“ 4-5 Fosse Park Shopping Centre / Leicester / LE19 1HY „
I love shopping and as I only live 5 minutes driving/20 minutes walking for the shopping centre I use it on a regular basis as it is handy if I just need to get something. It has got everything I need and with the long opening hours it is just convenient if I want to pop there after my daughter has gone to bed whilst my hubby babysits. And plus shopping little bit later on the day guarantees better shopping experience as there is a lot less people around and easy parking.
Fosse Shopping Park is one of Britain's lagerst shopping centres. It is situated in Enderby (Blaby District) which is on the southern side of the Leicester City. The retail park is less than a mile from Junction 21 of the M1/M69. Junction 21 also connects the M1 with Narborough Road which is a main route to Leicester City Centre.
To me Fosse Park is divided into 3 sections:
First one has massive ASDA superstore which is opened 24/7. It is situated on its own separate bit with separate car parking facilities. I do not shop in ASDA at all. I must say it has massive car park with quite a few mother and child parking spaces. The reason I do not like shopping in Asda that it is always packed which people pushing each other and kids running riot everywhere. I am not saying this is not the case in any supermarket however; there is a big Sainsbury's situated just around the corner (literally) which tends to be less busy so it is much nicer to shop there (and its bit closer from my house to get there).
Second - MAIN section of Fosse Park which has majority of the shops. Car parking is massive, although I am not sure how many spaces are there nor there are any signs to state this. There are only fed disabled spaces available and again very little mother and baby spaces which are always taken up so I just park in any available space I can find. Some of the major shops in this section include: massive BHS, JJB, Monsoon, River Island, Next (one of my favourite shops), Gap (including baby Gap), Clarks, Boots (visiting regularly), Evans, Dorothy Perkins, WHS Smith, Sports World, New Look (excluding New Look Men) and Massive Marks and Spencer department including M&S food with its own car park at the back. All those shops are big versions providing good range of products to choose from and I feel even fussiest shopper will find something that they like in here.
You will probably get hungry/thirsty with all the shopping and walking so it is probably worth mentioning that there is a Food hall in the corner between Sports World and New Look. Within the food hall, there is plenty to choose for everybody if you just fancy having a cuppa or bite to eat. Eating drinking facilities include: Costa Coffee, Druckers Vienna Patisserie, KFC, Thorntons, Greggs or L4P. In addition in Food Hall, you can find Parfume shop, O2 and Orange shops, Clinton Card and very small newsagents. There is small stand on the side selling hand bags too. Food hall is quite big and always packed in the peak times. There is range of comfy leather seats, classic wooden chairs or bar stool to choose from. There are good amount of highchairs provided. Also quite good think about food hall is that they provide bottle warmers (Tommee Tippee) which is convenient if you need to warm up a bottle or jar of food. Microwave is also provided to use warm up baby food. I have used food hall facilities before; I normally have something from Costa however recently I have been to Druckers Vienna Patisserie which has their own seating area for customers. I have had coffee and a cake which was delicious!!! Definitely recommend. If you do not fancy anything from food hall, there is also McDonalds which is situated outside of the main food hall.
Toilet facilities that are situated in the corner of the food hall. I have used them before and must they are being cleaned (have seen the sign warning of wet floor etc) however they are not the best toilets, some of the doors are wonky and they look probably bit outdated. At the peak times, they are rather unpleasant with the wet toilete paper on the floor or toilets being blocked. I generally do not like using public toilets and avoid using these. There are disable toilets and nappy change facilities available separately.
Another facilities area is also available from Marks and Spencer which also has disabled toilets and nappy change/feeding cubicle. I have used this nappy change facility before. They looked cleaned with couple of bins provided which were not overflowing with nappies.
There are few ATM's availabe at Fosse Park.
Third and last section of Fosse Park includes megastores such as Curry's, Argos, PC World, Next Home, DFS, Harvey's and SCS. This section has separate car park with plenty of car parking spaces and disabled parking as well. This section of Fosse Park is separated from main bit by a round abound (if you are driving) or just a traffic light controlled crossing.
Car parking is free at Fosse Park.
My experience in shopping at Fosse Park is really good. As I mentioned, as I live very close to it, and work even closer, I find it easy just to pop there if I need to get something. It has plenty to offer and 9 out of 10 times I manage to get what I need. I do try to avoid going there on Saturdays and Sundays as it tends to get really really busy and around Christamas time it is real nightmare to find a parking (its good job that I can walk there so no stopping me). It has not entertainment for kids so if you have fidgety child (just like mine) I would avoid taking them with you.
What I also like about living so close is that I can order something on-line like I have done with Boots or Next and have it delivered to the store free of charge without having to travel far.
There are buses that regularly go to Fosse Park (Arriva and Centrebus) there are several different services available.
Fosse Park is opened 9am till 9pm Monday to Saturday and 11am till 4pm on Sunday. Extended late night shopping also applies around Christmas time.
Address should you want to visit is: Fosse Park Avenue Leicester LE19 1HY
In summary good range of shops, good range of refreshments available, free parking - something for everyone what else do you need?
Fosse Park gets 5/5 from me
I've been visiting Fosse for about 10 years now, its located off the M1 at J21 (if your heading from the north thats the junction right after the Leicester Forest East Services). J21 is also the junction for the M69 (don't head there though) turn down the A5460 and it is sign posted and visible.
Fosse is an out of town retail development, where it is free to park and also has great extended opening hours (Mon / Tues 9am - 8pm, Wed to Fri 9am to 9pm, Sat 9am - 8pm and Sun 11am - 5pm) however please check on line for individual store opening times - these are available on a PDF to download. Some hours also change particularly on the run up to Christmas to give you more time to shop.
Now without doubt you could visit Derby / Nottingham / Leicester towns and there would be an army of stores with a list so long it would bore you. Fosse mainly has the main stream high street stores so BHS / Evans / Dorthy Perkins / Next / Burtons / JJB / Wallis / Boots / WH Smiths / Monsoon / New Look / River Island / Gap ! / and a huge M&S (fab), Clarks / Clintons. In addition in an extension to Fosse behind these stores is a Argos / Currys / PC World / Land of Leather / a furniture store (name escapes me) and I noticed on Saturday that Next are building a separate home store her too - this is currently with the main clothes store.
Despite this restricted list of stores Fosse is hugely popular - arrive at midday and you will spend 30 mintuse circling for a parking space so either arrive earlier or later to avoid this. You can park directly outside the stores which are configured in a L shape so you can keep popping back to the car to drop off your shopping before your arms drop off.
There is a food court here located in the middle of the L - which has a Pizza Hut Express, Macdonalds, KFC, Druckers, Pret a Manger (never mind), Costa Coffee, Potato Bake House, Thorntons and also an O2 and Orange store. Seating is available upstairs and downstairs. M&S also has a cafe - again usually popular so go off lunchtime peak.
All areas at Fosse are fully disabled access - and equally that means a pushchair. Toilets and baby change facilities are available by the food court but I preferred the ones in M&S - no particular reason why though. Maybe convenience. Access to the stores requires walking outside there is no complete under cover access - hardly a major hardship.
Asda also have a big store accross the road and a petrol station by Fosse so if you need fuel you don't need to worry about hunting somewhere down.
And another good tip - for those that don't live near to this shopping area but travel up and down the M1 - Fosse is half a mile from the motorway - you could always call in during opening hours as an alternative to using the services - or to call in and get that forgotton birthday card / present.
This, known as Fosse Park, is approx 4 miles out of leicester city centre. You can get a bus there from the city centre (main St Margarets Bus Station) or you can drive there. It is basically three squares: three car parks surrounded by shops.
The first part is just ASDA. A big ASDA superstore (with a cafe in it) with two car parks. The second part of the shopping "park" has Marks & Spencers, JJB Sports, WH Smiths, Boots, Accessorise, Next, BHS, Monsoon, Evans, Burtons and Wallis. So, it is clothes shops, a Boots and a WH Smiths.
There is an interior "Food Court" stuck in the corner between M&S and WH smiths. This is small for the number of shoppers who go there and all you can do is queue for the toilets or go to one of the small kiosky fast food outlets inthere and find a small chair or table (there are surplus seats in an upstairs section). Its achoice of thorntons, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, The baked potato hut, Costa Coffe or Pizza Hut all sold from flat fronted counter kiosks. In the "food court" there are also a spate of Mobile phone shops in there and a newsagents. Its a little odd, but if you are hungry and the kids are nagging you, you can grab a burger and argue a bit then get in the car and go home.
The third part of the shopping park is less interesting- more serious: Argos, DFS, The Furniture Warehouse, Bensons for Beds, Currys, PC World, SCS and Harveys the furniture warehouse. If you want a sofa or a PC, you go to this bit. Again, there is a big car park area.
Overall, this is somewhere you go to if you need something- if you have a car, you go to ASDA as it is cheap for your shopping. If you need a sofa, you go to the sofa bit. It seems to be aimed at the 30-40 age bracket, families with kids who need sports kits and PCs and a fridge and mum can go to M&S and Dad can go to PC World. If you don't have a car and don't have kids, unless you need a sofa or a bed there isn't much point going to this Shopping park as all of the shops are in Leicester city centre (Boots, WH Smiths, Next, Monsoon, JJB...).
This is absolutley not somewhere you can spend more than 2 hours at a push. There is nothing there that isn't in the centre of leicester (except the Sofa/ furniture/ bed places) and the big ASDA. So, unless you live close to this, or want to go to ASDA, or have kids and a car, I would avoid it. You will have to drive around and around for a parking space unless you get there before 10am on a weekday (you have to remember all the employees in all the shops park in this car park too).
Even when I used to live 5 mins drive from this place, I would only go to the ASDA or the ASDA petrol station and I avoided the place between October and mid January as there is no way you will not spend an hour driving around and around or being trapped in a mid car park traffic jam if you go anywhere near here near to Christmas or the January sales.
Fosse Park is my first choice when I want to go shopping, as I find it much easier to go to a retail park where all the shops I want, plus a food court, are within easy reach of each other. That means less walking and therefore less expended energy than wondering round the city centre for hours on end, plus there are fewer distractions, and once I've bought something I can return it to my car rather than having to carry it round with me!
Fosse Park is near Leicester and can be accessed easily from the M1, M6 and M69, or from surrounding cities or towns such as Coventry, Nottingham etc, and I think it is the best retail park by far in that sort of area.
Once you get there, there are 2500 free parking spaces right in front of the shops so you shouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to leave your car. The shops are set out in a U shape around the car park and are easily accessed. In one corner of the U is a large food court with table and chairs, sofas, toilets and a wide variety of food outlets including Pizza Hut, Druckers, Costa Coffee and the Potato Bakehouse. If you don't fancy the food court there is also a large separate McDonalds.
Shops available at Fosse Park include all the high street chains that I would look to if I was shopping for clothes for either a man or woman such as: Evans, Monsoon, Accessorize, a small Dorothy Perkins, a very large Next, Principles, Wallis, a huge River Island, New Look, Marks and Spencers, and BHS. There are also a few sports shops including JJB Sports and Sports Direct, plus toiletries stores like The Perfume Shop and an impressively large and well laid out Boots.
Round the corner in a separate part of the park (with its own car parking area, but within walking distance from the main one) there are some furniture stores and electronics retailers such as PC World, Harveys, Argos, Land of Leather and DFS.
Fosse Park deals with almost all my shopping needs whether it be clothes, make-up or gifts, and it does it all in a relaxing and easy environment where you are never far away from toilets, food or your car! For me it is the simplest way to shop and it is a place I have returned to time and time again.
It also has an excellent website which gives you a list of individual store opening times plus a floor plan and other useful information.
See you there!