The Outlet, Banbridge
1 reviews from the community
Review of "The Outlet, Banbridge"
There are only two outlet shopping villages in Northern Ireland, though neither of them are that big really. Despite the other being closer to where I live, if I was to visit either of them, it’s usually The Outlet, which is located along the A1 duel carriageway, just off the main Belfast – Dublin road. The Outlet is located just outside the small town of Banbridge. I would visit The Outlet about 2 – 3 times a year usually, mainly because there is a Nike outlet, and both my friend and I are fans of Nike. Most of the other shops that I got excited about have now closed, which is a shame. I was there a few weeks back, and I was very saddened to see just how few shops remain at the centre.How to get there
As I said above, it is located just off the main dual carriageway that links Belfast and Newry/Dublin. It is located just outside Banbridge, and is very clearly signposted once you are on the dual carriageway from Lisburn or from Dublin.The complex
I like the architecture of the building. It is in a crescent shape, with a small jutting out area in the centre, which houses a Starbucks and a Costa. The layout means it is easy to navigate around the complex, and the central area where Starbucks and Costa are is a good meeting place. The car park is huge, with 1500 parking spaces, 60 of which are disabled spaces and the way the car park is designed means that no matter where you park, you aren’t too far from some of the shops.The stores
There are some major stores within the complex. Next, Marks and Spencers, GAP and Nike have outlet stores here, all offering items from previous seasons for up to 70% off. Peacocks and Holland amd Barratt are also here, although I didn't notice any difference between the prices in town and the prices in The Outlet. There is also Trespass, Mountain Warehouse and Regatta outlets for the outdoorsy people, and a Toytown for children. Thorntons also have an outlet here, as well as Chapelle jewellery (although the bargains aren't quite as good here as I had hoped). I noticed an Edinburgh Woolen Mill the last time I was there, which I hadn't seen before, but as it's not a shop I ever visit, I didn't go in.What sets this apart from the other outlet in Northern Ireland was that The Outlet had more designer stores and LK Bennett, Calvin Klein underwear, Armani Exchange, DKNY Jeans and Timberland are all located here, although I have never really shopped in any of them, as even at outlet prices, the brands are a little expensive and tends to be the stuff that no one wanted. There used to be a Bench outlet, which I liked, but sadly it has closed.
As I said above, my friend and I normally go for the Nike outlet, as we can usually pick up trainers for around £30 - £40, which is a lot less than places like JD Sports and Foot Locker.Eating and Drinking
There isn't a wide variety of places to eat and drink. Coffee shops seems to be the main choice, with The Streat, Costa Coffee and Starbucks having outlets here. There is also a Burger King and a recently opened licenced restaurant called Linen Hill, owned by Shaun Hanna who appeared in Masterchef The Professionals which promises a variety of locally sourced food, including some grown five minutes down the road in Loughbrickland. I have never been in there, so I can't comment on the food, but the menu is on the outlet website for anyone that is curious. It does sound appetising though, and I will definitely check it out next time I am in the area (I didn't know it was there, and we had already had lunch at Costa coffee). There is also a dinky doughnut van at the complex, and a bag of freshly made doughnuts were a very nice treat when we were shivering in the cold weather when we were there a couple of weeks ago.Other attractions
There is an area called W5 Lite, which gives families the opportunity to experience some of the attractions that you would find in the W5 exhibit in Belfast. Admission is free and you can stay all day if you want to. Exhibits include Flying Fish, One in a Million and others that develop creativity and skills in animation. As I don't have children, I have never been in this area, but it does always look very popular with families.There is also an art gallery in The Outlet that showcases some local talents, and all pieces on show are available for purchase.
Rewards SchemeThe Outlet have recently introduced a rewards scheme. By registering online or through the app, you can pick up a booklet from visitor services which gives you extra discounts in some stores. I'll be totally honest, I did register before I went down to the centre, but I didn't bother collecting my vouchers, as there was nothing much in any stores that I was interested in buying. We also missed the visitor services when we first arrived, as it is located within the W5 unit.
My thoughtsI think that the complex is in an excellent location, with good transport links. However, the variety of stores available is in decline. Most of the stores that I used to want to visit have now sadly closed, and while there are still some shops there and we will continue to go occasionally for the Nike store, but it wouldn’t be one of my first choices anymore for a day’s shopping. Banbridge is a relatively small town, with few major shops, so there's nothing much else in the area shopping wise, unless you drive to Newry or Lisburn, both of which are small cities.
I usually find that when I am in The Outlet, it is never that busy, so it's nice to kind of have the place to yourself when you shop, though it can seem slightly eerie. As it is an open air complex, it can get very cold in winter, with no real shelter. It does mean that it's a suntrap in summer though, so best to visit when it's a better day outside.I was very upset (if that's the right word) the last day that we were here, as it seemed that every other store was empty, and it did give the complex a rather eerie feel. We will continue to visit, I'm sure, for the Nike outlet, but it's not somewhere I would go out of my way to go to. Most of the stores I really liked have gone, such as Oasis, Bench and Past Times, but I usually find something to buy when I am down there.
Opening hoursMon - Wed 10am - 6pm
Thur - Fri 10am - 9pm
Sat 9am - 6pm
Sun 1pm - 6pm
Costa Coffee and Starbucks are both open slightly earlier in the day, for those mornings where you need a coffee!The Outlet is only closed on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday – it is open the other 363 days of the year.
Check out http://www.the-outlet.co.uk/ for further information
Product Information : The Outlet, Banbridge
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 30/01/2014