It’s just an hour and a half away by car from Shepherd’s Bush, an hour’s train journey with Chiltern Railways from London’s Marylebone Station, and only 20 minutes from Oxford.
Bicester Village is the place to go for high-end and high street bargains, at a fraction of their original price.
If you drive, my advice is to go early as the free car park fills up very quickly, so why not consider taking the Shopping Express luxury coach service? This coach collects shoppers from London Victoria Coach Station, The Cumberland Hotel, and the Hilton London Kensington. A later service picks up from the Royal National Hotel the Cumberland Hotel and the Millennium Gloucester Hotel. Again, there are two return services to drop off where collected.
I live a short distance from one of the pick up points and thought I’d give the service a try on one of my days off. As instructed I arrive 15 minutes before the coach is due to arrive and wait patiently with other guests. When the coach pulls up, lots more people pour out of the Kensington Hilton.
We give our reference code to the driver and take our seats and after a short debrief (no food or drink on the coach) we move off. There’s free wi-fi which has a stronger signal if you sit at the back of the coach.
When we arrive at Bicester Village, which incidentally is in Oxfordshire (Exit 9 of the M40),
we are given a 10% discount card to use in some of the shops, as part of the coach ticket price, although beware not all stores take part.
Some of the most popular stores are Burberry, Gucci, the Ralph Lauren stores, UGG Australia and the handbag brands which include Mulberry, Anya Hindmarch, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors. For a full list of stores here, it’s worth visiting the Bicester Village website and downloading their free app.
If you have a great day and buy too much to carry, you can take advantage of the Hands-free shopping service. For the app user, there’s a free download here which allows access to the booking services and a browse at the stores at Bicester and the eight other Chic Outlet Shopping Villages throughout Europe.
If you fancy treating someone to a day out then Bicester offer shopping packages which seem to be incredibly good value – both on offer include a return ticket on the shopping express, a Mastercard loaded with £50 credit to spend at the village, lunch or dinner and the hands-free service.
When you get peckish you can grab a sandwich on the run at Pret A Manager
or have a long leisurely lunch in Busaba Eathai, Carluccio’s
or Villandry Grand Cafe.
Amorino have an ice cream stand,
Jamie Oliver has a Fabulous Feasts stall
and there’s a Crepe booth, and a Starbucks coffee shop which along with the coffee, sells sandwiches and pastries.
I moaned about driving to Bicester after a certain hour, because I have experienced just how busy it gets (we turned around and left) but there is a valet parking service which is bookable. Prices start at £12.50. If you book in advance, you’ll be offered a free Hands-free shopping experience.
If you take the coach, a return ticket is £28.00 whilst a child return is £23.00 (ages 3-15). Booking is essential. If you’re a member of a frequent flyer and reward programme check here to see if you can get points if you shop.
There’s a facility for tax refund and a currency exchange at Bicester too, check here for details.
Bicester Village is open seven days a week from Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm and on Sunday from 10am to 7pm.
I was a guest of Bicester Shopping Express.