We’ve got just over two weeks to go until my son starts Year Four and the summer holidays are racing by. We still need to fit in a hair cut at some point but we’ve spent this morning getting back to school ready with Banbury Gateway Shopping Park. The retail and leisure park opened in October 2015 and can be found just off junction 11 of the M40.
We’ve been frequent visitors over the last three years as it’s so convenient to just pop up one junction of the motorway for a bit of retail therapy. There’s free WiFi available across the park and free parking available for up to 4 hours. Parent and child spaces are available for those with younger children, as well as specific motorbike spaces and bike racks for more than 140 bikes. There’s also a bus service running from Banbury town centre which I know as used by family friends.
Getting back to school ready with Banbury Gateway Shopping Park is easy as they have a good mix of stores and with general opening hours (check individual stores for specific times) between 9am-8pm the park offers shopping opportunities for all the family.
We were staying very focussed on our shopping requirements this trip, so concentrated on the stores offering back to school ranges. For us that meant we spent time visiting Marks and Spencer, Next, Primark, Mountain Warehouse and Poundland on this occasion.
Next is somewhere I shop for for myself quite a lot, but not somewhere I’ve really thought of before for back to school. Getting back to school ready with Banbury Gateway Shopping Park showed me something really interesting which I shall remember for the future. I hadn’t realised that Next offered half sizes for kid’s school shoes. That’s ideal for my son, who always seems to measure at a half-size. Also they have velcro fastening shoes in larger sizes too. My son will be 9 in December, is in a size 3.5 shoe and he hates the idea of laces. So he’d be really happy with the range available here.
I’m a big fan of multipack options, especially with polo shirts. You can never have too many of them in my opinion. It’s also good to know that when my son needs to move from polo shirts to shirts Next will be able to supply his needs. They also have a large range of trousers available in various styles.
My son is a bit of a stationery fiend, and there was no way he was going to miss the opportunity to stock up on a few essentials. We popped into Poundland and he was more that happy with their back to school range.
On this visit he opted for some Sticky Notes, Glue Sticks, letter stickers and a classic buy in my opinion; the BIC Mini 4 colour pen. Who hasn’t had one of those over the years!
Primark is always a popular place for kids wear, affordable for all and we’ve found their clothing to be well wearing too. I’m well known for dressing my son in brightly coloured coats, whether that be for school or when we are off on an adventure. There’s plenty of time for dark coloured when he’s a teenager, but for know bright is the way forward, he is known on my Instagram feed as the boy in the red coat after all. But we came very close to changing red to mustard when I saw this coat in the window of Primark. Great price too.
Primark have a great range of trainers. My son may be a rarity as he only wears trainers for PE at school, and therefore I begrudge spending a fortune on something that will be worn for an hour or two a week. They also have a great selection of joggers, perfect for PE as well as a variety of pants and socks at great prices.
Back to School ready with Banbury Gateway Shopping Park for us wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Marks and Spencer. I’ve been a regular visitor to the store since it opened at the park, and my son always enjoys a pastry in their cafe.
My son is a typical boy, and likes nothing better than trying to destroy his school trousers. Over the years I’ve found that M&S trousers last, and last well. So I was keen to stock up on a few pairs for him. He’s lucky that at his school he can wear grey or black trousers, time to decide which to try. Can you tell he was overdue for a pastry treat by the time this photo was taken!
He’s very much like his father, and prefers M&S socks over any other so it was time to stock up on the next size up whilst we were at Banbury Gateway Shopping Park. My son was a little confused that size 4-7 are classed at age 11+. I wonder what size shoes he’ll be wearing by the time he’s 11. One of our NCT group is already in a 6. We really could get fully kitted out here, there’s a large selection of everything you could need for school uniform requirements.
The one item remaining on my list was a winter coat and as much as I liked the mustard coat we’d spotted in Primark, we were both holding out for a red coat.
Well Mountain Warehouse clearly knew that we were heading over to Banbury Gateway Shopping Park as they have a whole range of coats and we spotted a great 3 in 1 jacket in red and at a discounted price £19.99 down from £49.99. The deal was done and I think the smile says it all.
Result, we are officially back to school ready thanks to Banbury Gateway Shopping Park.
Are you back to school ready? Have you visited Banbury Gateway Shopping Park?
disclosure: I am being compensated for this post, but as always my comments remain my own honest opinions