“ Over 90 outlet shops. „
Clarks Village used to be my favourite shopping treat. It had been a few years since my last visit so I visited (June 2013) with the kids and the in-laws. What a change, what an awful change
The shops and dining are very high-brow with prices to match, High pressure sales tactics in most of the stores involving pouncing on you offering 'help'. I didn't know I looked so feeble as to need help browsing! The last straw for me was when some, obviously American, sales lady descended on me in a glassware store and wouldn't leave me in peace. I went to seek comfort buying the kids chips from a cart, nine cold chips in a cardboard cone for over £2, thought I would leave that. With Frankie and Bennies out my purses brackets for a party of seven, I ended up out of Clarks Village in a pub with two adults eating for £10 and kids for free which was perfect.
Refreshed we went back into Clarks Village wandered around for an hour and simply couldn't find anything that grabbed our interest, bearing in mind our party ranged across three generations this speaks volumes. Clarks Village is no longer for the average shopper, the family or pensioner
This weekend saw a visit to my sister-in-law , which always means a trip to Clarks Village actually instigated by my husband as the youngest needed shoes and even after he had been advised that Clarks village contained lots more shops he still insisted he was up for the challenge!
Clark's village is situated in street Somerset all I know is it is about 20 minutes from Sister-in-laws! You can of course find proper directions on their website www.clarksvillage.co.uk
We visited on a Saturday and the car park was heaving however we found a space in the over flow car park very easily and this is a 5 minute (with toddler) walk to the entrance.
I have to be honest I feel that paying for the privilege of parking is a bit much especially as your options are up to an hour 80p or 4 hours £2.00.
Well having hubby and two children in tow meant that I was not going to get a mammoth shopping extravaganza however we did visit Clarks which was massive and very impressed I was to the service was excellent we tried every pair of shoes in my daughters size and although she wanted boots the fitter advised they were no good and found the best shoes which were only £9.50 instead of £30.00 oh what a very happy hubby!!
I then ditched the family at the play park and proceeded to visit Joules, M&S, Gap, whittards, Next, Tula and Monsoon this really is a fraction of the shops that are there for full list of shops and any special offers again best to check the website www.clarksvillage.co.uk
Prices tend to be between 30% to 70% of depending on season and if the product is also available on the high street for example in M&S I got 30% of cards which are on the high street at full price.
For children's shoes this is really the place to go well fitted and great prices all are at least 50% cheaper than on the high street. There are great bargains to be had I didn't have to queue for more than a few minutes and it was very busy all the stores were clean and surprisingly tidy and the staff were helpful defiantly a great place to shop.
Once the site of Clarks (the shoe people) production, its now a factory outlet shopping centre. Clarks Village in my view is one of the nicer outlet centres I personally have been to nestling next to the actual shopping high street of the town Street. Parking generally is relatively easy though during the summer months it is a destination for coach trips and tourists to the area.
There are all manner of shops there from clothing to electricals to kitchen items, to craft goods to books to jewellery to handbags.....in fact aside from foodstuffs (other than chocolate from Cadburys & Thorntons) you can buy pretty much anything there. There are also ample coffee shops, a food court and snack bars if you need refreshments whilst there.
I enjoy going to Street and Clarks periodically and am usually able to find some bargains from favourite shops like M&S, Coast, Next, Whittards, Monsoon etc. and recommend it for a day out shopping in a relaxing atmosphere. The only time I have found it to be frenetic has really been towards Christmas. Most of the prices tend to be at least 30% off RRP with many up to 70%
A small pay area is also availble for children to play in and there are also a few pay per go roundabouts and rides for those who want a little more excitement!
A day here is all you need - its easy to walk around and indeed you can hire mobiklity scooters for the less mobile and its easy to get around with most of it being on one level and easy access. Plenty of toilets dotted around too.
I can't possibly list all of the shops as there are so many and often are changing however there is a web site pertaining to Clarks Village at http://www.clarksvillage.co.uk/ which tells you more about it and how to get there - again depends where you are coming from but generally: From the M5, exit J 23 and follow the A39 to Street/Clarks Village. From the A303, exit the Podimore roundabout and follow the B3151 to Street/Clarks Village. Brown signage directs you to the centre from both routes.
Bargains can be found, but be very aware of sharp practise by the car park attendants. The car parks are council run and if you do not display your ticket in the middle of the dashboard the attendant will "fail to see it" and you get a parking ticket. The attendant will photograph the dashboard leaving out the bit where ticket is "as evidence"and the only course of appeal is to the manager of the attendant. Guess what, the appeal will be turned down and bailiffs threatened. This is a legallised rip off. Use public transport or find somewhere else to park, otherwise those bargains may turn out to be not so cheap after all.
When I first moved to South Somerset, I went on the hunt for some good shopping. Yeovil and Taunton were ok, but I wanted something a little more and then I found Clarks Village in Street. It's easy to get to (both from the M5, where it's signposted or from Yeovil in the South) and there is parking. Parking costs 50p for up to an hour, or £1.50 for up to 4 hours-I can't imagine you'd need to spend more than 4 hours here.
There are a wide range of stores, including many outdoor type shops, like Trespass and Mountain Warehouse, Nike, Gap, M&S, Cadburys, Whistles and kitchen type shops. A full list can be found at their website- http://www.clarksvillage.co.uk/ and they occasionally do offers on there too, so check before you go.
In terms of facilities, there are toilets and a food hall, where you can sit down for food, such as Burger King. There are also little food vendors selling baked potatoes and sweet things. The setting is quite pretty and is kept really well.
Another thing that I liked about the Clarks Village is that it's very close to Street itself, which is handy if you need a bank or a post office, for example. If you want to go a bit further afield while you're there, Glastonbury is only a short drive away of you wanted to combine the 2 for a full day out.
I've often wondered what Clark's Village at Street in Somerset was like, and in February 2009 I finally found out. I went there with my partner, my 2 daughters and her daughter.
Situated with the Clark's shoe factory on one side and with exits directly on the main shopping street of the town it certainly has a lot going for it. To say that is an understatement as all the car parks were full and it took ages to find a spot. Parking charges were reasonable and we spent a good 3-4 hours there.
Unlike Altantic Village that I visited only last week (June 09) there is a lot of shop variety, obviously a Clarks factory outlet (but why they need an actual shop in the main street is a mystery), M&S clothes, Cadburys, Sports World shop (though under a different name), clothes shops like Gap and Jaeger, Thorntons, The Perfume Shop - in all over 90 shops. There's also a Pasty Presto and a relatively large cafe/restaurant offering a range of meal - but at £7.50 for an adult carvery with little choice and poorly cooked I certainly couldn't justify. We did have a meal in the restaurant, and luckily for us it appears the cashier had a bit of brain ache as it certainly didn't seem to cost as much as it should. It was edible, that's the best I can say about it.
We couldn't go without the girls riding on the carousel, and an ice cream. There's also a hotdog seller, but a little over priced.
My partner and I will probably go back again in the not too distant future but without the girls - but with her shopaholic mother! (even though it's pretty close to 100 miles from Plymouth).
As an added bonus, when you've finished why not try Glastonbury which is only a short distance away.
I was seriously impressed by the range available and to say I'd
When I was a kid me and my mum headed to Clarks Village in Street Somerset a few times and back then Clarks Village was not that big and didn't have very many good shops but recently a friend mentioned that he went and recommended that we take a loo, so one Saturday we took a trip there and was amazed at what we saw.
I would say that it had at least tripled in size since I was last there and the quality of the shops was also a massive improvement. There are many more designer shops now and they all sell clothes, shoes, tools, furniture and more at knockdown prices, if your looking for a bargain then its def a place to consider visiting.
There are about 90 shops to look around and consists of shops like Addidas, Bench, Billabong, Calvin Klein, Fat Face, Henri Lloyd, Next Clearance, Timberland and the list goes on. Its not just clothes shops there are also gift shops, bag shops, shoe shops and a few places to get a snack to (good job as all that shopping makes a girl hungry).
Now whenever I visit Clarks Village I always spend a fortune but instead of only getting one or two items for my money (like when I shop in the high street) I come back with bags and bags of stuff and most of it is designer gear.
There are a couple of down points to Clarks Village though, one would be the parking, unless you head up there early (before 10am) you will struggle to get parked especially when its holiday season, there are a few massive car parks but they fill up very very quickly.
The other thing I find frustrating is if you are an average size then you can struggle to find clothes to fit as all the popular sizes sell out very quick for example my other half has a 32 waist with a 34 leg and on a very rare occasions have we managed to get him a pair of jeans that he liked. The women's stuff it not quite so bad, I have always managed to find clothes I liked in my size.
I would say this is one of my favourite places to shop, its always clean and tidy and if you head there during the week or out of holiday season then its not usually to busy.
I can guarantee that every time I head there I end up buying something.
Clarks outlet shopping
There is a Clarks outlet shop in my area and it really is good. They offer lovely great quality shoes at outlet prices. The styles of the shoes can be a bit old fashioned for the 20 something's but other than that i find it very organised and the staff very helpful.
The kids section so great they have a very colourful section with a machine that measures the childs foot size and width. If it is the child's first time buying shoes they will take a photo at the time of measuring and present it in a card to take home.
All shoes are arranged by size and width and they have even started selling handbags and suitcases at my local store at very reasonable prices.
I have always found the staff polite and if you ask for something they will take you to that part of the store and not just point (I hate when they do that).
Overall I have only had good experiences in Clarks so if you want comfortable good quality shoes at a reasonable price go to Clarks outlet.
The Clarks Village Outlet Shopping Centre is in Street in Somerset. The Clarks Outlet Village has around 90 discounted stores for many high street names, including Gap, Thorntons, Clarks, Nike and Virgin Vie Make up to name but a few. There are a few places to eat, you can get fast food or a 'propper' meal.
There is lots of cheap parking available at the Clarks Village, including Disabled and Family spaces. The whole Outlet shopping centre is quite close together, making getting around the whole thing easy. In case you are having trouble finding a store you are looking for, there are several maps dotted around to let you know where you are, and find where you want to go. As the Clarks Village is all based together closely, it is easy to get around with both a wheel chair or a push chair, with no steps or stair ways.
Clarks village is based at Street in Somerset, about half an hour drive from Taunton. I probably go to street six times a year, or maybe more, especially when family come to visit as they all want to go to street shopping.
There are over 100 shops at clarks village, all high street names at outlet prices. All the items are cheap and when they have there sales on then you can pick up some seriously cheap items.
The marks and spencers outlet stoor is a place to certainly grab some bargings, also a lot of per una items are at a cheap price. There are plenty of underwear stores to choose from inclusing Calvin Klein where you can pick up some really good bargains, they also have special items on sale, La senza outlet prices are very cheap with bra's as low as £5. The shops at clarks cater for children, women and men and there are plenty of homewear shops. Clarks is a fantastic place for every day shopping and perfect for finding someone a special present.
I live about six miles from Clarks Village so on average I will go there eight or more times a year. I am going to include in my review the shops I know and the ones I have shopped in. I cannot review shops I have not used. There is a full list of all the shops available at Clarks Village on their website http://www.clarksvillage.co.uk.
Clarks Village is an outlet centre based in Street Somerset. There are two main car parks for the village the car parks are not big enough for the complex and at some times for year like Christmas parking are a nightmare! Depending on the car park you use depends on the location you enter the village into. On each entrance, there are toilets, which are very nice as far as toilets go. There are men's, ladies and disabled toilets they are all tiled and have a few toilet cubicles, sinks and hand driers. Although there are plenty of toilets at busy periods, you will find quite a long queue.
If you enter the Village through the main entrance after parking in the pay and display car park (you can get your parking money back if you spend a certain amount in a certain shop) you will find the toilets and a mobility centre. The mobility centre hires out items to visitors to the village. The first shop you will find upon entering for this side is an outdoor type shop called Trespass.
Trespass is an outdoor leisure shop that sells walking boots, outdoor clothes, coats, camping equipments etc. The shop is well laid out with men's things on the right hand side, ladies things on the left hand side and kids stuff at the back. There are sometimes so mega bargains to be had such as a children's coat I bought that was reduced from £89 down to £15. Although most of the time I find the items are not that cheap although they are very good quality.
Next, you come to the food hall. This is a large building inside it is separated into different food branches such as Burger king, a baguette/sandwich bar, jacket potatoes and a place that does cooked food. You can sit in any part regardless of where you buy food, which is great if there are a lot of you and you want different meals.
The next shop I use is Tog 24 I personally do not ever find anything worth buying in this shop it is very crowded with stock and seems to be dark and disorganised. I find this shop quite expensive and they never seem to have any reduced items.
The body shop sells some great bundles of cosmetics I do find the body shop outlet shop has some great items at fantastic prices. This shop is laid out over two levels and there are only stairs inside so disabled or wheelchair users would have to go outside the shop to get to the other level. There are tills on both levels. The shops are very spacious and bright with some funky displays like a bathtub of products.
Moving round from body shop to the right is a lot of shops I never go in that sell household goods, baking stuff, a few underwear and more expensive clothing shops. The next shop I would pop into would be Adidas this shop sells sports wear made buy Adidas. This shop is also split over two levels there are tills on both levels, This shops appear to be quite dark due to the black Adidas logo being spread all over the place. The shop does have some seconds and some fantastic bargains. It is much cheaper than buying Adidas in other high street sport shops. They sell a few pairs of trainer at the back of the store where there are some really bargains to be had. There is a large selection of sizes. I picked up a lush pair of Adidas running trainer reduced from £110 to £23! The staffs are very helpful. Sometimes they have trial clothes from this rail I bought an Adidas swimming costume for £10.00.
Monsoon is next to Adidas there are some heavily reduced items in Monsoon although I do not really like the stuff they sell people come from miles away to grab a bargain in Monsoon. They sell mostly women and children's clothes and accessories. The shop I quite large and well laid out with items separated into section to make it easy to find what you are looking for.
Clarks is the most famous and the best shop by far in Clark's village it is huge and sells kids, women and men's footwear. You can buy slippers, boots, shoes, trainers etc and they are very reasonable priced. I buy my daughters school shoes from here and find there is a lot of styles and sizes the last pair I bought cost me £9 instead of the £28 they were ment to cost. They also measure feet and fit shoes but at some times of the year, it gets very busy. The end of the summer holidays is a very bad time to choose to shop for shoes as all the parents are there trying to get school shoes fitted.
Lilywhites is another sports shop that I like to go to this shop has some of the cheaper sports brands and you can grab loads of stuff dirt-cheap. The shop sells footwear, sports equipment, clothes and some odd bits. The shop is very disorganised and the layout is not that good. The queues are always very long and often items I want to buy are up high so I have to find a member of staff, which is a nightmare to get items down.
Next is another one of the shops that people travel miles to grab a bargain in. Sometimes the shop is like a jumble sale and other items it is well organised and has a good layout. There are some amazingly cheap items in next but there are no changing rooms to try things on so I often end up buying things then returning them a week later. The January sales in this Next are the best I have ever been to!
There are loads of other shops in the village infact there are over 100 shops but I do not tend to use them. There are electrical shops, underwear, clothes, books, chocolates, games and DVD's.
There are often extra thing at the village. Now there is an ice skating rink because it is December other times there are climbing Walls, bouncy castles etc. There is a large wooden fort/castle play area in one corner of the village, which kids love. There are also food vans that sell doughnuts, jacket potatoes, ice creams, sandwiches. If you want cheap food walk up into street where there is a Jacket potatoes shop, cafes, and Gregg's.
I would recommend Clarks village as a nice place to go shopping although it is chaos at some times of the year.
well clarks village is sure to have some bargains.Located in street,Somerset.
This shopping centre has...
235,000 sq ft (21,830 sq m) of retail space (including the Crispin Centre).
1,400 car parking spaces and 10 coach spaces.
Key brands include: Clarks, Gap, Next, M&S, Fat Face, Jaeger, Coast, White Stuff, Monsoon, Sony, Denby, Timberland and Calvin Klein.
One of my favourites is the cadburys shop.selling every cadburys bars,sweets and candy you can think of at cheap prices.
Plenty of food and drink available,including:
Cafe Mattia.. (Continental style coffee,Baguettes and Ice cream bar)
Food Factory.. (Hot and Cold meals to suit all tastes)
Fresh.. (Sandwiches,Baguattes,Coffee etc)
Presto Pasty.. (Freshly made pastries,Sandwiches,soups,Salads,gourmet coffee and soft drinks)
There are lots of stores as stated above including:
Sports and Leisure Clothes & Accessories
Books Music and Stationery
Perfume and Toiletries
You also have carousel for the children,outside snack bars to eat on benches and tables outside.This is a best place to go for a spending spree.Some things can be expensive,but their are also bargains on sell here too.Easy parking right outside the shopping Centre.
The first time I went to Clarks shopping village I wasnt sure what to expect. We had looked on the web site to get directions and also more information about the place.
We set off from Taunton along the winding roads and it took us about forty minutes to get there well worth it as I was about to discover.
There are about 90 outlet shops and there always adding more and all of these shops are offering up to 60% of RRP.
We were lucky in the fact that it was a sunny day as the village is set out like an old quaint shopping village so its all outside and you walk from shop to shop. The Shopping Village has a food hall that has a Burger King, a Deli type counter and a general food counter. Outside there are also Hot Potato counters and hot carvery rolls. We decided to eat outside as the weather was so nice and there are plenty of seating facilities. The hot potato and fillings are absolutely lovely certainly recommend them!
As the day went on, I acquired more and more shopping bags, the prices are great and some shops even had sales on top of the already low prices.
If you like shopping and are in need of some retail therapy I really do recommend Clarks village as its a great day out.
Clarks Village is based in the heart of the West Country in a small village called Street. It is signposted from the M5 so anyone living in Exeter, Taunton, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare etc. can easily get there. If traveling from London then you would have to go on the M4 and turn off to Bath, on the A39 to Wells, Glastonbury and then on to Street once in Street you cannot miss it. There are four car parks which you have to pay a small amount for and there is also a wonderful childrens play area.
I'm not really a shopping fan, These days I find the whole experience a bit traumatic if I was being honest. Rude people everywhere you look, pushed from pillar to post, robbed right, left and centre from the car park fees to the overpriced so-called 'bargains' themselves. This is why (and I guess others if you believe newspaper reports) I do a lot of my shopping on the internet. However I must admit that I make exceptions wherever real bargains can be had, one such exception is Clark's Village in Somerset. This place has a whole abundance of genuine bargains and even though on the occasions I have visited, I have spent quite a lot of money, I have been mightily pleased with the savings I have made too. Here's a little more about Clark's Village and how it came to start in the first place ;
Clark's Village is located in Street, a little town in Somerset. Close by Street is Glastonbury famous for its Tor and connections with King Arthur. It is easily reached by road and rail, the main connecting A road is the A39 and the closest motorway junction is J23 off the M5. The West Country isn't that well blessed with road links compared to more developed areas and as a result, peak times can be an absolute nightmare. My personal recommendation is to visit early as the shops are opening, you are far more likely to get a car parking space avoid the hourdes and nick the best deals. It is signposted by way of the 'brown attraction signs' and is very hard to miss seeing that the village is quite small yet Clark's Village is a large retail development. Other places close by which are worth a visit are Wells and it's beautiful cathedral, Cheddar Gorge with it's famous caves, Longleat and it's safari park and stately home and last but not least Bath with it's quaint regency architecture. If your not from the West Country, it is a particularly beautiful part of the country and you could incorporate your visit to Clark's Village with another attraction.
Clark's Village started out as a factory shop for Clark's (the U.K's biggest shoe company). The manufacturing buildings in Street became redundant and the bosses thought the idea would make the buildings into a profitable side business alongside it's High Street shops. This idea was copied on the American outlet centre's which were prevalent and hugely popular at the time. The factory shop was launched in 1993 and was quickly expanded as other companies too became wise to the idea and came on board. This was the first outlet centre in the U.K, forty now exist with a further forty on the architect's books. The idea was to sell off previous seasons stock, end of line products, cancelled orders, quality seconds and discontinued lines at knock down prices in a retail environment to the general public. Previously items like this were sold in store, took up much need space and accounted for big debit figures on the balance sheets. The outlet stores had low overheads and paid no attention to detail with the ethos 'stack em high, sell em quick' being used. Not much has changed today but the retailers and the public both gain from the initial idea which has proved a huge success.
Mon - Sat 9a.m - 6p.m
Sun 10 a.m - 5 p.m
Thurs late night closing 8 p.m
Arriving at Clark's Village you will straight away see the original factory buildings, alongside these lie the vast car parks. Spaces are plentiful but like I said earlier it is best to arrive early at peak times to avoid trawling around looking for a space, you could well have a five minute walk to the entrance if not.
So onto the outlets themselves, at last count there were 80 dedicated units of varying sizes. The design is modern in the architectural style of an American Mall only it's an outdoor experience instead of indoors. The outlets have been constructed in lines facing one another (as in high streets), with other lines going off in horizontal and vertical directions (very American grid referenced style), very easy to get around and very compact but in my view lacking in character (a common cultural difference). The paved walkways between shop facings are covered by sloping roofs so you can avoid the weather. An attempt has been made to add character by using landscaped gardens, hanging baskets and countless shrubs and plant pot decorations.
The biggest outlet is the Clark's store (naturally) which is also the busiest. They do a wide array of footwear for all ages and styles and massive savings can be had, up to 80% shop R.R.P can be found. If you need some work shoes, children's shoes, hiking boots or smart going out shoes it can all be found under one roof. Other big outlets are Mark's and Spencer's and Next who predominately are selling off their end of season clothing ranges. Other ones I would recommend are Black and Decker for cut price electric tools (useful for male relatives Xmas presents), The Body Shop who have endless amounts of end of line stock ranging from as little as 50p (I had some vanilla and cola flavoured bubble bath which were great fun), The Professional Cookware Company which have top brand pots and pans with big savings and a Royal Worcester homeware's outlet who have some designer crockery and kitchen items with some amazing discounts.
Other outlets include ;
Pilot/ Benetton/ Suits You/ Reebok/ Levi's/ Ben Sherman/ Jaeger/ Monsoon/ Playtex and Calvin Klein for clothing.
Sony and Remington for electrical items.
Virgin Cosmetics/ The Perfume Shop and Woods of Windsor for fragrances, toiletries and cosmetics.
Cloverleaf/ Dartingtons/ Whittard/ Waterford Wedgwood and The Pottery Studio for homewares.
Hallmark Cards/ XS music/ Toy Zone and The National Trust Shop are other specialist outlets.
Considering you are buying seconds or end of season stock on a lot of occasions you could be forgiven you don't possess the same consumer rights but you do, as long as you have your receipt all outlets offer the same consumer rights as in any other normal retail store.
Onto things like food and toilets !!
On the plus side, the toilets and baby changing areas are very well kept as you would expect in a modern state of the art development. Clark's Village is very consumer friendly - everything is on one floor, it is well signposted, very tidy and very compact. Wheelchairs don't have to cope with lifts or steps and there are lots of things to keep young children entertained. I saw a carousel and a childrens play enclosure which seemed bustling yet well monitored.
On the down side I thought the food services were terrible. The only options if you want to sit down for a coffee or a snack are a packed and overpriced Burger King (every queue has at least 20 people in it!), a Starbucks which is equally busy (I don't want to queue 10 minutes for a muffin if I can't sit down) and a food court which was pandemonium. To counter this very live problem area is simple, the last outlet lies next to Street's High St. Simply walk into the High St and make your way a few paces to a not so busy Wetherspoon's where you can wash a pub lunch down with a pint of best, retail therapy I call it.
Clark's Village gets a thumbs up from me. It does possess problems such as crowding, congestion and poor food facilities but as with anything in life these days if you use your common sense you can find a way around things. Bargains are on offer, even me who is not really a shopping fan likes the outlet concept. The last time I visited I came away with my hands full of bags yet spent only just over a hundred pounds.
1. Arrive early to avoid peak times and pick up the best deals.
2. Avoid the food services, treat yourselves to a pint in the High St which runs parallel instead.
Spend those pounds and save those pounds !!
During Christmas 2003l I just happened to mention to my husband that it was 8 years since we had visited Clarks Village which is based at Street, Somerset. I had looked at Clarks site on the web and noticed it was open on Boxing Day. Hubby said we should go as Boxing Day is usually a dull day (we spent Christmas Day with my daughter and her family). Boxing Day came and we duly got up and, even though the weather was pretty miserable, we decided to go. Hubby said "you know where to go then" to which I replied "of course, we've been before and, anyway, it's signposted". My friend at work - she lives in Yeovil (we work in Wimborne, Dorset) - said it only took her about 15 minutes to get there from her home so I said it wasn't that far anyway. Where on earth did I get my navigator's licence from???? So, off we went - by the time we had reached Dorchester the weather, and roads, were really bad - wipers going "50 to the dozen, as we say up north". I did say to hubby that if he wanted to turn back then it would be OK! Expletives ensued from him - if we had got this far then we would go the rest - anyway, it wasn't that far, was it? He kept saying "how far is it"? "Not far, it's signposted". "Can't see any signs for Street". "Just follow the signs for Yeovil - the A37". Everything OK up until we hit a junction which really didn't tell us that much - lots of little signs for little villages but was there one for Clarks Village, Street? No, no and no. "I thought you knew the bloody way" he said. "So did I" said I. Car stopped - looked in the boot for the 1998(!) Atlas road map. Found Yeovil and Street. Told hubby where to go (to Street, I mean, what else did you think?). We had to follow the A37 for a while then go on to a minor road B3151. Once we were on the B3151
all my hubby could say was "this road can't be right - it's too much of a country road, too many sharp bends etc. etc. etc. you must be wrong, THERE MUST BE MOTORWAY TO STREET FROM BOURNEMOUTH OR AT LEAST A DUAL CARRIAGEWAY"!!!! He was seriously questioning my navigation skills. After what seemed hours and hours we finally DID ARRIVE AT STREET. See, I told him I would get us there safe and sound! Mind you, we did miss the turning into the village and had to back track but anyone can make a mistake, can't they? WHAT IS CLARKS VILLAGE? --------------------------------------- It is one of those shopping outlets whereby famous names/manufacturers have a shop and sell their goods at reduced prices. Sometimes you can get as much as up to 60% price reductions. I can't say for certain but I think it must have been one of the first type of outlet villages. WHERE IS IT? ------------------ It is based in the heart of the West Country in a small village called Street. It is signposted from the M5 so anyone living in Exeter, Taunton, Bridgwater, Weston-super-Mare etc. can easily get there. If travelling from London then you would have to go on the M4 and turn off to Bath, on the A39 to Wells, Glastonbury and then on to Street. WHAT SHOPS CAN I FIND THERE? ----------------------------------------------- HOMEWARES PAVILION - includes Royal Worcester, Cloverleaf, Bedeck, Dartinington Crystal, Denby Pottery, Waterford Wedgwood MONSOON- ladies "modern" clothes ADIDAS (opening Spring 2004) - sportswear BON BLEU- baby clothes ORVIS- leisure and country wear PRICES CANDLES- candles, obviously, although I must tell you that I picked up a large candle and realised I had already bought this candle from TK Maxx and at a cheaper price!! TKM reigns!!! BENETTON- designer clothing for adults/children WARNERS - famous lingerie and I did buy so
me knickers for myself and my daugher at £1 and £2 per pair THE NATIONAL TRUST- gifts VILLERY & BOCH- Fine china, crystal EVENT JEWELLERY- jewellery, figurines and watches JANE SHILTON- good quality shoes/handbags LE CREUSET- one of my favourite shops - this is famous French cookware - they are very heavy and very heavy prices too - although they are approximately half price at this outlet. THE BODY SHOP DEPOT - toiletries, cosmetics and bathroom products TOG24 - outdoor clothing FRESH FOOD FACTORY - you can get sandwiches, coffee, cakes THE VILLAGE POTTERY - hand painted bowls, plates, saucers, cups, tiles and it even has an indoor play area for the kids THE POT PEOPLE - locally made stoneware and garden ornaments MICHAEL COOPER'S STUDIO - originals by MC and prints/cards MARKS & SPENCER - fabulous store - very large and sells lots of various goods including homeware. Got knickers for £1 and a set of 3 babygrows (12-18 months) for £8 for my baby grandson. There were some very good bargains, especially Christmas theme goods. WELL WORTH GOING INTO. LAKELAND LEATHER - leather goods including bags, trousers, coats etc. WINDSMOOR - classic clothes BLACK & DECKER - do-it-yourself tools THE DESIGNER ROOM - fashion labels including DKNY, FCUK and loads more TOY ZONE - toys for the kids! REEBOK - sportswear LEVIS - denim wear CAT - leisurewear and footwear - very reduced prices BEN SHERMAN - designer wear for men, women and kids PILOT - funky fashion but mostly for the younger women! BILLABONG - designer leisurewear ALEXON & VIYELLA & JACQUES VERT & JAEGAR - more classic women's wear HAGGAR - American men's casual clothes VAN HEUSEN - class men's wear TRIUMP INTERNATIONAL - lingerie ELLE - women's clot
hing REMINGTON - electrical kitchen goods and personal care type of products GOSSARD - underwear WRANGLER - casual clothing including denims SUITS YOU AUTOMATICALLY - workwear for men/women ROMAN ORIGINALS - women's clothing which covers a good size/age range CLARKS FACTORY SHOP - reduced goods including shoes/boots/bags etc. Clarks also have a full price shop and a baggage factory. COTTON TRADERS - sportswear for adults/kids ROHAN - clothing for the serious traveller CLAIRE'S ACCESSORIES - fashion jewellery, hair accessories etc. THORNTONS - chocolates and toffees!!! yummy, yummy! CRABTREE & EVELYN - another one of my favourite shops - fragrances, bath products, soaps etc. Just love their Lily of the Valley range. SONY - electrical products CADBURY - fantastic range of chocolates at greatly reduced prices including bags of mishapen chocolates. Got bag of 6 Turkish Delights (I know they used to be Fry's TB but now they must be Cadburys) for £1.49 and bag of 6 Crunchies for £1.49 and bag of assorted misshape chocolates for £2.49 (quite a large bag as well). STARBUCKS COFFEE - well, aren't their coffees just to die for? GIZMO - weird gadgets THE PERFUME SHOP - perfumes of course! MILLIES COOKIES - cookies!!! DONNAY INTERNATIONAL - retailer which stocks lots of sportswear etc. BOOKENDS PLUS - good range of bestselling books VIRGIN COSMETICS - cosmetics at an affordable price STONE - jewellery that is designed for major department stores SUNGLASS TIME - designer sunglasses EDINBURGH WOOLLEN MILL - good range of men/women's clothing JULIAN GRAVES - snacks and ingredients retailer BED & BATH WORKS - another of my favourites shops - linen, towels and household furnishings. Bought 4 very large tapestry cushions (including padding) f
or £10 each - saw similar in shop in Bournemouth for approx. £25) FAT FACE - modern outdoor clothing LEE COOPER - jeans etc. THE PAPER MILL SHOP - lots of various paper and arts and crafts ONEIDA - cutlery HALLMARK - cards, wrapping paper etc. BAGS ETC. - bags etc!!! THE PROFESSIONAL COOKWARE COMPANY - quality cookware/kitchen accessories WHITTARD OF CHELSEA - very fine teas, coffees and cups, saucers etc. PRIMA DESIGNER CLOTHING - fashion labels for women/men NEXT CLEARANCE - another of my favourite shops - greatly reduced prices EDINBURGH CRYSTAL - various types of crystal glassware THE POTTERY HOUSE - ceramics and dining accessories from the Mediterranean. XS - CDs, videos, computer games There is also a Clarks Factory Museum (I must admit that we did not go into this). There are plenty of toilets (which were very clean ) and disabled facilities - I am just looking at the leaflet I picked up and I have noticed that they do have a Shopmobility section which is ideal for people travelling with disabled people and they don't want to fill up the boot space with a wheelchair. They can provide both electric buggies and manual ones. The telephone number (if you want to book one in advance) is 01458-440155. I always book a Shopmobility wheelchair for my mum when I take her out (when I go up North) so I know this is an absolutely brilliant feature to have in a place like this because you do walk round the shops for quite some time. There are four car parks and there is also an outdoor play area for the kiddies. I did like Clarks Village - it had certainly expanded since I last visited. There are plenty of bargains to be got. It was just unfortunate that the day we chose to go there was a pretty miserable, stormy type of day which made driving along those sharp, bending, country roads quite difficult. However, I think
that had it been a nice summer's day then we would have enjoyed the experience much more. For people like me and my husband, who live in Dorset, then I would consider it a "treat" and would only go again in summertime. However, if you live within 45 minutes travelling distance then I think it is worth while going several times. OPENING TIMES ---------------------- Open 7 days a week Late night shopping every Thursday until 20.00 Spring/Summer: April to October 09.00 - 18.00 Autumn/Winter - November to March 09.00 - 17.30 Sundays - 10.00 - 17.00 Apparently, stores over 3000 sq ft can only open at 10.30 on Sundays for browsing only and resume full trading at 11.00. This is due to Sunday Trading Laws. Also, because of these same laws, these particular stores (sorry, don't know which ones they are but I guess M&S will definitely be one of them because it is very big) will be closed on Easter Sunday. So, beware, check before you go on Easter Sunday (Clarks Management Office telephone number is 01458 840064, fax number is 01458 841132). PS: Just to let you know, that I did manage to navigate the directions back even though, again, the weather was very stormy. Happy shopping.