading off as a Family to do some clothes shopping in the designer outlet village in Bridgend – the McArthurGlenn Shopping Village!
On arriving there, despite what appeared to be plenty of parking, we drove around a couple of times before being able to get a space, which didn’t make for the best start. Once out of the car and across into the centre, we were first welcomed by the sight of the Mediterranean Market stall, which was selling plenty of pastries, breads and sweet treats. As temping as it looked we didn’t stop as we wanted to have room for lunch.
What hits you first about the McArthur Glen Shopping Village is how clean it is, it is spotless. There is no rubbish anywhere and all the outlets are kept and maintained to a high standard.
If you are with young children, it is probably best to park near the Frankie and Benny’s end of the Outlet Village, as it is at this end where you can hire nifty shopping cars to ensure your little one is entertained or kept amused while you manage a bit of shopping. You can hire these at the information point, just to the left of the food court.
There are plenty of dining options and coffee stops at McArthur Glen Outlet Village. One of the first restaurants you will see is Frankie and Benny’s, but to be honest I have been there before and was not very impressed with the quality of food or service and so I wouldn’t be looking to return any time soon.
Then there is the food court, which has a McDonalds, Jacket Potato place, Noodle place, and somewhere where you can get made to order sandwiches. Upstairs by the cinema is a Pizza Hut and American Diner, neither of which I have tried. They also have a Costa at one end and a Starbucks at the other, and a coffee shop at the mid way point by the park. So you really are pretty spoilt for choice.
We opted for the recently opened Wagamama’s, which went down very well with the little ones. The service was great and there was plenty of choice for little ones.
There were plenty of shops to browse around, from homeware (Denby, Le Creuset), to clothes (Ted Baker, Tommy Hilfiger, Joules, Next) to bags (Radley, Antler) to sportswear (Helly Hansen, Adidas, Tresspass). According to the directory there are over 90 brands there!
After some retail therapy, we let the little ones blow off some steam in the Park. Again, I was impressed at how spotless and well kept it was. The floor was the soft sort of cushioned floor which is better for any tumbles too. There was plenty of room to run about, and had three mini play stations, one for toddlers, one for slightly older and the other for up to 8 year olds. It was all undercover, so you could head there whatever the weather.
After the park we managed to convince the little ones to go into a few more shops before heading home. Whilst not a perfect or preferred venue for a family day out, I was super impressed at how child friendly it is there. They have managed to make, what I find usually a painful experience to do with little ones in tow, a much more manageable and dare I say it, enjoyable experience.
I managed to pick up a fair few bargains for the kiddies, with some very reasonably reduced clothes in Next and Gap, which had a great selection of kids clothes. It also has the Works, where we picked up some new books and colouring in pads. For myself I could have stayed there a lot longer, there were so many shops and some really nice clothes and bargains to be had.
I will definitely be heading there for some Christmas shopping, with or without the kids!