Ich bin CuteBadger aus Staines. Ich bin Qyper seit dem 17.11.2008
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S5A Two Rivers Retail Park, Staines, Surrey TW18 4UP
This isn’t an enormous branch of HMV, but there’s quite a lot crammed into a small-ish space. A bit too much, to be honest, as when it’s busy it’s virtually impossible to move around and you can find yourself trapped in a corner!
The store mainly concentrates on CD and games, there’s less space devoted to DVDs and virtually no books. The DVDs they do stock tend to be reduced-price ones and the latest releases - there isn’t much of a back catalogue in evidence.
You can find the odd thing that’s cheaper here, but frustratingly the vast majority of things are cheaper on HMV’s website (plus using the website means you can go through a cash-back site and get some money back).
The staff are friendly enough and have obviously been trained to ask the same questions of all their customers, so it can get a bit boring and irritating.
2 Station Approach, Staines, Surrey TW18 4LY
Savita News is a small shop, but it has loads crammed into it. It’s right by the entrance to Staines Station so is just the place to buy your morning paper on the way to the train.
It stocks newspapers, a wide range of magazines and all the other bits and pieces you can usually find in newsagents, including useful items like headache tablets and packets of tissues. You’ll also find more than enough to satisfy your sweet (or savoury) tooth here.
Savita News also sells Lotto scratchcards and has a lottery machine so you can buy your tickets for the weekly draw.
I wouldn’t say that the staff are overly friendly, but they’re always polite and serve you quickly.
The shop can get a little crowded at times, but service is usually so quick that you don’t have to hang around too long.
49/51 High Street, Staines, Surrey TW18 4QR
The Staines branch of WH Smith is quite large and is over two floors. The upper floor (which is up quite a steep flight of stairs) has DVDs, CDS, printer cartridges, computer games, board games and so on. However, the majority of the store is at ground level and includes newspapers and magazines, cards, books, stationery, craft materials and so on.
There is a huge choice of goods, but for books I would usually go to Waterstones just down the road. WH Smith rarely seems to stock what I’m looking for and the copies on the shelves are all-to-often already damaged.
There is a good range of cards, stationery and craft materials, but the queue to pay can often be very long - I often give up and just don’t buy things rather than have to wait.
The main Staines Post Office relocated into this WH Smith a few months ago and it hasn’t been a huge success. Having to find room for the Post Office meant that quite a lot of display space had to go so there’s now less choice. The Post Office queues are also often long so that they get in the way of any one shopping.
WH Smith staff are generally ok and they’re usually reasonably helpful in this branch (but it depends who you get).
Two Rivers Retail Park, Mustard Mill Road, Staines, Surrey TW18 4BL
This is quite a big shop in the Two Rivers shopping centre in Staines, but it’s rare to see any customers in it when you walk past. It may be something to do with the prices of the goods and the service you get if you do go in.
I’ve been in here on a couple of occasions while looking for a new laptop and a DVD recorder respectively. As the Sony Centre only sells Sony products their prices are higher than a lot of other places as they tend to charge the Recommended Retail Price rather than being able to discount as other chains do. When I was looking for a laptop they didn’t have the model I wanted to look at and then tried to keep me in the shop saying that the manager of another branch would drive one over for me look at - a bit odd I thought.
On the other occasion I went in the only staff member in the shop was on the phone (on what sounded like a personal call) - he was still talking 10 minutes later when I left.
I own a number of Sony products and will probably buy more in the future - but I won’t buy them at the Staines Sony Centre.
Dart Park, South Molton, Devon EX36 4BJ
This is a largish branch of the Somerfield supermarket chain and is probably the largest supermarket for miles around due to being in a very rural area.
There’s lots of parking but when I went there were trolleys everywhere and rubbish blowing around. Not very appealing! (There were a few odd characters around too, but that’s not the store’s fault!)
You enter the store through a covered walkway-type corridor on the side of the building. There are reduced and special seasonal offer ranges (eg Christmas decorations at the appropriate time of year) displayed here which makes things look a bit cluttered.
Inside there’s a good range of items, certainly better than anywhere else nearby, but the store could do with a refit and seems a bit grubby.
There were long queues when I went and no real urgency in the staff to help you. They have a pretty captive audience, so I suppose these things may not matter quite so much.
Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh, Scotland TD8 6EA
The Jedburgh Edinburgh Woollen Mill is right on the road through town to make things easier for the vast number of tourist buses who stop here. These shops are the same wherever you go, so there’s no difference if you’re in Jedburgh, Inverness or London.
There’s really nothing here a non-tourist would want to buy. The stock is the usual kilts, Shetland jumpers, wellies, pictures of Scottie dogs and loads of Shortbread.
Most things are deeply unattractive and far from being value for money - much nicer jumpers can be bough much more cheaply elsewhere. Much of giftware is tacky and is probably thrown straight in the bin by the recipient.
Don’t encourage the people who make this tat - go somewhere else instead.
11-17 Canongate, Jedburgh, Scotland TD8 6AN
A small-ish branch of the Co-op supermarket chain, but the only supermarket in Jedburgh so always busy and must make a fortune. Parking can be a problem at certain times as the shop is right at the junction of the main street through the town. The stay open late so if you need something after usual shopping hours you’ll be ok.
Due to the size of this shop you don’t get a huge choice of brands of the same thing (eg they stock the most well-known brand of anything and the Co-op alternative), but they do have a good range of groceries etc.
The shop isn’t kept as clean as some others I’ve been in, but it isn’t too bad, just a little grubby.
The staff are efficient enough, but only seem to be friendly to locals and can take longer than necessary to ring through their friends’ shopping so they can get all the gossip while they’re doing it.
6-8 High Street, Jedburgh, Scotland TD8 6AG
Simply Scottish looks like a tourist trap and acts like one too, by the look of the tour buses lined up outside. However, don’t let that put you off as it’s more than just a tourist haunt.
The restaurant serves modern Scottish bistro-type food which includes all the usual suspects (haggis anyone?) and uses only Scottish ingredients.
They serve morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner -pretty much anything you’d like really. The scrubbed pine-based decor makes the restaurant appear very light and airy and everything is kept very clean and tidy.
Mr CuteBadger and I had a lovely dinner there while staying in the area. It was really busy, but despite this service was prompt and the staff friendly and happy to help.
Prices are reasonable and the food is delicious.
Kielder Water, Hexham, Northumberland NE48 1AX
The Kielder Water Bird of Prey Centre is a small centre compared to some I’ve been too, but you can’t argue with the passion and expertise of the people who run it.
Despite the small ground area there’s a large collection of birds - 60 birds and 28 species. You can wander round and look at all the birds - there are always staff around who are happy to answer your questions.
But the highlight of any visit has to be the flying displays which they do three times a day - weather permitting. The flying display really gets the audience involved so not only do the birds fly really low over your head, but you get a chance to hold some of them on your arm,
I went on a very rainy day in July, but they still did the flying display and because the total number in the audience was four, I got more than my fair share of bird contact.
Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
23 Station Road North, Egham, Surrey TW20 9LB
Laura Jacks is a lovely gift and card shop in Egham, which suffers a bit from its location. As it’s slightly out of the way of the main High Street it would be easy to miss, which would be a shame.
It stocks unusual cards, gifts, jewellery, handbags, paintings, candles and so much more. It’s a great place to find something unusual and is particularly good for gifts for new babies. There are so many beautiful things here I often end up wanting one of everything.
Some of the stock is reasonably expensive, but there really is something for everyone. Plus if you’re buying something as a gift they will gift wrap it for you too free of charge.
A real treasure!
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