Brent Cross Shopping Centre

Shopping, Electronics Brent Cross
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Brent Cross Shopping Centre
© Haris Artemis Brent Cross Shopping Centre

When Brent Cross opened in 1976, people didn't believe the hype around shopping malls but nearly 40 years on and Britain's first enclosed shopping centre is still thriving with plans underway for a massive £1.4bn redevelopment, which would double the size of the original. With it's a mix of trusty department stores (Fenwick, John Lewis and M&S), all the high street brands you could ever wish for (from H&M to Whistles) and a few specialist shops in the mix including the Apple Store and Havaianas flip flops, you can see why North Londoners are ever-loyal to this shopping centre (the free parking helps).


Venue name: Brent Cross Shopping Centre
Address: Prince Charles Drive
Opening hours: Open 10am-8pm Mon-Fri; 9am-7pm Sat; noon-6pm Sun. Bank holidays 10am-6pm
Transport: Tube: Brent Cross tube then 210 bus or Hendon Central tube then 143, 326, 186 bus.
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North Londoners have a fondness for this place, even though it's not posh or splashy like either of the Westfields in London. The parking is easy and free (even if the approach roads from the North Circular and A41 are a spaghetti-like nightmare). Fenwicks has an excellent home store (which gives the John Lewis on the other end a run for its money). The cookware and kitchenware sales at Fenwicks are especially good, and the jewellery and cosmetics counters have high-quality goods that are a bit classier than at John Lewis. The Centre is remarkably busy any time of the day and evening, full of families and retired people safely marching around no matter the weather. Many of the high street chain stores are here and the fast-food restaurant scene is improving. We keep hearing talk of the vast improvements and planned expansion but in the meantime this is a convenient place to buy groceries at Waitrose and M & S and to pick up coffee capsules from the Nespresso pop-up. If you're tempted by Lola's cupcakes, try the ones at Waitrose for significantly less and just as tasty. Just watch out for the free cappuccino rage from impatient customers waving their free cups at you at the Waitrose machines.


The country's very first stand alone shopping centre is a place I have been going since childhood and I think it's rather unique.

Ordinarily I am a high-street girl, choosing to wander to local places such as Crouch End, Camden or somewhere in the West End (off peak of course), and wander into independent shops and drink a coffee along the way. But sometimes, a lady just has stuff she needs to get, hassle free, crowd free and with a car-park, and that's where a place like Brent Cross fits it.

Somehow it lacks the soullessness of the Westfield shopping centres, probably because it is smaller and bookmarked by a very pleasant John Lewis at one end and Fenwick (full of random items and an amazing kitchen department) at the other and is light and airy.

It's also has loads of loos, seats and food facilities and the staff in the shops are always quite pleasant, in my experience. This is my go to place when I am going shopping to get things I really need, or am seeking a wardrobe update and I can happily while away a good few hours here.

Whilst I have no desire for a world full of out of town shopping cities, they have their place and one that contains a little individuality, is not dominated by huge discount chains houses a nice range of stores, gets my vote.



Right..well..I disagree with The Man on the Street below...Brent Cross is great! Okay that's an overstatement but it's not bad at all. I have been visiting this shopping centre since I was a child,so it feels like my local shops. I have to say,it's very handy to have these as local shops! If you are based in North London,Brent Cross is a haven away from the hecticness of Central London or the gulf that is Westfield. I like it because it is not too big but there is just what you need there. Places for food,an M & S, Fenwicks is great for make up and accessories but also has a good selection of clothing,John Lewis is incredibly handy- I can get all my Xmas pressies done in one visit : ) It's got what you need and ha free parking,it does the job! I am incredibly fond of this place if anything for it's convenience and selection of shops.

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It's not the UK's first enclosed shopping centre - Elephant & Castle and B'ham Bull Ring Centre, for instance, beat it by a decade. Its 1996 expansion plan, of multi-storey car parks on all four sides, and more shops further south, was rejected after appeal in 2002, because of the extra road congestion, and the effect of neighbouring high streets, like Hampstead and Finchley. The revised 2009 expansion plan is becalmed, due to the depression, unwillingness to increase consumer debt, and the usual suspects from last time.