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Opened in 1997, Swindon Designer Outlet is a great place to shop for discounted famous designer brands. It’s part of a big network of designer outlets owned by McArthur Glen and has 3 million visitors each year. The shopping center was built on the Great Western Railway works, which used to be an old train factory. Another part of the site has been converted into a steam railway museum. The shopping center is circular and all on one floor, it’s focused on branded shops and also has a small food court. The shopping center is busy at weekends and extremely busy during sale times, but very quiet during the week. You can find a lot of the non-mainstream High Street brands, including Timberland, GAP, Nike Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger with prices discounted by around 60%. A new women’s fashion area has opened recently, extending the range of women’s fashion making it a great place for women to shop. The shopping center is within walking distance of Swindon’s High Street, is very close to the M4 and has plenty of parking spaces for only £1 pound for 5 hours.
The food choices are spread out throughout the center, however there is a main food court as well. There are a couple of unique coffee places with special menus that are worth checking out, including SOHO Coffee and Carluccio’s, but you can also find Starbucks and Costa Coffee located in the new fashion section. The restaurant range covers fast-food and mainstream cuisines with the likes of Wagamama – offering great Asian and noodle bar delights, Ed’s Easy Diner offers a retro American menu, El Mexicana – serving Mexican fast food, Giraffe and KFC. One place you shouldn’t miss is Patisserie Valarie and their choice of great cakes, giving you a sweet taste for your next visit. Every Sunday there is a typical farmer’s market selling farmer’s goods like cheese bread and specially made jams, something definitely worth exploring. During Christmas time there are a couple of stalls serving hot wines and cocktails to keep you warm whilst you shop.
The shopping centre holds various events, so it’s best to look at shopping center’s website for details. There are often big cartoon characters walking in the centre to entertain the children. During Christmas there are choirs singing Christmas songs and a Christmas grotto in the main square next to John Lewis, where children can meet Santa and make their wishes.
Shopping in Swindon Designer Outlet requires a full day for visiting all of the 105 shops, especially with all the trying-on in the fashion shops. You will find high-end brands at great prices with up to 60% off retail price, so no one will be left empty handed. The range of the shops are mainly branded fashion but you will also find cosmetics, homeware, toys and outdoor stores.
The shopping centre has one floor and is circular so you won’t miss any shops as you walk around. There is a big John Lewis department store offering homeware and kitchen goods at great discounted prices.
The new fashion section opened recently has brought high-end women's fashion brands like Radley London and L.K. Bennet to the centre, making it the perfect place for women’s shopping.
The shopping centre holds various shopping events, you will have to visit the shopping centre’s website for details. But many promotions are attracting shoppers with lucrative deals.There are various promotions and stalls selling their goods in the middle of the halls selling sweets, attractions and fabrics at outlet prices.
The shopping center offers a very quiet and spacious shopping experience throughout the year, but becomes very busy at weekends and especially during the January sales, when it is packed with bargain hunters from all over the region.
The shops are open every day ‘til late (20:00), at none busy periods the halls are empty just for you.
There’s a great outdoor playground, the kids love to play there, it's big and offers something a bit different. It has a big wall for the children to climb up and keeps them entertained for a short while. The playground is suitable for all, from toddlers to older children. The playground called Sona and uses movement and sound with traditional play.
Don’t forget to have a great ride on the train that runs in a circle through the shopping centre.
The Children’s Crèche is a great place for the little ones to let off a little steam. It’s open 7 days a week for 18month to 9 years old. It has lots of inflatables, slides, toys and craft activities for the little ones to play and enjoy.
There are also shopping carts for children, which you can to rent whilst you are shopping, it’s suitable for up to 3 years old.
For the public
There is free WIFI for the public and a big car park.
There are three meeting rooms available for hire within the shopping centre.
The shopping centre is fully accessible at all entrances for disabled people.
Shop mobility scooters are available for rent. It’s highly advisable to call for availability first (01793 507611).
Free parking is also available and disabled toilets are available all across the centre.
There are 2 big car parks, the north and the east, parking is charged at £1 for up to 5 hours or £12 if you need longer. You will be offered free parking for spending over £100 in the shops. There are plenty of parking spaces, but in busy times you will have to be early, especially during January. The parking on the weekend is bearable.
The Center has no electric charging spaces.
The location of the centre is very close to the city centre of Swindon and close to a big Sainsbury’s supermarket and a petrol station if you’re arriving from the M4 and parking in the south car park. The shopping centre is a few minutes walking from Swindon High Street, perfect if you need to complete some daily errands at a post office or bank.
The steam train museum is great entertainment for children and adults, you’ll travel back in time to when trains where a bit different.
There are some affordable hotels and B&Bs nearby if you plan to stay the night.
Swindon is a typical English town in the heart of Wiltshire. The town has multiple parks and historical places to visit just a short drive from the outlet. The high street is minutes walk from the outlet and has a shopping centre called The Brunel, which offers some more mainstream shopping, there are also a couple of retail parks available for shopping, but not close to the city centre and the outlet. Museums worth visiting are The Rail Museum, Museum of Computing and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
Swindon Designer Outlet is a very safe place to shop. During sale time it’s very packed, so be early to find parking and get the best bargains. Try visiting early in the morning and get ready for a long day, because you will always find something to buy there.