Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brilliant Bicester

I found myself on the way to Aylesbury from Oxford with a bit of time to spare the other day, so I thought I'd pop into Bicester Village. It really is great, isn't it? It's really close to Oxford centre and if you don't have a car there are frequent buses:

Stagecoach X5: Click here for more info
Stagecoach X88: Click here for more info

Rumour has it there is even a train line, although I don't know anyone who's used it:


If you do have a car, you'll be able to benefit from one of the most efficient carpark systems I've ever had to put myself through. Yes, I know that sounds rather geeky, but it just works, and really that's how it should be. When you go shopping, you go for the shops, not for five consecutive tours of the carpark past badly parked Smart Cars or space-hogging 4x4s.

Bicester itself is a rather odd mix of the wealthy, tourists and bargain hunters. It mainly deals in expensive designer clothes that are significantly less expensive in outlet stores. It's certainly not got the (undeservedly) shameful connotations of bargan basements; this is still good quality stuff and still not too easy on the qallet. Rather, it seems a proud achievement to parade around with arms full of designer paper bags.

There's plenty for men as well, although not too much to keep children amused. You should be able to do everything you want to in half a day, unless you're a real fashion victim, in which case get there early and prepare yourself for the long haul!

My top shops:

- Monsoon - I just love it anyway!
- The North Face - if only it wasn't so small!
- Helly Hansen - great for ski clothes and baselayers for days when it's Just Too Cold.

Go along and check it out, although watch out for all the sales shoppers!

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