* Prices may differ from that shown
Now first off......I never in a million years thought I would be writing a review about a shopping centre as unusual though it may seem for a woman, I detest clothes shopping! Needs must though, and as I had money to spend and clothes that have seen better days, it was time to go face the music! We live on the other side of the country but were staying in Marple for a few days which is twenty minutes away from the Trafford Centre. On arrival by car, it was great to find a huge car park and with 11,500 spaces you need to remember where you left it! The outside of the building is really impressive due to its size and the beautiful white and gold figurines dotted around the roof top. Waterfalls and marble steps add to the opulent look of the building. The entrance hall is also breathtaking with wide sweeping staircases and beautiful painted ceilings. This is also where the food mall is situated and this in itself is probably bigger than our shopping centre at home! Everyone is catered for with most of the high street names featured. Just a few are: Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Nandos, Giraffe and Zizzi. There are that many eateries that none looked too busy at any one time. The shopping mall is laid out brilliantly across two floors and you can walk round without missing anything. As I said at the start of my review, I don''t like the shopping experience (usually) but I have to say I quite enjoyed the four hours I spent here. Yes!! Four hours, which for me is a miracle. The place is spotlessly clean, air conditioned and well spaced out with a good mixture of shops to suit everyones taste. All the high street names are here: River Island, Monsoon, Marks and Spencers and my favourite, Next to name but a few. They seem to have thought of everything. There is an Odeon cinema, Legoland and Sealife Centre for the little ones. Creche and play area, fun buggies and Pushchair hire is also available. If you are a real shopaholic, there is a Premier Inn two minutes away from the doors which would enable you to make the most of all that the centre has to offer. All in all, I would recommend a visit to this huge shopping centre if only to look at the beautiful building and design of the eating mall! we ate at the Pizza Express and thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Staff everywhere were polite and everywhere seemed so spacious and airy! If you are visiting by car, the postcode for Satnav is M17 8AA. Worth a visit if you are nearby!
Last weekend I took a trip to Manchester to go and visit a friend and to also go Flower Girl Dress shopping for her wedding. Probably not one of my best ideas given that I was taking said flower girl in question who is 21 months old and being 8 and a half months pregnant that the thought of shopping at the Trafford Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon was not too exciting but I was happy to go given that I was spending time with my friend and I was also excited to go to The Trafford Centre as I had never been before.
To quote an article I read, "The Trafford Centre is a large indoor shopping centre and leisure complex situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford inGreater Manchester, close to the Trafford Park industrial estate and approximately 5 miles from Manchester city centre."
It was built tin 1998 and still looks brand new to me. It has a wonderful Las Vegas style about it, all glitzy and glamorous with water fountains, intricate decorations and of course lots of dressed up Northeners. Apparently, The Trafford Centre also has £5.8 million of marble and granite flooring. The marble flooring are polished every night along with rails giving the shopping centre an opulent style. There are a lot of domes around on the ceilings and it very much reminded me of The Cesears Palace Hotel in Las Vegas if anyone has ever been there. The article I read went on to say that, "Ten percent of the UK population live within a 45-minute drive of the shopping centre, which attracts more than 35 million visits annually. It has Europe's largest food court in The Orient and the UK's busiest cinema, attracting over 28,500 visitors each week. There are over 10,000 car parking spaces.
Now, given the fact that it has over 10,000 car parking spaces you would have though it would be easy to find a space, right? Wrong!! It took us about 15 minutes of driving around to find a space when we got there, ok it was a Saturday afternoon but eventually we did find someone after someone pulled out. This is open air parking and covered parking and we found some covered parking which was nice as it was raining. I like the fact that the parking as free as a lot of shopping centres now are going the paid parking route and I think this will detract from people visiting. The car park pillars were numbered to help us find our car again which was nice. To get into the shopping centre we had to go up some escalators and we found ourselves on the top floor.
By far my favourite shop in here was the Selfridges. Already a favourite store of mine as I visit the one in London quite a bit, this one was also just as luxurious and nice. What I liked about it was that it was somewhat quiet compared to the rest of the shopping centre, I guess as it's expensive it's not everyones first port of call. There is a really nice beauty section where my friends mum had a make up trial for her wedding and they gave her a really thorough explanation of everything and let me sit down on one of their make up chairs as baby was starting to get heavy after all the shopping.
There was a really nice selection of shops here, nothing too high end but all of your major fashion retailers such as Coast, Gap, Debenhams, Reiss, River Island, Monsoon, Topshop to name but a few. They are all well laid out and inviting albeit very crowded on a Saturday. The toilets were lovely too, really nice and clean and I didn't have to wait in a queue once for the toilet which at 8 and a half months pregnant is definitely a plus.
Although we did not eat in it the food court was something to behold. Called The Orient it was massive and featured just about every type of restaurant and food you could want, TGI Fridays, Mexican, Spanish, Japanese. In the end we just grabbed a sandwich to go from M&S as we were on a mission but if I lived nearer here this would be somewhere where I would definitely come just to eat and enjoy a day/night out.
Well, we never did find a flower girl dress, I ended up ordering one from the Next catalogue but I found the Trafford Centre to be an experience in itself and that's before you even begin to go shopping.
Having lived in Manchester (working at the Trafford Centre) I thought I would let you all know my thoughts & feelings about it.
The Trafford Centre is based in Manchester, not far from the city centre in the area of Trafford (hence the name) it is a retail & leisure complex based under one roof, great that it's all under one roof as it makes it weather proof, you can go when its raining, snowing or sunny as it's all indoors.
The complex can be found off the M60 not far from Salford Quays and the Old Trafford football stadium getting there by car is very easy it has tons of parking spaces all the way round the complex. BY BUS this is so easy to get to, as I don't drive I usually relied on buses to get me there , its so well served by buses I think, with buses from across the city. It is so well served it has it's own bus station which is connected with the centre.
Inside you have a huge array of shops inside including top name stores like Topman, Topshop, Burton, Thomson, Thomas Cook, WH Smiths, Boots, Superdrug, HMV, Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S, O2 and one of only a handfull of Selfridge stores in the UK. You can find absolutely everything you need at the Trafford Centre, theres also a new retail outlet across the road (with over walkway connecting the two) for people after home items from the likes of BHS and Next Home.
Back in the centre you also have a huge range of restaurants, cafés and coffee shops that I can't think of a fussy eater that would starve here. The centre has a huge food court called the Orient which has a pizza place, Harry Ramsdens, McDonalds, Subway, KFC, Jacket Patatoe place, pasta to name just a few, and it all surrounds a ship shaped seating area which can seat upto 1600 with a huge screen and stage in the middle, it looks fantastic in my eyes. Arround the centre and also upstairs you have a load of specialist restaurants and also cafés including Millies Cookies, Starbucks & Caffe Nero.
On top of this try bowling, the arcade centre and cinema to make a real day and night of it. The centre is always patrolled by staff and security so your always safe but it can be very busy at times so watch your belongings but I must say I LOVE the Trafford Centre and although I am not living in Manchester anymore I do visit often mainly for a shopping trip to the Trafford Centre so highly recommend it.
Just looking at the building makes you think "WOW". The amount of detail that was put into the building alone is enough to earn the full 5stars let alone what's inside it all.
Let's start off with it's location : The Trafford Centre is located just next to junctions 9 and 10 on the M60 (Manchester's main motorway), the centre itself offers a 10,000 place car park so you will get a space just the question is near to the centre itself or not? The three major entraces to the Trafford Centre are the "East" "Middle" and "West" entrances. When entering from the right hand side (in relation to the M60) you enter via John Lewis (or just next to it depending on you car park location), from the left hand side you greet Debenhams and from the middle you either go through the dining hall or Selfridges (the opposite side).
It was first opened in 1998 on the 10th September and has stayed open ever since, it's owned by the PEEL Group. I remember going that year and oh how it has changed...
The TC (Trafford Centre) is situated on two levels and a third level is designated for the cinema. Altogether there are 280 shops. When it first opened there used to be a "market" which has since changed into John Lewis, which in my eyes was not needed, although it was always planned to change "the market area" into another shop. For some reason there's sometime's two of the same shop which I don't really understand (this tends to be one on each level), for instance there are two "Game" and two "Carphone warehouses" (one on each level, or at least there were the last time I went)
You can see a dome from a birds eye view of the TC, this points to the centre of the trafford centre where selfridges can be found on the 1st and 2nd floord and the 3rd an Odeon cinema.
The grand orient (also known as the food court) is also situated in the middle of the TC. IT's styled in the shape of a ship with a swimming pool in the middle and a big ship deck situated to the front. Arcades are situated on the first floor aswell as all known fast food restaurants (mc donalds, KFC,) on the upper floor of the orient there's all well known restaurants (pizza express and other styled restaurants)
The trafford centre is home to an Odeon cinema which once was UGC but was taken over. There's also other entertainment such as an 18hole mini-golf course, laser quest, dodgems and a bowling alley.
I find the TC amazing just the smell when you go in makes me happy (I know sad but oh well) you will find all good shops there : JD, Debenhams, Bank, Republic, River Island, M&S etc.
The TC was updated in 2007, with the newly added "Great Hall" with a massive marble staircase and one of the biggest chandelier's in the world, also included in the update was Barton Square which opened in 2008 although this part covers only homeware. A long walkway connects the TC to Barton Square as in situated on the otherside of the road, next to ASDA.
The shopping also operated a kids area, basically you leave you're kids in the creche whilst you walk around knowing that they're safe. You are given a "beep monitor" telling you what time to return - when it starts to beep. Obviously you have to pay for this but it isn't very dear and keeps the kids happy (or it did when I was young enough to go)
New plans for transport have been put in place, with the best in my eye as being the connection with Manchester Piccadily via metrolink although this is only meant to be completed in 2016. Other plans such as connection via boat along the canal were reviewed in 2006 and put ahead although as of today none of the plans have seen action. Many bus routes are directed to the TC from surrounding areas.
Overall this is an amazing shopping centre / entertainment area. So if ever you're in the North West I would highly recommend visiting
Well I have to admit that I am a girl who likes to have a little excursion to the shops every so often - I don't go every week as I like to wait until stores have got something different to offer before I visit again. The Trafford Centre has appeal because in bad weather you don't need to be getting wet whilst hunting about the shops and it has almost everything you could wish for - well it suits me anyhow and I understand that all tastes are different so if you are after goth stuff for example then maybe this is not the best place you could go and indeed Aflecks Palace in Manchester would be a better bet.
HOW EASY IS IT TO GET THERE?
Well I go by car and it is plain sailing along the motorway or via Eccles. If you go on the motorway then junctions 9 and 10 are the ones for you and when you arrive - midweek is best for a quieter and less crowded time - the carpark is FREE and offers 10,000 spaces which are situated both undercover and outdoors. I am not the best navigator in the world but I can find this place very easily so if I can do it then there is hope for anyone really. So FREE parking - yeah that is always a crowd pleaser.
WHAT ARE THE OPENING TIMES ETC?
Monday to Friday 10am -10pm
Saturday 10am - 8pm
Sunday 12 - 6pm (some stores open at 11am)
Special days such as Bank Holidays etc they are normally open but hours can vary so it is best to check out the website before planning a jaunt :
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Toilets, what are they like and are there enough? I start with toilets because you can guarantee as soon as I arrive that is where I will want to go - crazy - anyhow you will be pleased to know that on the upper and lower levels there are toilets located near Boots (upper) and Debenhams (lower) of course there are also loo's situated in the eating area that has the big ship thingy in the centre. The loo's are always spotless when I have been and they are maintained regularly, they are modern and offer disabled and baby changing cubicles too. Thumbs up there then.
DO YOU NEED A LIFT SIR/MADAM?
If you would like to hire a mobility scooter then there is a good, well stocked, store near John Lewis on the Lower level.
Child buggy push alongs are available in the centre of the lower floor.
There are escalators and lifts around the centre.
I would avoid busy times if you are going to use a scooter or buggy as the centre can get pretty packed and it is troublesome walking at times.
SHOPS - SHOPS - SHOPS
As you would imagine this place has lots of shops, I am not going to list them as that would be a marathon task but I can tell you that lots of the popular high street stores are here such as Boots, Superdrug, DP's, HMV and also you have a good range less common stores that sell designer gear. Selfridges is here but I don't really browse in there as it is a bit on the expensive side - well a lot expensive ahem.
TIME FOR FOOD
No problem for food here as you have the Food Hall where you can get food from a number of places and then sit in the centre. Or you can choose a restauant and eat within their premises - Chinese, Pizza Hut, Nando's are a few of them. If you are veggie there is a jacket potato place, Nando's veggie burger is suitable for veggies (vegans without the mayo) and Marks and Spencers to a great range of stuff suitable for veggies/vegans.
ATTRACTIONS OTHER THAN SHOPS
Well of course there is the Cinema for those who would like to take in a film or two and for the kiddies there are entertainment and family facilities - see the website for more info there as I don't really have any experience of what that is like with my baby being all grown up now.
Spot on - a stunning building with gorgeous fountains and statues galore, reminds me of the Roman period in time in parts - beautiful! Clean, well maintained.
I NEED A SEAT
No problems here for seats there are lots scattered about the place or you can pop in Starbucks or similar places to chill for a while - you deserve it having been on your feet all day don't you!
SO IS IT WORTH A VISIT
I would say yes! It is a pleasant environment, very civilized and nice atmosphere. It is nice and bright especially in daytime as the ceiling is glass - don't wrap up as it can get warm in there - bit like a green house when it gets the sun in it. The shops are a plenty and I always seem to get what I went for. Sometimes I go for a girly day out with mum and daughter to chill out together and chat and have fun and if we see a real bargain - which I must admit is not often here - then that is a bonus. I don't go at weekends though as it is just too packed.
A FINAL WORD
If you haven't been here yet then yes I would recommend giving it a whirl in the midweek if possible and then you can make the most of it. It has everything under a glass roof that is surrounded by glorious statues and houses a beautiful fountain - and shops!
I like it - but I am female!
I go to the trafford centre about twice a week, once to shop and the other to play in the arcades. The thing i love the most about the trafford centre is having everything i need under one roof. The trafford centre is packed with all my favourite shops such as river island, debenhams, john lewis, selfridges and fat face, but it nalso has stores that you wont find on your typical high street such as guess, swarkovski, the sunglass hut, disney store, and armani xchange. There is something for everyone at the trafford centre and the food court is that diverse that everyone will find something they like to eat.
For entertainment they have the odeon cinema, and the arcade which is always great for a laugh. Inside the arcade is bowling and dodgem cars as well as the usual stuff that arcades tend to have. I'm particularly partial to a bit of air hockey and its tradition that every sunday me and my other half have dinner then visit the arcade and blow some money!
I went to the Trafford Centre yesterday and had a really great day. From the M60 it is realy easy to get to, about a minute's drive from the junction and well signposted.
There are several car parks - all with signs over the entrance telling you how many spaces are available. I have never been unable to park at the Trafford centre, although on a busy Saturday afternoon it might take a little longer than you would like to find a space. Importantly though, the parking is completely free for as long as you want. There is undercover or outdoor parking and easy access into the Trafford centre from all of the car parks.
Once inside, the Trafford Centre is an enourmous strip of shops, set out like a high street on 2 levels. Although it is enclosed, it doesn't feel at all claustrophobic, as the roof is glass all down the middle, so it has a nice open spacious feel to it, with the benefits of being a pleasant air conditioned temperature. You won't need a coat once inside.
There is a huge variety of shops - primarily clothes, jewellery and accessories, with a big John Lewis at one end, a big Debenhams at the other and Selfridges in the middle. As the shops are on 2 levels there are plenty of staircases, escalators and lifts (for those of us with prams - I find it very child friendly).
There are interactive maps throughout the Centre, so if you are looking for a particular shop, you can find it easily.
You can happily spend a whole day here. There is a big food court, with all the usual types of fast food outlets - KFC, Subway, Harry Ramsden's - and also several restuarants, so whatever you like to eat you are sure to find something to suit.
There is also a children's play area/creche although I haven't been in here so can't comment on it's quality.
The facilities are good, plenty of toilets which I always found to be clean and fully stocked. There are also decent baby change facilities in several areas across the mall.
If you like shopping and have money to spend, you will love the Trafford Centre.
The Trafford Centre is a large shopping centre located in manchester. I live in Bolton, and use the m60 to access the trafford centre, whenever i decide to go there is always a traffic jam on the m60 it drives me mad!
The main reason i choose to go to the trafford centre is because everything is in one place, under cover and it is absolutely free to park. It gets very busy in the car parks especially during weekends and school holidays but you can just park on the kerbs and you never get a parking ticket.
I used to work at the trafford centre so i know my way around very well, know exactly where the shops are i want to go in, so i can be in and out if i want to be.
I like to spend a whole day at the trafford centre though when we go, as there is a huge food area, which is set out really posh like a ship. When you look up its a blue sky with stars, and the seating area is like on a ship deck. There a lots of cheap pizza places or you can get jacket potatoes, sandwiches, as well as the usual mcdonalds, kfc and pizza hut.
These is also an odean cinema, with a new mini golf which has just recently opened. There is also a laserquest, arcade, bowling alley and dodgems! You never get bored on a day out in the trafford centre, there is so much more to do than just shopping!
There is the usual range of shops like new look, river island, debenhams etc. I wish there were more cheaper shops though, like there is in the town centres, like peacocks, matalan, primark. I love these type of shops but they must not be up market enough for the likes of the trafford centre!
There is a very strange shop that has just opened in the trafford centre, i cant remember what it is called but they dont have the lights on! You have to walk round the shop in the dark and they just have spot lights on here and there pointing at some of the best items. I dont think i could work in a shop in the dark all day! I thought it was annoying you couldnt see anything!
When it first opened years ago there was a large area with small stalls selling cheap bargains, but that got closed down and they built a huge john lewis store in its replacement. I think they are trying to make it more of a posh shopping centre, so do not want cheaper stores who people may be a bit snobby about.
There are also a number of opticians in the trafford centre, which is good as if you have read my vision express review i am always breaking my glasses, so i take them here and they usually take an hour to repair or replace so its great to do a spot of shopping while you wait!
There is also a new home shopping part which they have just opened, which includes a next home, marks and spencers home, bhs, habitat dwell etc. This is great if you want to do a bit of home shopping without having to go into the actual trafford centre as it is built over the road, just with a huge long bridge connecting it. It also has its own car park too.
Overall, i prefer to shop locally in the town centre of bolton if i want to go in places like peacocks and primark, but on a horrible rainy day i go to the trafford centre as its all undercover!
The Trafford Centre is a large, undercover shopping centre housing about 180 shops. These include the usuals like Debenhams, M&S, Selfridges, John Lewis and many more.
On arrival, the parking here is excellent, there are plenty of entrances and plenty of car parks to park in, and all of them are FREEE, which compared to some of Manchesters prices is a bonus! The carparks occasionally get full during January Sales, but there is always a kerb or piece of grass you can squeeze yourself into. The car park attendants seem to have enough not to ticket you if you are parked in strange places, this always helps.
The Layout of the Trafford Centre is over two floors, there is a seperate area for food/drinks, and it also has a twenty screen cinema, tenpin bowling, mini golf and an arcade.
The centre is always kept nice and clean, cleaners troll up & down with trollies sweeping up. There are also staff in red coats always wandering around if you need directions. There are plenty of information points around, and for the children there are small cars they can be pushed around in.
There isn't much to say about the shops themselves, these are pretty much the same inside as they would be along the high street, but again always seem to be kept clean and tidy.
The dinning area is brilliant, over 60 Resteraunts with the option to sit down or take away, names include Pizza Hut, Nando's, Cafe Rouge and many more. This area is set out like a cruise ship, which also has a small pool in the middle, for young kids its great, there are even star lights in the ceiling. You may have seen this on programmes like Gok's fashion fix.
Dotted around the shopping area are smaller food places like Millies Cookies, and ice cream booths, these arent cheap, but once you are in the Trafford Centre you dont have much choice but to use them
The Odeon cinema is a good one, with twenty screens in total, this is close to the dinning area so is good for an evening out, the bars are a short walk from the cinema entrance.
The Trafford Centre now has a dedicated area, called Barton Square, dedicated to homeware shops including BHS home, Habitat, Next Home. Fot a full list visit www.traffordcentre.co.uk The home area is very good, the prices are reasonable and this also has its own seperate carpark if you want to avoid the clothes shoppers.
All in all, if you are looking for a day at the shops, and dont feel like getting wet in the rain or falling over in the snow, give the Trafford Centre a try, http://www.traffordcentre.co.uk/gettinghere/journeyplanner/ click the link for directions, you can't miss it.
he Trafford centre is a shopping centre located in Manchester.
By car its ust off the M60 ring road on the outskirts of Manchester. It's easy to get to and well sign posted. Its a very popular venue so be sure to give yourself a lot of time if you go on a bank holiday or a saturday as everyone goes to Trafford. And this is why-
The Centre is spread out over two floors. All the big brand shops are there -Selfridges, Debenhams, Karen Millen...the list is endless... and everything from Armani Exchange, to the Apples store to Andrew Collinge hairdressers.
Theres a pretty good Odeon cinema there showing the latets releases and this is another reason the centre is so popular. It means after a hard days shopping you can relax in the cinema. But not before you've grabbed a bite..
The shopping centre has a huge variety of places to eat. There are restaurant chains including Pizza Hut, Frankie and Bennys, TGI Fridays etc and are also other restuarants catering for every cuisine: Italian, Indian, Chinese and may more, Plus theres the usual fast food places like McDonalds and KFC.
There's also a food hall which has been made in the theme of Titanic (a huge "deck" is the place where the tables and chairs are set up and there's a nautical theme throughout that area.
As well as the shopping and food and cinema theres a great variety of entertainment at the Traffird centre which is why you see a lot of kids hanging aorund there. There's laser quest, mini golf, cinemas, in-door rock climbing, bowling, dodgems, arcades and loads much more.
Style and decor
The shopping centre has an ancient egyptian section, which is a bit of a Harrods rip off!
The interior of the building compliments the exterior and with alot of shopping centres (think Westfield's posh part which is all bling) the centre is very stylish. I think its all part of the ambience ceated to make you spend more cash!
A great day out for everyone; families, couples and big groups of friends. I really enjoyed myself at Traffod. I went with friends and the missus and her friends and we had a great laugh. We ate, shopped, played games, watched a film - we didnt have to drive around to several different places to do all of this - it was all under one roof. I woul recommend trafford -just for the wicked water fountains and the wierd guys who pretend to be statues and jump out at you - this is an all in one entertainment venue.
I used to live very near the Trafford Centre, but I still go there regularly due to its accessibility, and because you can really make a day of it. It's located between Trafford Park and Urmston, just off of junction 10 of the M60, and runs next to Barton Dock Road. As well as it being just off the motorway, regular bus services run to here from Manchester City Centre (most of these are provided by Stagecoach), as well as a shuttle bus that runs from Stretford Metrolink station (you buy a Metrolink ticket to the Trafford Centre, and it includes free travel on the shuttle bus as well as the tram fare to Stretford).
At the centre itself, there is a lot of parking space, but it gets full very quickly. The centre is accessible by lift / escalator from within the car park, and from the bus stands.
The centre has two floors of shops, a central food hall with various restaurants, and a cinema upstairs. As for shops, it has everything you would expect from a shopping centre, many of the high street chains - but there isn't much in the way of independent stores. There are some banks in the centre, which is very convenient for getting cash while you're doing your shopping - they're never usually that busy either. There are a few coffee shops (excluding the cafes in John Lewis and Selfridges) - these are large and have a pleasant atmosphere, but are always packed.
The toilets are kept in pretty good condition, despite the high volume of use they get. The centre is usually very busy, especially so at weekends and times like Christmas. The centre is only open for 6 hours on a Sunday (due to Sunday Trading Laws), but opens an hour early for browsing only.
You can buy Trafford Centre gift cards, which you put a sum of money on (e.g. £50), and these can be used by the recipient in any of the shops in the centre. They are a good gift; my office issues these at Christmas to all the staff as a Christmas present!
It's a good day out, with loads of great shops. Some of them are quite pricey (e.g. they cater more for the 'luxury' market), but are still worth a look, and all the usual high street stores are included too.
The Trafford centre Manchester is based just off the M60 ring road on the out skirts of Manchester so its easily accessible. However if going at peek times (weekends, bank holidays etc) traffic can mount up quite considerably so i would advise going at an off peak time.
The Centre its self is a large scale shopping centre based over two floors and including all the big brand shops you would expect such as Selfridges, Marks and Spencer's, etc.
The shopping centre also has a huge variety of places for you too eat, there are all of the large restaurant chains that would expect such as Pizza Hut, Frankies and Bennys, TGI Fridays but there are also other restuarants such as Italians, Indian, Chinese and may more, Plus theres still of of the fast food too like Mc Donalds and KFC.
As well as the shopping and food theres a great variety of entertainment at the Traffird centre ranging from laser quest, to mini golf, cinemas, in door rock climbing, bowling, dodgems, arcades and sooo much more.
The Trafford centre is based just outside Manchester, between junctions 9&10 of the M60, so is easily accesable via most of the north wests major motorways and roads. I think I would be doing the Trafford Centre an injustice if I called it a shopping centre, as there is much more to it, shopping is its main purpose however it contains a lot of extra facilities, for example an Odeon cinema, Lazer Quest, Two mini golf courses, a large arcade complex containing a bowling alley, dodgems and pool tables, there is a huge food court, which not only contains your fast food outlets like Subway, KFC and McDonalds etc but also large 'proper' resturaunts like Pizza express, TGI Fridays and Indian and Chineese resturaunts and the Trafford Centre is such a main attraction it has its own bus station. There are apparently 10,000 free parking spaces (although I can never seem to find one). There are even plans to provide a water taxi service in the future to to its close proximity to Manchester ship canal.
As I said this is predominantly a shopping centre, however the thing that sets it apart from other shopping centres is the sheer size and number of stores that it houses, containing many flagship stores including M&S, Selfridges, BHS and Debenhams. There are hundreds of shops within the Trafford Centre and the number is increasing all the time, a giant expansion was completed just a short time ago, under the name of Barton Square, and there is more land owned by the Trafford Centre which there are plans to expand onto. Another great thing about the Trafford Centre is the internal and external looks, form the outside the building look very impressive, with intersting archtecture and statues as well as the giant glass dome which can be seen from a long way away, inside is equally impressive, with the marble floors and glass roof in addition to more fountains inside the actual building. Over Christmas the Trafford Centre always makes a big deal of its excellent decorations with reportedly millions of pounds spent to make the place look great, which in my opinion they do very well.
Despite its size the Centre is surprisingly easy to navigate and find what you need, however if you find yourself lost there are numerous customer service desks and 'Red coats' staff who are always happy to assist you. The centre always seems strangely clean and tidy considering the amount of visitors on a day to day basis, even the toilets are generally impeccable and have won many awards, which although I dont normally consider such things is well deserved. The Centre opens between 10 and 10 on normal weekdays 9-8 Saturdays and 11-6 Sundays although over Christamas these hours are extended.
Now to the few bad points. As mentioned in the opening of the review there are massive issues with regards to parking at the Trafford Centre, it has honestly taken me the best part of half an hour on many occasions, alot of people resort to parking in all sorts of unorthadox places like grass verges and on pavements and double yellow lines. Quite often when you do find a parking space it can involve very long walks to the actual centre. On a similar note there can also be congestion inside the centre itself at busy times, I cant tell you how many times I have been run over buy buggies and the fun childrens cars you can get from customer services. On a final bad point, probably not too bad for many though is that I work quite near to the Trafford Centre and the motorway is ALWAYS congested around this area as well as the local roads and adds about 20 minutes to all my journeys.
Its the best shopping/entertainment complex I have visited, four DooYoo stars, once deducted for the sheer inconveniece that the traffic around the place causes.
The trafford centre is one of thebiggest and most well known shopping centres in the North West and it has good reason to be.
It is a massive shopping haven and you would be doing well not to find something you like or a suitable present for someone in here.
It has all of the 'expected' shops such as topshop, new look, debenhams, boots etc which can be found in most shopping centres or on most UK high streets. It also has more shops which are less common such as selfridges, Hollister and John Lewis.
What I like about the Trafford centre is that it is not just a place for shopping. The food court is hugh and it has offerings from Shere Kahns indian take out, to subway, to more restauranty places upstairs like pizza express, giraffe and a whole mini china town. This complex also houses a full sized arcade which has dodgems in it, a bowling alley, a cinema and a laser tag and a golf place. This means it is a pretty cool place to hang out, or to take your kids when you want something fun to do. This section of the centre is decked out to look like a ship and has a really grand staircase so you really feel like you are on a cruise ship.
The trafford centre is located about 20 minutes out of the city centre of manchester and is just off the M60 (I think). There are lots of carparking space right outside the centre and there is a relable bus from the city or manchester and this just really makes it accessible.
The only thing is that it is always busy. Testament to its success, it is pretty much always rammed and I would even class it as a place to avoid around Christmas. I know they can't do too much about this but it is not somewhere I would like to be if I was hardcore christmas shopping or had babies in tow. This can also lead to there being a lot of traffic around the centre, especially at closing time which means it can be a nighmare if you are just trying to make a move down the M60 or if you live nearby.
I think the trafford centre is a really good place to go shopping if you can hack it, but it can be busy and it is lacking in lower priced shops, so maybe hold out for the sales. Even Meadowhall in Sheffield (one of what I would class as the Trafford Centres rivals) has a primark and a few poundland shops so it can serve a more diverse mixture of people and is better for novelty shopping and low cost retail therapy.
I have only been to the Trafford Centre and it was courtesy of a coach trip which I was persuaded into going to. The first thing that hits you about this shopping centre is the sheer scale of the building which of course is echoed by the huge number of parking spaces which underline it's popularity. As you gaze upwards at the building it's apparent that it's very grand with a very esoteric feel.
The shopping centre itself is on several levels and includes disney shops, a huge range of sports shops, cafes, restaurants and many other ranges of shops. In fact in terms of it's coverage there is very little that you will not find here. My favourite shops were the numerous music shops located in the centre where thankfully I was able to buy a number of albums at discounted prices.
There is a very nice ambience to the place even amongst all of the hustle and bustle of thousands of people and for those looking to eat, as mentioned this is more than catered for. The shopping centre following the theme of the outside of the building has ancient egyptian section packed with vast numbers of gods which will be of great interest especially to those who like Egyptology.
The interior of the building compliments the exterior with very well designed interesting and stylish features and that together with the huge range of shops on offer makes this a great day out, together with a possibly expensive one to.