Are you one of those people who leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute and has to go out on Christmas Eve to forage among other people’s leavings for gifts for your nearest and dearest? We’re like that too. It’s not good.
So this year we thought we’d get our shopping started early and what better place to start that at the Trafford Centre in Manchester? And how to get there? Well this year we thought we’d try something different, let the coach driver take the strain, and hop on one of Hough’s of Lincolnshire’s popular shopper’s special coaches.
Hough’s organise top quality coach trips and of course it’s not just Christmas shopping! They organise dozens of holidays throughout the year to a wide range of top destinations and in 2015 they’ll be taking their first steps into Europe with trips to Holland and France! If you like to grab a bargain (and don’t we all?) then check out their 5 day winter warmers to Aberfoyle or the Cotswolds which start from only £99 per person! You can’t get better value than that!
We’re down by the Town Hall at 8.10am as the bus arrives just nicely early and within ten minutes everybody is on board and were on the A180. It’s really foggy – just the kind of day you wouldn’t want to be driving yourself and it’s so nice to be able to just sit back and let the driver do his job. The coach is comfortable and we make good time, especially once the fog clears on the M62.
If you’re used to driving this route then you’re probably sick of it but going by coach gives you the luxury of looking around and enjoying the view, and what great views they are! The extra height of the coach means you can see over those dreary brown embankments out look out across the Pennines at some of the most inspiring and beautiful hills in the country.
It takes us just over 2 hours to get there and we park up right outside the doors to John Lewis’s so there’s no long hikes across the car park in the cold so then it’s time to let the shopping frenzy begin and there’s nowhere better to go bonkers with your bank balance than The Trafford Centre!
From its awesome architecture, armies of imposing statues, stunning fountains and attention to the finest detail the Centre is a world of designer fashions, gifts and fun all under one breath-taking roof. And Christmas is when the Centre truly comes alive! There are more than a million pounds worth of cutting edge illuminations sparkling on the Malls, with eye popping decorations, a forest worth of Christmas trees and live festive entertainment from brass bands to children’s choirs.
And of course there’s a huge array of the worlds’ biggest stores offering everything you could possibly want or need for a perfect Christmas. Highlights include Selfridges, complete with world class beauty hall, technology section and fine food market and the finest toy store in the world Hamleys. And let’s not forget the Apple store, M&S, Debenhams and John Lewis’s.For design lovers, there’s a host of top brand names around the Centre, including dedicated stores from Armani AX Exchange, DKNY Jeans, Victoria’s Secret, Hugo Boss, Zara, L’Occitane and Ted Baker and when it’s time to recharge there’s The Orient food court which holds a massive selection of cafes, restaurants and bars, from fresh Thai buffet at Chaobaby, to Italian platters at Carluccio’s and South American spice at Las Iguanas. And if all that wasn’t enough there’s an IMAX Cinema, bowling, a climbing wall and the Sea Life centre in case you get all shopped out!
At half past four we’re headed back across the Pennines, the overhead lockers packed with shopping bags, and once again we’re free to just sit back, relax and enjoy the journey while our driver takes the strain. All in all an excellent day out, travelling in comfort and next time we’re looking to go for a day trip, or even for a short break, we’ll certainly give Hough’s a try. Highly recommended!
This article is from The Peoples Issue 31 Web Edition.