If you like shopping, be it gazing into windows of wonderful things, bustling to get a great bargain, or striding around with your hands full of glamorous bags, then Bicester Village is somewhere worth a visit. If you're looking for cheap things, this isn't the place to go. If you want designer goods at high street prices, or a day out trying on the glamours wares, then Bicester Village is a great destination.
Close to Oxford (there are buses and trains), but also not far from London, Bicester is a convenient place to go and indulge in some upmarket retail therapy. Laid out clearly in one main high street with a couple of arms, you can navigate your way around easily and achieve lots in a relatively short time.
The whole place screams style and effort. There is plenty of parking, although they do have to run overflow lots at peak times. If you are feeling indulgent, a valet service is available. It's a great shopping atmosphere. This is enhanced by the design. You might arrive, for example, to find the place covered in bespoke floral arrangements.
The shops range from high street names to top designers. With over a hundred top brands on offer, there really is something for everyone. Get yourself some underwear from Agent Provocateur to go under a Versace dress, with a Burberry coat on top of some Jimmy Choo shoes, carried home in a Samsonite suitcase, carefully measured to fit all recent plane requirements. Or if you prefer, find some Thomas Pink shirts to go under your Armani suit, ready for that important job interview coming up.
All that shopping is hungry work, and there is a great range of restaurants to stop off at, representing a number of cuisines. From Carluccio's for a pizza, to Jamie Oliver's Fabulous Feats, or just a quick sandwich at Pret a Manger, you are bound to find something. There are also reasonable toilet facilities located at each end of the village.
Being a luxury designer outlet brings some perks, like absolutely fabulous changing rooms which actually have room for you, your bags, and possibly even a friend to give you that important critical eye. Matthew Williamson and Amanda Wakeley dresses tried on in an atmosphere like this just make you feel special, and with samples available on sale, you might snap up that exciting new, unique outfit you've dreamed of.
A downside to being quite so chic is its popularity. Bicester is bound to be busy, and at peak shopping or sale times, you may find yourself queuing to get in. Try going midweek, or first thing in the morning, if you want to avoid the crowds.
There's a chic shopping app to help you find your way round. If trudging around isn't your idea of fun, then they offer both Hands-Free and Personal Shopping services, designed to make everyone easier for you.
With a multi-faith contemplation room, children's play area, and complimentary wifi, they really have tried to think of everything to make your shopping trip a pleasure. One of the nine 'Chic Outlet Shopping', you know by coming to Bicester you're entering a carefully planned, stylish shopping heaven.