Dave the Taxi Driver's


Guide to London

Shopping Malls

I have never been keen on shopping malls, partly because I prefer traditional areas of character which have developed over the centuries and also because I always feel that I when I go to these places, I feel that I am taking part in a behavioural experiment. Notwithstanding what many would view as my paranoia, shopping malls are very popular- Bluewater attracts 27 million people per year. So here are the principal malls in the London area. There are others on a smaller scale, such as Wood Green Shopping City(N22) and the tasteful Bentalls Centre in Kingston -upon- Thames.

Brent Cross (NW4)

Opened as the first of its kind in 1976, Brent Cross is situated in North London by the North Circular Road (A406). It has 120 retail outlets including major high street stores.

Opening hours are:
Monday to Friday------10.00-20.00
Saturday--------------- 09.00-19.00
Sunday----------------- 12.00-18.00
Bank Holidays----------10.00-18.00

Tube: Hendon Central. Brent Cross Tube is a ten minute walk away.
National Rail
: Hendon which is a 15 minute walk away.
: From north and central London and south Hertfordshire .
By Road: There are 8000 free parking spaces at Brent Cross. Major routes nearby are the M1,A41,A5 and A406 and the M25.
: There is a taxi rank at the front of Brent Cross by the bus station. From Central London the journey time is about 30 minutes.

Westfield (W12)

This opened in late 2008. There are over 250 shops, including top high street names and designer brands as well as a considerable number of restaurants. This is the most centrally located and is in Shepherd’s Bush (Tube), by the A3220, West Cross Route and Wood Lane, a short distance from The BBC TV Centre.

Opening Hours are:
Monday to Wednesday--10.00-21.00
Thursday & Friday------ 10.00-22.00
Sunday------------------- 12.00-18.00

Restaurant opening hours are 09.00 until 24.00 weekdays and 11.00 -23.00 on Sundays.
: Shepherd’s Bush, Wood Lane.
National Rail
: Shepherd’s Bush.
By Road: Satnav. code W12 7SL.There are 4500 parking spaces, free for up to two hours and costing up to £12 for over 10 hours. Access is from the West Cross Route(A3220) which runs north from the Holland Park Roundabout. The main A40 (Westway) connects to the northern end of the West Cross Route.
: The new White City bus station is a short walk away from Westfield on Wood Lane. Routes 31,49,148 207,237,260,607,C1.
To Shepherd’s Bush, routes 72,94,95,220,272,283,295,N207.
Parking for 570 bicycles. Cycle lane north/south access from Wood lane and from Ariel Way east/west near the A3220. Plus a crossing from the Holland Park Roundabout.

Disabled access via Shopmobility. Wheelchairs and Motorised Scooters can be hired. Tel+44 (0) 2033712402.

Lakeside Shopping Centre,
West Thurrock,Grays, Essex.

Lakeside is located near Grays in Essex, about one hour by road from London. It has 250 stores and a fine selection of restaurants and bars on The Boardwalk, the waterside dining esplanade, plus the state of the art cinema Vue.

Opening Hours are:
Monday to Friday----- 10.00-22.00
Bank Holidays----------10.00-18.00

Getting There:
By Road:
SatNav. Code is RM20 2ZP
Lakeside is signposted from the M25 from junctions 30 and 31 and from the A13, A1306 and West Thurrock Way. There are 13000 free parking spaces.
: Lakeside is served by bus from Essex Kent and London. Details are available if your visit their website and download Lakeside’s Public Transport Guide.
National Rail
: Chafford Hundred, the nearest station is a short walk from Lakeside.
: Taxi rank is outside the Vue cinema. London Taxis do not operate in this area but can be hired from Central London or by telephone from the centre.
: There are cycle routes from Chafford Hundred and Grays.

BluewaterShopping Centre
Greenhithe,Dartford, Kent.

Situated near Dartford in Kent, about one hour from London, Bluewater opened its doors in 1999. It has 330 stores,40 restaurants and cafes plus a 13 screen multiplex cinema.

Opening Hours are:
Monday to Friday----10.00-21.00

Getting There:
By Road:
From the M25 follow the signs to the Dartford Crossing until you reach Junction 2 A2/M2, leave the Motorway then follow the Bluewater signs.
Arriva Bus numbers 700 and 701 to and from Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, 703 Maidstone, 704 Sevenoaks and Tonbridge (journey times 25-40 minutes).
National Rail:
Trains depart from London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo East and Cannon Street around every15 minutes. Greenhithe for Bluewater is the destination.

From Greenhithe a shuttle bus service operates seven days a week from 06.00 - 23.45.This known as Fastrack.

Fastrack A (buy ticket before boarding from machine) the route is Dartford-Joyce Green-The Bridge-Crossways-Greenhithe-Bluewater. A through train ticket allows you to obtain a free through ticket.

Fastrack B(‘A’ tickets also valid but tickets can be bought from drivers) the route is Temple Hill-Dartford-Darent Valley Hospital-Bluewater-Greenhithe-Swanscombe-Ebbsfleet International Rail Station-Gravesend. There are also trains from Rochester,Chatham and Gillingham

Coach: Parties regularly visit Bluewater. There is a fifty space coach park available. Operators should telephone 01322 623300 to organise arrival and hosting at Bluewater. National Express operates a daily service from London Victoria Coach Station.

Cycling: There is ample parking for bicycles adjacent to John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser. In addition there are four kilometres of cycle paths within the complex and Bluewater is linked to the National Cycle Network Route One.

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