Cribbs Causeway

Introduction

Cribbs Causeway is a large retail and entertainment complex situated at the northern fringes of the city of Bristol, England and adjacent to junction 17 of the M5 and Filton airport. A large part of Cribbs Causeway is The Mall Cribbs, but there are also many other retail and entertainment outlets nearby.

A view of the central point of The Mall Cribbs from the outside.
A view of the central point of The Mall Cribbs from the outside.

The Mall Cribbs Causeway

As has already been said the main attraction at Cribbs Causeway is The Mall Cribbs. This is a large, 10 year old multistorey shopping mall, and is on of the largest single shopping areas within the south west, containing over 100 individual shops under cover with a total retail area of nearly a million square foot. The Mall layout comprises of shops entrances on two levels along a central spine. At either end of this spine there are flagship stores - at one end there is a large Marks and Spencer and at the other end is a John Lewis, which is the only John lewis is the south west of England. In the middle there is a large fountain, around which are other well respected UK retailing names such as Boots, WH Smith and British Home Stores (BHS). Also as would be expected there are a large number of other high-street shops, from a wide range of aspects from mobile phone shops for all the major networks, through to travel agents and clothes shops such as Next, Topshop and New Look. A floorplan/shoplayout can be accessed here.

As has been said, the majority of The Mall Cribbs is over two levels. However, John Lewis is over four levels, with a basement and a 2nd floor. However, the gap between level in The Mall is quite high, and so some stores have chosen to take advantage of this by adding in an extra floor. This has been done by such stores as River Island and H&M (which has three floors in total as it is across both levels of The Mall).

In addition to shoppping, there are many food outlets and other opportunities for purchasing refreshments within The Mall Cribbs Causeway. The main area for food outlets is located in the centre of The Mall near the fountain on the top level. This area contains a wide array of different food outlets, including Arkwrights fish and chip shop, KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds. In addition there are at least five dedicated refreshment shops interspersed throughout the whole length of The Mall. Marks and Spencer has three areas where freshly prepared food can be bought and consumed,and John Lewis has two. Finally there are several shops, including WH Smiths, Boots and Marks and Spencers which sell pre-packed snacks and beverages.

A number of special events occur both inside The Mall Cribbs and in the carpark generally every year. Indoors these include a clothes show which happens over a couple of weeks in March/April and a food show which takes place in October. The outdoors events include a car show in July and a large ice-rink and Santa's grotto which is in place from November through to January.

The opening hours of The Mall are 9.30am-9pm Monday-Friday), 9am-8pm Saturdays and 11am-5pm Sundays. However, some stores are different, for example John Lewis which is open 10am-8pm weekdays, 9am-6.30pm Saturdays and 11am-5pm Sundays. However, the majority of stores open the standard hours. In addition these opening times change, with different opening hours at Christmas, Boxing Day, the various bank holidays and on other special occasions.

The Venue Cribbs Causeway

The Venue is an area adjacent to The Mall. It was built after the Mall, and has been open a while. It contains a large Vue cinema which has many screens, as well as a large foyer. This generally shows a wide variety of the latest films, and often takes part in advanced screenings or midnight screenings for big films. The opening times are generally from just before midday to late at night, although this is dependent on the films being shown and the day of the week and so it is worth checking the website.

Adjacent to the Vue cinema is Hollywood Bowl. This is a large ten pin bowling alley, and also contains an area with arcade type games and a bar/food area. This opens at 10am every day of the week, and closes at midnight Sunday through to Thursday, and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

There are several other leisure attractions at The Venue in addition to the Vue cinema and Hollywood Bowl. Firstly there is a Anytime Fitness gym which is opwn from early in the morning (6.30 weekdays and 8am weekends) through to late at night (10pm weekdays and 8pm weekends). There are also a large variety of restaurants which include Frankie and Bennys, TGI Fridays, Burger King, KFC and Preview Bar and Grill. These are generally open from mid morning, through to late evening, although it is worth checking on the specific websites for individual opening times, along with sample menus and booking information.

The Venue backs onto Filton airfield. Filton was and is a major base for aircraft manufacturing, with both Rolls Royce and Airbus being based here. Half of the Concorde's ever built were built here, and the last ever flight by a Concorde landed here in November 2003. There are plans to create a permanent undercover museum housing both Concorde and other aeronautical exhibits adjacent to the Venue, but at present Concorde is situated about 5 minutes drive away, and it is possible to visit it by prior booking.

Other shops

Aside from The Mall and The Venue there are many other retail outlets around Cribbs Causeway. There are two main retail parks located near the John Lewis end of The Mall. The first contains large shops such as PC World, Argos, Currys and Comet. The majority of the second area is newer and this contains Halfords, Tesco Homeplus, TK Maxx and Maplin amongst other stores. There are also various other standalone stores located around the Cribbs Causeway area. These include a very large ASDA Walmart (at one time it was the largest hypermarket in the UK), a B&Q Warehouse, and southern England's first Morrison's supermarket. Aside from these retail outlets, there are car and property improvement showrooms. Finally there is the large children's indoor play area, 123 Jump. Finally there are a number of hotels both in the Cribbs Causeway complex and in the surrounding areas.  

Travel Information

Cribbs Causeway is located in an out of town location, very close to junction 17 of the M5, and as a result the vast majority of visitors travel by road, as shown by this map. This has been catered for by the facilities - The Mall by itself has over 7000 free car parking spaces. It's location by the motorway means that it is very popular with people from elsewhere in the country, with significant numbers of visitors coming from the south-west of England, south Wales and the West Midlands. There is an extensive management of both the car parks and the surrounding roads to ensure that traffic congestion is kept to a minimum.

There is also a major bus terminus located outside The Mall. Buses come from all over Bristol, as well as further afield, as shown by this timetable. When The Mall was first opened there was a lack of bus services early in the morning and in the evening, particularly on weekends, but this has definitely been improved.

Future Developments

The vast majority of the land in Cribbs Causeway has now been built upon, so the scope for further developments is limited unless existing developments are first demolished.  There is a plan for a new housing development on part of Filton Airfield, and this will lead to a new road being constructed between the A38 and Cribbs Causeway, which will lead to a slight improvement in access to Cribbs Causeway from many areas of Bristol.  One of the final expected developments will be for a new museum behind the Venue, which will have Concorde at it's heart, along with other exhibits from the Bristol Aero Collection. 

It was expected that visitor numbers to Cribbs Causeway and especially The Mall would decrease, both due to the recession and other new retail complexes being constructed such as Cabot Circus in the centre of Bristol.  This has been borne out to some extent, with the John Lewis within The Mall having some of the biggest decreases year on year sales of all of the John lewis stores nationwide.  However, Cribbs Causeway is still very popular, with the last minute rush before Christmas 2008 being reported as the busiest yet. 

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Comments 18 comments

Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Thanks for all the info bristolboy, we were thinking of taking a trip to cribbs and this hub will definitely help with our plans cheers.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Yes I hoped it would be useful. I am probably sort of biased as grew up with teh area, so avoided making it too much into a review, and instead kept it more factual instead of opinion based. Hopefully it had all of the information you would require.


BrianS profile image

BrianS 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Half my family spend their weekends in Cribbs Causeway, this is making me feel a little homesick.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Thanks for sharing this info, Bristolboy.  It's a great mall.  My (now) husband took my daughter and I there when we came to England in 2006.  We also went to the ASDA you're talking about.  We bought stuff at both places...LOL 

We also went through a McDonald's drive-thru in that area. LOL


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Your Cribbs Causeway reminds me of our Galleria in Houston which is 3 levels with an indoor ice skating rink, all kinds of specialty stores, etc. Quite the draw in your area, I am sure, as is ours.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Your Mall seems a bit more spectacular than ours. Cribbs Causeway is being affected somewhat by a new shopping centre in the centre of Bristol which many people prefer, partly due to the greater array of shops available. Thanks for the comment!


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat says - I don't enjoy shopping malls because I like being outside much more than being inside. However, someone I know had her wedding list at John Lewis at Cribbs Causeway. The way it worked, I could buy the gift over the phone. Brilliant.

From your photos, I can see that there is lots of natural light at Cribbs Causeway, so I might give it a try the next time I'm in the area.

Thanks for an interesting Hub.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thanks for the comment Pat. It is also interesting to note that there is a second major shopping centre in Bristol known as Cabot Circus and this is more open. I may write a hub on it if I ever get time and am bored about things to write!


Helen Cater profile image

Helen Cater 7 years ago from UK

Parking here is great.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

Thansk for taking the time to comment Helen. I agree parking at Cribbs Causeway is great - lots of spaces and all free!


geo grrl 7 years ago

when was cribbs causweay built


Georgina_writes 7 years ago

Used to visit Cribb's when I lved in somerset - feeling nostalgic about it now. (Also lost my car at the park and ride once - took me almost two hours tofind it!)


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 7 years ago from Bristol Author

It is not possible to put an exact date on when Cribbs Causeway was built since it is made up of many different shops and attractions, some of which are much older than others.

I hope that this article on Cribbs Causeway brought good memories back for you Georgina_writes!


lasttimelucky 6 years ago

I went there on three occasions when it was vital to shop. Malls are malls. Cribbs Causeway is large and better than some. It's a good example of a mindless, emotionally sterile experience. Crowds of people amble up and down outside the same chain stores they can get anywhere, spending more than they can afford on less than they want, only to find it redundant sooner or later. The advantage of easy parking (if you go at unpopular times) and getting out of the weather is offset by the appalling ambience of the various eating options upstairs. High calorie, low nutritional meals are available for eating on wipe clean (often dirty) tables amongst screaming kids, semi attentive parents and bemused oldies.


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

Lasttimelucky thanks for taking the time to comment. Guess you aren't a fan of Cribbs Causeway then?


leeleeboyswansea 6 years ago

i would like to contact some old friends from the mall, i worked there ten years ago and worked in arkwrights fish and chip shop and were friends with people from kfc, singapore sams, burger king and spud u like, can you help, lee pattimore-jacob - facebook


BristolBoy profile image

BristolBoy 6 years ago from Bristol Author

leeleeboyswansea I am unable to help you in that particular aim but I wish you luck - who knows maybe someone you worked with at Cribbs Causeway will remember you!


plumbers 4 years ago

cribbs causeway i helped build this project !!!

www.local-manchester-plumbers.co.uk

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