Advantages Everything you could possibly want and more
Disadvantages Very very busy on Saturdays
The Trafford Centre is the biggest shopping centre in the North West. It is enormous. Just about everything you would possibly want to buy, and many things you would not, can be purchased at this maharaja of malls. Come with me, and I'll take you on a guided tour of Shopping Paradise…Getting There
The TC is situated between junctions 9 and 10 of the M60. It's very well signposted from the motorway (just keep following Trafford Park signs), making it a doddle to reach by car. There are also frequent buses from Manchester to the centre's own bus station, and the Metrolink (which you can get on at lots of stops in Manchester city centre or at its railway stations) connects to the buses at Stretford.You can't miss it. It's a colossal domed affair, totally befitting a temple of consumerism.
There are two huge department stores: Debenhams and Selfridges. Both are vast and superbly well-stocked. Selfridges in particular is exquisite. They sell the very best designer clothes, furnishings and electricals, and the food hall is superb. Not only can you buy their gorgeous nosh to take home, but you can also sit at one of the food bars in store and choose from Japanese, Indian, Thai, Italian and more, all washed down with a nice glass of wine.Clothes & Shoes:
All the usual high street names are here, as well as the ones you don't find in smaller cities. So besides the ubiquitous Next, Dorothy Perkins, Top Shop, M&S, BHS et al, you'll also find Elle, Mango, Mish Mash, Miss Sixty, French Connection, Quicksilver, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, USC, Vestry and Levis. And if these aren't good enough for you, then you can stock up on CK, DK, Karen Millen, Armani, D&G and other designers in Selfridges and Debenhams.Ditto the shoes. All the small-town usuals plus Schuh, Dune, Footlocker, Jones Bootmaker and Quicksilver.
Other shops:Other shops fall into the following categories: Audio/Computers/Photographic
Each of the above categories has its own list, all of which adds up to a veritable smorgasbord of places to spend your cash.Obviously I can't go into them all here, so I'll just mention a few that maybe you wouldn't expect:
The Bear Factory and Dollies Bear-Gere - for all you bear collectors
Beverley Hills Nails Co - get a fabulous manicure done while you're visiting
S F Cody - brilliantly stylish homewares, gifts and gadgets
Dr & Herbs - consult a Chinese physician and buy some Chinese remedies
Nauticalia - all things nautical
Believe me, you'll need several pit-stops for food and drink if you're going to do the whole mall, and there are plenty of places to choose from.There's posh nosh in the aforementioned Selfridges, there are several coffee shops (Starbucks, Nero etc.), there's tapas, there's pizza, there's burgers, there's sandwiches, there's potatoes, there's specialist vegetarian, there's Indian, Japanese, Italian, Mexican and American, and there's all the fast-food outlets you see around every day.
Some food places are dotted around the centre, but most are in 'The Orient' food court, a pleasant and clean space which stays open after the shops have closed to serve customers going to the integrated bowling alley or cinema.Opening Times
This for me is one of the big plusses of the Trafford Centre. They are open when I want them to be, i.e. not just when I'm at work and on hideously overcrowded Saturdays.Store opening times are:
Mon – Fri : 10 am to 9 pm
Sat : 9 am to 7 pm
Sun : noon to 6 pm
Cinema : Mon – Thur : 10am – Midnight; Fri : 10 am to 3 am; Sat : 9 am – 3 am; Sun 11:00 – MidnightRestaurants : Mon – Fri : 10 am – Midnight; Sat : 9 am – Midnight; Sun 10 am – Midnight
Baby: Special baby-changing and unisex parent and child facilities plentiful. Breast feeding room. Baby bottle warming service in the food court.Seating: Again, seemingly everywhere. Rest those weary legs!scooters. Lenses for visually impaired people available free of charge. Trained access officers to help if you are deaf and blind.
Lots of cashpointsLots of lifts
Lots of escalatorsLots of stairs
Plenty of telephonesFirst aid points
Very helpful customer services desk on ground floorAnything else?
I'm sure there must be but I can't think of it right now. So I suggest you visit www.traffordcentre.co.uk to find out.Better still, visit the place itself and frighten the life out of your credit card company.
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