Another trip to Bicester had me wandering towards town from a Daughter’s house direction. Through the retail shopping centre isn’t the quickest or most direct route, but the landscaping there is very pleasing to the eye so it’s usually the prettiest route.
I very seldom shop at Bicester Village, most of the shops are aimed at a much higher price bracket than the one I generally live in, and as a rule, if you have to ask the price then you can’t afford it although I did spend a few very comfortable hours in the “Secret Garden Cafe” with friends a few visits ago and one “Fabulously British” shop draws me in everytime I pass it.
There’s a sort of love/hate relationship between the Village and the townsfolk. Of course as with any business, Bicester Village is here to make money, and make money they do, plenty of it, but as with any big business in a small location, money talks, and it very often talks louder and quicker than the locals.
Lots of locals have found employment at the Village, the pay is generally pretty good, and the knock on effect has been felt by quite a few of the other retail businesses where they’ve had to increase wages to compete for employees in the town has been good for the employees too.
The traffic, especially at busy retail times is a nightmare, but the Village has put funds into new road layouts and into the Bicester town station. Which unfortunately then got renamed “Bicester Village” Station… A very good financial move since the Village is advertised on the London Underground, but a disaster as far as a public relations exercise with the townsfolk.
However, at quieter shopping times, if you can put aside the very apparent lifestyle difference between Bicester Village and Bicester Town, it really is a pretty walk through the main street, very pleasing to the eyes indeed, with lots of surprising smiles around most of the corners.
More from before : bits of “Bicester“.