Yorkshire Week - McArthur Glen Designer Outlet

Today's 'Yorkshire Week' post is brought to you by my lovely blogging friend Karen who I co-run the North East Network of Brilliant Bloggers with. Karen can be found blogging at Adventures of a monkeyfooted mummy which features snippets from her family life, reviews and recipes. Over the Karen:-


I used to really LOVE shopping, I really did.  I would go browsing in my lunch break (do you remember those?) and could shop before and after work. Then along came the children. Now don't get me wrong I don't blame them. But let me tell you when my aversion to shopping began, its a bit of a story so settle yourself down.... 

Three days before Christmas in 2008 I popped down to our local shopping centre for a last minute gift for my Step Daughter, please picture now that Peanut was 3 weeks old, fed every 2 hours but took an hour to do so, she rarely slept and I had no idea what had happened to my life! So what made me think I could get in and out of the mall with the desired items with no fuss is anyones guess!! 

Finding a parking space took me 40 minutes, peanut was screaming, I was desperate for somewhere to feed her (before the days when I whipped out the ladies with no embarrassment) so head down with determination I barged my shiny new pram through the throng, when a hand grabbed my arm and I heard 'let me show you our makeup, I think the one you are using is not right for you!' oh makeup lady you are lucky you survived! I was so stressed tired and upset, that I burst into tears and ran into Mothercare where I fed a terribly upset peanut and cried some more. 

The shopping trip ended unsuccessfully without the desired item and with a 2 hour journey home. I have not been back since! I hate Malls and I hate shopping. I have the Internet and that is all I need.
So I wasn't totally convinced by claims of family friendliness in McarthurGlen outlets but never one to be defeated I accepted an invitation to try out  their York outlet.

For years York has been one of the UK’s leading travel destinations, offering the ideal combination of history, style and culture. Adding to this mix is York Designer Outlet. This indoor shopping outlet is home to over 120 stores, all offering savings of up to 60% on premium, designer and luxury brands including Calvin Klein, Gieves & Hawkes, Hugo Boss, Hobbs, LK Bennett, Tag Heuer and Ted Baker.

Set against the beautiful landscape of the Vale of York, this centre offers a wide selection of restaurants and relaxing cafes, a play area for children and is completely covered, providing the perfect day out no matter what the weather brings. 

Conveniently located minutes away from the rich historic setting of York city centre – and just a short drive from the A19/A64 interchange – you’ll find a regular shuttle bus service available from York railway station to make your trip even easier.

What We Say

Well, parking was plentiful and easy to find, the centre is bright and spacious and easy to navigate with prams. The mall has these great little ride on "Mcarthur cars" which the kids loved to sit in so we had space to hang bags and happy children. YAY!

And the shops, oh my, Coast, Kurt Gieger, Le Crueset, Mamas and Papas, Hugo Boss, Penhalligons, Addidas the list went on and on and on there was a Cadbury Shop , A WHOLE shop of Cadburys! Lindt and Paul Smith and Ted Baker, honestly I forgot my Mall Aversion very quickly because its so nicely set out and so bright and uncomplicated that it was actually pleasant to get around.

We ate lunch at Pizza Express upstairs in the food quarter. There are many family eateries to choose from including Wagamamas, Ed's American Diner, Pret and Mcdonalds plus lots more.   There are lifts and escalators to get upstairs and brownie points to the centre that the lifts are big enough for two buggys and parents or a wheechair and Mcarthur Car. There's also a little chill out zone near the lifts upstairs with some massage chairs, and a little kiddy ride, so just enough for a quick time out before moving on.

We've not been to Pizza Express before and I have to say I'm really impressed, the service was great with a large choice for the kids, the Pizzas are humongous and the sides are delicious. Our server Karen deserves a huge special mention because she was a star with the children, and totally efficient and happy as can be.

There are baby changing facilities readily available which are pleasant and easy to use, for obvious reasons I didn't take any pictures but they did pass the Monkeyfeet test, ie me and the kids all fit in, so that I knew the kids weren't running off anywhere!

After lunch we decided to let the kids run of some energy in the play park. The park is outside of the Mall but is undercover and fenced in and theres only one way in or out, as you know it all about containment especially with more than one child. The kids didn't want to leave but there was shopping to be done.

Our  mission was to start on our Christmas shopping and find some new loveliness for the house. We headed straight for Hamleys where we filled two bags, buying 11 Christmas gifts at amazing prices, and I'm pleased to report that I have at last gotten my hands on an ant farm for The Golden Child. Then we moved onto Le Crueset where I managed to get 3 mugs 3 egg cups 3 fridge magnets and a huge pie dish.  We've also nabbed some fab bargains in Joules chosen some lovely shoes from Clarkes and some gorgeous clothes at Next, we browsed round all the shops and stopped to chat with Heart FM about our day,  sadly the kids were shattered so I didn't make it to Mamas and Papas outlet but I'm pleased to report I will be back. We've had a lovely calm shopping day, it's been a long time since I enjoyed shopping this much!

A couple of points I will bear in mind for next time:-

  • It's really warm in the mall because of the glass roof so you can leave your coats in the car. 
  • Plan ahead using the map there's so many brilliant shops so I think I would prefer to have a route planned! 
  • Book a table, pizza express was busy but efficient. Give them a call to book a table then you won't be disappointed
  • Have a budget (this is a personal one!) I have been known to have on occasion overspent (please note by on occasion I mean all the time) and it would be so easy to batter your credit card in here there is soooooo much to choose from. So I personally like to know in advance how much I've got to spend and try stick to it. (honest!)
  • If in Doubt, ASK!  The staff  in the information office were really lovely and very helpful so if you are stuck or need advice or a car token just go see them.

This was our part of our substantial haul from the day.

Wow! The last time I visited must have been over 10 years ago. I really need to visit again soon - especially now that Le Crueset has closed at Royal Quays! - Sam


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