Milton Keynes shopping centre is a large, indoor retail unit.
The design is early '70s, with two long walkway, shops either side, connected by multiple short walkways side to side. Think of a very tall 'H' with lots of horizontal bars.
Each 'vertical' walkway is an easy 30 foot wide with planters all the way up with various tropical trees in them, lots of seating, more seating on the low marble walls of the planters, lots of interactive boards to help you find anything and quite a few traders with stalls.
There are loads of food places, fast food, sandwich bars, pizza, sushi, coffee bars, all eat in or take out.
In the very middle is a large courtyard (without roof, glass walls and glass doors all round) with seating and a fountain, great for relaxing in. This isn't used all that much by the locals so can be a very nice and quiet(ish) place - eye of the storm!
At the 'top' and 'bottom' are the centers mainstays, John Lewis at the top, M&S at the bottom. Both vast multi floor department stores where just about anything is available.
The rest of the shops are a typical collection of chain stores and brand names. There are no 'local' shops, you need to go to Stony Stratford or Newport Pagnell for those.
Outside the John Lewis store front is a huge open area that regularily has events - shopping events, the Christmas exhibition, art events, childrens fairs, and of course a great area to let your kids go mad running around.
The 'bottom' end (nearest to the train station) has recently had an extension built. It's built in the same sort of style and includes a large food court, Milton Keynes oldest tree in it's own open to the sky circle, surrounded by a few of MKs concrete cows, the magical "clockwork clock" (sounds corny, but is huge and has to be seen at least once, all the kids adore it), and another load of shops.
Parking is right the way around the whole center, 4 rows deep (2 on one side of the road, 2 on the other) and two multi story car parks. Parking is not free, bays are marked with a painted coloured line in front of them that indicates the fees.
The car park at the top (John Lewis) is an NCP car park and is expensive, hence it's usually half empty.
Disabled parking is free (APART FROM THE NCP CAR PARK) and can be found in blocks of 3 or 4 very close to the doors that are all the way around the center.
Xscape, with the cinema, bowling and snow zone is very close, a second cinema at "The Point" is even closer, and there is another "Food hall" close which is actually a supermarket - plus a few food outlets and some small local shops.
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