Peterborough Garden Park is a relatively recent development with a good range of shops- including TOG 24, Roman Originals, Pavers Shoes, Le Creuset, Edinburgh Woollen Mill. There is a large Garden Centre at the heart of the development run by Van Hage. The garden centre is is designed in a tasteful way to fit in with the out of town development. A supermarket and hotel are planned for the future, though the hotel site is still up for grabs. A garden walk is avaialble and under development. There are pleasant seating and patio areas outside the shops and the garden centre cafe and the smaller Andronicas cafe, the latter having a small kiddies playground.
The Garden Park is Ideal for older and disabled people with easy access and very spacious carparks. There are facilities to accomodate large coach party trips, though I haven't seen many caoches yet. A large Hobbycraft store also provides days for trying out new crafts, so planning a visit around these events or those in the garden centre is a good way to maximise a trip if you are coming from out of town. The website provides details.
Like all venues there are some downsides to the retail park. The recession has seen shops come and go and no prospect in the near future visible for the hotel, though there are hotels nearby. Most of the shop units are occupied with a good range of shops including a large pet and aquatic centre.
The approach is not especially attractive as it passes and is near to the rubbish tips for Peterborough. When the landscaping grows there will be nothing of the tip visible and there is a chance the tip does not have much longer before being fully landscaped .
Eating at the retail park is mainly based in the Van Hage Garden Centre, where there is a very spacious and accessible cafe at the rear with a large patio area outside in good weather. Bathroom facilities for the retail park are based in the garden centre which is large enough to accomodate coach parties. Food in the cafe has been very good quality and choice. A cheap and cheerful all in five item breakfast with tea or coffee certainly draws in the crowds each morning, though the downside of this is in the deterioration of the coffee and cakes breaks more typically associated with garden centres and not so appealing recently. Offers on lunches and hot meals on late night Thursday again seem very popular but have resulted in a poorer offering of items for afternoon teas.
A discount card is available at Van Hage , free for a year which offers up to 12% discount on cafe food ( not offers) and centre goods ( not the food emporium or goods on 'offer or sale'), so beware purchasing before checking out available discounts.Subsequent discount cards are £15 per couple. One advantage is the free tea or coffee available on the card, though early days at the centre did show many customers taking liberties with the facility. At times the garden centre has offered free wi fi though in recent months we have not had a single connection.... The card is usable in some of the other shops displaying the Van Hage logo.
As retail outlets go, Peterborough Garden Park has the advantage of space and accessibility with free parking. In years to come when the landscaping develops, the supermarket and hotel arrive I suspect it will become a very polular attraction not just for locals and look forward to that time.
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