Although you may not associate Blackpool with shopping, make sure you leave room in your suitcase because you may find yourself coming home with a few more clothes than than you bargained for. Just along the coast is Affinity Lancashire, an outlet village set in a marina that houses 45 clothing and lifestyle stores that will really get your wardrobe looking ship-shape, including Marks & Spencer, Mountain Warehouse, Jeff Banks and Next. Formerly known as Freeport Fleetwood, some stores selling their wares at 60% off their recommended retail price, meaning you’ll have plenty of money left over when you fancy a pit stop at one of the restaurants or tea rooms. And no matter how much you buy, rest assured that there’s a Premier Inn near Affinity Outlet Lancashire that’s ready and waiting for you - and those endless bags of goodies.
Although you can easily drive to Affinity Lancashire in just 20 minutes, why not go the scenic route by taking the tram there? With a picturesque route along the coast, you’ll get there in 50 minutes, and there’s a stop a five-minute walk from the shopping village.
Affinity Outlet Lancashire is a picturesque place to shop. The boutique style shops all nestle on one level around a beautiful marina, making it a great antidote to stuffy shopping centres - and there’s a lovely outdoor play area so the kids can let off a bit of steam, too.
Open every day except Christmas Day, the centre is generally open from 10am until 6pm, except on Sundays when opening hours are 11am until 5pm and on Thursdays when there’s late night shopping until 8pm. The address is Anchorage Road, Fleetwood FY7 6AE and the telephone number is 01253 773425.
With a nautical-themed children’s play area on site, every member of the family is welcome at Affinity Outlet Lancashire - including the dog! Well-behaved pooches are allowed, and some stores even let you take your furry friend in to shop with you. Hate shopping? Just find a table to enjoy all the free Wi-Fi, available throughout.
Affinity Outlet Lancashire is a retail outlet village - a shopping concept that started in the US, where mall-style shops are built around a mock street, village square or, in this case, a quay-side. There are 45 stores in all, and the largest is the M&S outlet which you’ll find by the children’s play area.
The centre is particularly well-designed for wheelchair users. There’s level access throughout and wheelchairs can be hired for free at the management office. The huge car park has plenty of designated spaces, the toilets are wide and spacious and there’s also accessible picnic benches.
While there are some real bargains to be had here, don’t go expecting to find something specific you may have seen at another branch of one of the retailers on offer. The items you’ll find at Affinity Outlet Lancashire are heavily discounted because they’re end-of-line, out-of-season, returned products or specific outlet stock.
Fashion and beauty
The big hitters for fashion-loving bargain-hunters are the M&S, Next and Gap outlets. But there’s also Bench, Cotton Traders, Jeff Banks and Klass to rummage in. For beauty bits and pieces, there’s a Body Shop and also the Beauty Outlet which stocks high street brands like Elizabeth Arden and Max Factor.
Gifts and lifestyle
Searching for the perfect gift to take home with you? Affinity Outlet Lancashire has you covered. Both Thorntons and Cadbury have outlets here, as do The Fragrance Shop and The Gift Company. If you’re a sucker for kitchen gadgets, the ProCook shop has must-have gizmos plus gorgeous kitchenware.
Trawling through racks of clothes in the hunt for the perfect bargain can really work up an appetite. Luckily, Affinity Lancashire has plenty of tasty places to stop for a bite to eat while you enjoy the view and rest your weary legs.
The Bay Tearooms has outdoor tables and does light lunches and snacks, or there’s a Subway, Costa and McDonald’s on site too. Whatever takes your fancy, you can take your food and coffee away and sit on picnic benches outside if the weather’s nice - they’re the perfect spot for some boat-watching.
If you venture out of the retail village, one of the top rated places to eat in Fleetwood is the Granada Fish Bar for tasty fish and chips in a restaurant setting. Pub-wise, the The Three Lights on Herring Road is the nearest. Nicely decorated, it has a carvery as well as a play area for the kids.
Affinity Outlet Lancashire is a cinch to get to from Blackpool, whether you take the car, bus, train or tram. Here’s all the information you need to make your journey a breeze.
It takes about 20 minutes on the A585 from Blackpool. When you get to the retail outlet there’s plenty of free parking, with space for 700 cars.
You can hop on either the number 1 or the number 22 bus, both of which run from central Blackpool and will drop you off right at the door of the retail village.
By train or tram
You can get a train from Blackpool North to Poulton-le-Fylde, but it’s seven miles away from Affinity Lancashire. It’s better to get a tram which stops just five minutes away.
Seaside kitsch, mountainous sticks of rock and an eye-watering electricity bill - it has to be Blackpool. Light up your visit to the Vegas of the North with a stay at the Premier Inn Blackpool (Beach). And our Premier Inn Hotel Blackpool Airport is right by the airport, yet within walking distance of the seafront.
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