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Cribbs Causeway

Updated on March 28, 2018


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. A permanent undercover museum, called Aerospace Bristol housing both Concorde and other aeronautical exhibits is close to CrobIbs


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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