Most Coach Friendly Shopping Attraction

Having received nominations from operators about tourist attractions, it became clear that a distinct category of shopping attraction was required, and therefore this additional category has been created by the judges.

This award is designed to recognise and reward shopping attractions who have gone 'that extra mile' to accommodate, attract, and welcome coaches, their drivers and their passengers.

The Winners

  • Oswaldtwistle Mills
Oswaldtwistle Mills Shopping Village is a popular tourist attraction in Accrington, Lancashire. Housed in five former weaving sheds, the complex covers 88,000 square feet and offers full disabled access. The village offers over 80 retail concessions, selling everything from arts and craft supplies to gadgets to furniture to locally produced foods. Over 1,600 coach parties have visited the Mill over the last two years: each and every one was personally greeted by a member of staff, and every visitor was provided with gratuity vouchers to use in store.  Oswaldtwistle has a dedicated group bookings team to advise visitors, and helps with catering, itinerary planning and even organising coach travel.

Runners Up

  • Bury Market
Bury market is one of the North West's leading shopping attractions. It offers great choice and value with over 200,000 square feet of selling area, 50,000 product lines on 370 stalls and 250,000 shoppers every week. There's a nearby passenger drop-off facility, free on-street coach parking at Market Street, Bury and also free coach parking at the famous East Lancashire Steam Railway. The market offers free literature, including DVD artwork, market maps and stall layouts,  leaflets for drivers to hand to passengers, and posters for group organisers to use. It also offers free coach stickers and a free £5 Lunch Voucher for the driver.

Highly Commended

  • Boundary Mill
Boundary Mill Stores is the largest quality mill store of its kind in the UK, and now has branches at Grantham, Shiremoor (near Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and Walsall as well as the original location at Colne, in Lancashire, where a brand new store was opened in 2007. Founded in 1983, the company's philosophy is to offer our customers quality branded goods at discount prices.  Groups booking in advance (25 passengers or more with a two hour stay) will be welcomed by one of the company's Coach Co-ordinators. The driver receives £10 cash and the Group Organiser a £10 Boundary Mill Stores Gift Voucher.
  • McArthur Glen
McArthur Glen is the owner of designer shopping outlets, running seven sites in the UK (Ashford, Bridgend, Cheshire Oaks, Derbyshire, Livingston, Swindon and York), and twelve more on the continent.The centres house favourite designer and high-street brands, but with the prices reduced by up to 70%, along with coffee shops and restaurants. Booking a group triggers discounts for group members on their shopping – and this can be done with as little as 48 hours' notice.
Organisers receive a group pack providing a range of the information they need to plan their group's visit. Special 10% discount cards are provided for everyone on board the coach, also entitling them to further discounts and special offers in selected stores on that day. Help with itinerary planning is also available for all locations.
  • Princes Quay, Hull
Princes Quay is located in the Heart of Hull City Centre close to other amenities, built literally hovering over above the former Princes Dock, giving shoppers the feeling that they are floating in the air. It comprises over 70 shops on  three decks plus restaurants and a 10-screen cinema set around a central atrium.
The centre offers free coach parking (pre-booking is advised), and the local TIC offers Hull Shop Ahoy! and day trip packages for groups. These are simple and have been designed to take away the stress and the strain of organising an itinerary for a group excursion. The packages follow one standard itinerary, with options available for each element of the tour, allowing group organisers to tailor the trip to their group's requirements. The formula is highly successful and has been enjoyed by hundreds of groups.


  • Trafford Centre
The Trafford Centre is a £1.6 billion shopping and leisure destination situated to the south west of Manchester. It offers 230 stores and over 60 restaurants and cafes, and received 35 million visitors in 2008 – a number that has risen year on year over the decade since the centre first opened and attracted 23 million. The centre offers a free coach park with some 350 spaces, and works actively to promote visits by all forms of public transport, including coaches.

Who could be nominated?

Shopping attractions marketed to and capable of accommodating, coach groups

… and by whom

Readers of Coach and Bus Week magazine who are coach operators, and other industry experts, were asked to nominate attractions whose service they had admired during the last 12 months. They were asked to explain why they thought that the nominated attraction deserved this award.

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