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Cheshire Oaks

Lynda Moyo takes a trip to Cheshire Oaks and gets a lot out of the designer outlet

Written by . Published on November 21st 2008.

Cheshire Oaks

The last time I visited Cheshire Oaks was when I wasn't old enough to appreciate a really decent shopping experience. It's only now that I'm older that I realise why my mum insisted on doing the rounds at this particular retail park every so often and why I now consider it to be not only a day out but a place where you're actually going to find what you want.

You see Cheshire Oaks has changed extensively over the years. They're bang up to date on fashion with shops such as All Saints, Ted Baker, Diesel, Gap, Mulberry, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Oasis and Next. I was previously under the impression that Cheshire Oaks only sold factory seconds or old season styles and that's why their prices were lower. But in actual fact, most of the ranges seem up-to-date and without fault. You don't have to shop at vintage stores and charity shops to get great bargains anymore.

Discounts of up to 50% are the norm at Cheshire Oaks and in clearance periods (January and July), discounts can rise up to 70%. And how can they do this with designer clothes? Well, designer outlets sell excess and end of season merchandise with discounts off high street prices typically sold through stores run by the brands themselves. Any goods that are ‘seconds’ are always clearly marked. I found this particularly handy in the Cosmetic Company Store, where I managed to walk away with some MAC foundation, at half price.

Then there's the places you just can't find in the city centre such as the timeless jewellery store, Links of London: the home of the infamous sweetie bracelet. Tula, the designer handbag store and Le Creuset, home of those wonderfully hard-wearing and bright, funky looking pots and pans.

What was also surprising is that Cheshire Oaks isn't just a shopping experience for women, as many other retail parks and shopping malls are. There's Nike, Adidas, Puma and Reebok stores for sports fanatics as well as an Oakley store which is one of the most trusted brands for ski-wear. Aside from clothes there's plenty of gadgets and electrical places such as Sony, Toshiba, Zavvi, 3 Mobile and Carphone Warehouse.

Cheshire Oaks caters for the customer who is looking for discounts on top of the range items. Brands such as Oneida for cutlery and Mulberry for bags form part of what is to become the designer quarter of Cheshire Oaks.

For the children there is plenty of clothing ranges from the likes of designer Kidz, Gap Outlet, Pumpkin Patch and Tog 24 to keep them kitted out and Playtime Toys and the Early learning Centre to keep them entertained. And when you've had enough of that, there's a whole selection of different places to eat, drink and unwind.

The Red House Brasserie is Confidential's particular favourite as they serve great British cooking and the afternoon tea and cakes are made by the lady that used to make cakes for the Royal family. You can't say fairer than that.

The atmosphere at Cheshire Oaks is much calmer than any other shopping centre or outlet and this is because everything is there and you can literally stroll around the perimeter picking up exactly what you came for and discovering even more than you expected. Cheshire Oaks is a mere 40 minutes away from Manchester city centre and even closer from Liverpool. The journey is a straight run on the motorway and you miss the hassle of having to find somewhere cheap to park because parking is free and there's enough space for everyone.

On top of this, as a special Christmas treat Cheshire Oaks have Britain's Largest Christmas Tree. The huge 90ft Christmas tree is the same size as 17 London buses stacked on top of one another. We recommend to head down to Cheshire Oaks for some festive late night shopping, and see the stunning tree at its best, with 100,000 lights and 80,000 baubles lighting up the grounds of the UK's largest designer outlet. Definitely worth a look.

For more information about Cheshire Oaks, please click here to visit the microsite.

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