Bargain Hunting in Bicester Village
August 28, 2019
If you are planning a visit to the UK and you are looking for a great shopping day outside London, Bicester Village is definitely worth consideration. It is a luxury shopping experience that you won’t want to miss. The village is known as being one of the best discount outlets in the country, filled with luxury stores, designer labels and an endless collection of famous brands all found within this picturesque village. It has a lot to offer, from luxurious gifts through to designer shoes and clothing, all of which are heavily discounted.
How to Get There
Designed to reflect an old English village, Bicester is a popular tourist destination for bargain hunters looking for designer goods at a discount. The village is well connected, being easily accessible by rail or road. Trains run from Marylebone Station every 30 minutes and the journey takes around 50 minutes from London, making it the perfect day out if your hotel is in London.
The village has long opening hours so there’s plenty of time to shop whatever day that you visit. Times do vary depending on the day you visit. Opening hours are 9am to 9pm, Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 10pm Thursday to Saturday and 10am to 7pm on Sundays. On Sunday’s certain stores open at 11:30 for browsing, 12pm for shopping and they close at 6pm. These stores include Coach, Burberry, Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Boss, Gucci, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Michael Kors as well as many other famous brands.
The village has a relaxed feel to it with lots of flowers and greenery. Shops and streets are styled to reflect New England housing, with wood cladded buildings and stone paved streets, making the village welcoming and pleasant to wander around. The main shopping avenue stretches for more than a mile. There are plenty of seated areas around the shopping areas so you can sit and watch the world go by if you want a break from the shopping. Perfect on a warm summer’s day!
Bicester Village is the home of luxury shopping, with over 160 boutiques managed by some of the most recognisable international fashion brands. You can expect to make savings of around 30% to 40% as well as an additional 20% VAT that you can claim back if you are a non-EU visitor. The best deals can be found around Boxing Day and in July when you can take advantage of huge discounts, as much as 60% in some stores, but these times prove popular so it can get very crowded.
In 2017 the village expanded even further, adding 30 new stores to its extensive collection. You can now find brands such as Valentino, Golden Goose and Sophie Hulme. Gucci has recently opened a new store which features nightclub style queuing and security as well as mini influencer photo shoots outside, making it more than a shopping experience.
Most of the luxury stores that you will find in the village will feature products from the previous season but the discounts are exceptional.
Shopping at Bicester Village is an experience more than anything and it’s somewhere that you can easily spend an entire day. Whether you are looking for afternoon tea, a refreshment or a meal, there are plenty of places to eat. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets from bubble tea and noodle stands to cafes offering formal afternoon tea and restaurants serving traditional British meals.
The Farm shop is well worth a visit, with a traditional barn setting that serves a selection of British food as well as the Wolseley café-restaurant inspired by the famous flagship restaurant, The Wolseley, which is one of London’s traditional restaurants in the upmarket district of Mayfair.
Shopping Tips for Bicester Village
Bicester Village has so much to offer, you might find it difficult to visit the entire site in one day, so before you go it would be good to have in mind what you are looking for and the stores that you must visit. That way you can plan your trip so you can see everything that you want to. There are also some stores that are not on the main shopping street so you will need to know where they are.
When you arrive in Bicester Village you will immediately get a sense of a place that offers a premier shopping experience and you can even take advantage of the services that are available such as personal shoppers and even bag carriers. Feel like a VIP from the moment you arrive.
There are of course, certain times throughout the year which are better for bargains than others. Usually when city stores have finished their sale periods, the stock gets sent to places like Bicester Village where you can pick up expensive items at a huge discount.
If you can, visit during the week rather than at the weekend and don’t forget to drop in at the Visitor Centre when you arrive to collect your free VIP card. If you are lucky enough to receive one of these cards, you can enjoy an extra 10% off in store at any of the shops in Bicester Village except Prada.
Bicester Village Shopper Services
To feel like a VIP when you visit Bicester Village, you can purchase one of the extras. These include personal shopping, valet parking or hands free shopping. The village is designed to make visitors feel welcome and looked after. If you want to treat yourself or even a friend, you can also buy one of their experience packages which offer a complimentary drink, snacks and use of the ‘Apartment Lounge’.
Bicester Village is an excellent day out if you are looking for the ultimate luxury shopping experience. It has a lot to offer and plenty of stores to wander around, not to mention some of the best bargains to be found. Your day at Bicester Village will be well spent and you’ll be wanting to return again to pick up some more luxury products at bargain prices. Remember to also shop tax free if you are visiting from outside the EU.