Love to shop? Book into one of our Manchester hotels and you’ll be in the right place - the city is a mecca for those who love their therapy of the retail kind. From huge malls like the Arndale and the intu Trafford Centre to the independent boutiques of the Northern Quarter, Manchester gives London a run for its money in terms of the sheer variety of places you can spend your hard-earned cash in. And one shopping destination you should definitely try on for size is the Lowry Outlet store. This contemporary complex can be found in Salford Quays, the waterfront area that’s home to bars, restaurants and the city’s creative hub, MediaCityUK.
Nestled among the gleaming quayside buildings, the Lowry Outlet store is the city’s only discount mall. With two floors full of big-name brands and prices slashed by up to 70%, it’s like a year-round January sale without the pushing and shoving. Besides the Next, Gap and M&S, you’ll find designer menswear, homewares, gifts and cosmetics - plus there’s a 400-seat food court, a state-of-the-art gym and a seven-screen cinema should you need to take a break from the bargain-hunting.
Luckily though, there’s no need to shop around when it comes to hotels. The Premier Inn Salford Quays is just around the corner from the Lowry Outlet and, with comfortable beds and great breakfasts, it’s the perfect place to get your Manchester shopping break started in style.
Discount shopping may be the Lowry Outlet’s main selling point, but that’s not all you’ll find here. With leisure options to enjoy and free events laid on all year round, you’ll find something new to tempt you back enjoy, whenever you go.
For high street fashion there’s an M&S, a Gap and a Next, while men’s designer brands from Ben Sherman to Hype can be found at Daniel Christian. There’s a Cadbury’s Factory Shop full of never-tried-before flavours to take home with you, and homeware from designer bed linen to towels can be found at Christy. Don’t miss the Beauty Store, which has brands like Clarins, Elizabeth Arden, OPI and St Tropez, all with huge price reductions.
The Virgin Active gym at the Lowry had a £3.5m refurbishment in 2015 and now it’s bang up-to-date with all the latest equipment. Take part in a class or pump iron in the gym as you admire panoramic views of the Quays - or just relax in the pool. If that all sounds a bit too active, why not take in a film at the Lowry Outlet’s Vue Cinema? With seven screens to choose from, you’re bound to find something you want to watch.
With store promotions and a year-round calendar of events, there’s always something going on at the Lowry Outlet. The Christmas market lets you buy festive food, drink and gifts from a selection of Manchester artisans and it’s a great place to watch street artists, live choirs and brass bands. Even if you’re not in town for the festive season, the Lowry Outlet hosts a popular craft market on the last Saturday and Sunday of every month.
The Lowry Outlet runs special themed events just for kids - and most of the activities won’t cost you a penny. From Easter egg trails to Christmas elf workshops, each school holiday is celebrated in style. The Outlet particularly goes to town at Halloween, where the fun includes a Halloween treasure hunt and a special 'Frightmare Room' where you can visit a forest graveyard, be spooked by ghosts and visit Mr Skeleton in his sitting room.
It costs £4 to park for up to four hours at the Lowry Outlet’s car park, but if you’re buying a cinema ticket you can park for up to four hours for free - just remember to validate your parking when you get there.
Whether you’re here with the family or on a solo shopping expedition, the Lowry Outlet is packed with facilities to make your visit go smoothly.
You’ll find the Lowry Outlet at Salford Quays, Manchester M50 3AH. The Lowry Outlet shops are generally open from 10am to 6pm, with late night opening on Thursdays until 8pm and Saturdays until 7pm. Its Sunday opening hours are 11am to 5pm. However, the centre’s restaurants do stay open later - until 11pm during the week and until 10pm on Sundays.
The information desk can be found at the entrance opposite the Lowry Theatre on the ground floor. Staff here can help with wheelchair hire, lost property and first aid. There are public toilets on the upper mall and it’s on this level that you’ll find the cash points. There are further cashpoints available on the lower level opposite Suits Direct, and they all offer free-of-charge withdrawals.
Feeling brave and taken your toddler shopping? Head to the information desk to pick up one of the Turbo Tots cars for them to ride in - each one is £3 per hour, with a £10 refundable deposit. You can also pick up a kids’ wristband from here, on which you write your mobile number so you can be contacted should you get separated. The food court is equipped with a warming area for baby food.
There are disabled parking bays available on every floor of the car park, all with lift access. Once inside, you can hire a mobility scooter free of charge. Bookings aren’t required, but the wheelchairs are hired on a first come, first served basis. You’ll need to show two forms of ID and one has to include your current address. Blue badges, driving licence or passport will all be accepted.
It’s not all about shopping, eating and drinking on Salford Quays - unless you want it to be! The area has its fair share of cultural highlights too, and one must-see is the Lowry theatre complex, where you can watch world-class drama or see a free exhibition of the JS Lowry paintings. Or head to the multi-award winning Imperial War Museum North, where you’ll find the story of human conflict told in a variety of compelling ways.
A visit to the Lowry Outlet also means you’re near the BBC studios at MediaCityUK. The BBC moved its headquarters from London in 2011, and today it produces shows such as Match of the Day, Blue Peter and Mastermind. A great way to see the TV magic for yourself is by booking a studio tour. Lasting 90 minutes, you’ll visit working studios, see behind the scenes on your favourite shows and even get in front of the cameras yourself!
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating at the Lowry Outlet. From fast food chains like Burger King to sit-down options like Harvester, there’ll be something here to take your fancy. But, if you fancied a stroll away from the Outlet to whet your appetite, you’ll find some of the city’s finest bars and restaurants right outside.
At the Lowry Outlet
For sit-down meals there’s a Cafe Rouge, a Harvester, Pizza Express and Nando’s, while grab-and-go options include Burger King, Subway and Fat Jackets for properly oven-cooked potatoes with crunchy skins and tasty toppings. There’s even a place to head for a drink - Lime is a highly-rated bar-restaurant with a great atmosphere and some equally fantastic cocktails.
Outside the Lowry Outlet
If nothing grabs you inside, a short stroll along Salford Quays should find something to tempt you - the area contains some of Manchester’s best bars and restaurants. There’s fine dining on offer at Pier Eight at The Lowry, a menu of Southern-American favourites like burgers and hot dogs at the Dockyard and some gorgeous garden-themed decor at the Botanist.
Although it’s about three miles west of the city centre, the Lowry Outlet is still easily accessible, both by car and by public transport.
Driving from the city centre? Follow signs to Salford Quays, then signs to the Outlet. The code for your sat nav is M50 3AH. There’s a multi-storey car park open from 7.30am until half an hour after the last cinema showing - approximately 1.30am.
The number 50 bus travels between Salford Quays and East Didsbury, and stops at Manchester city centre along the way. If you need to switch between buses and trams, head to the Piccadilly Gardens or Shudehill interchanges.
If your train brings you into either Piccadilly or Victoria train stations, the best way to get to the Lowry Outlet is by tram - these are clearly signposted from the station. From Oxford Road station, walk towards Deansgate and get the tram from here.
Catch a Metrolink tram from the city centre on either the Eccles or MediaCityUK line.It takes about ten to 15 minutes. On the Eccles line you’ll need the Harbour City stop, or get off at the MediaCityUK stop if you’ve taken the MediaCityUK line.
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