The Open Guide to London: the free London guide - Differences between Version 8 and Version 7 of Thurrock Lakeside

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summary='Shopping heaven to some, hell on earth to others - London's first major "out of town" mall'

A large shopping mall in the American style combined with a retail park, situated near the junction of the M25 and the A13. The main shopping mall has "over 320 shops, 4 major departments stores, 30 cafes and restaurants, a 7 screen multiplex cinema, a chapel and a 26 acre lake complete with PADI certified diving school complex" - but the four department stores are House of Fraser, BHS, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, and the remainder is similarly disappointing.

The retail park has a variety of other shops, including a large B&Q and one of London's three branches of IKEA. These shops set their own opening hours.

The place is designed entirely to be reached by car; even walking between the shops in the retail park is very much discouraged (lack of pavements in many places, for example). It is possible to get a c2c train to a nearby station, though, and there are apparently bus services.

The fact that they have a domain name, and have become the preferred shopping site for much of south-western Essex, should tell you all you need to know about this place. The term "Thurrocks" has been invented to describe the people who like the place, as: "I was about to leave the shop when a bunch of Thurrocks jammed the door trying to get back to their coach".

If you want this sort of place, go to Bluewater instead.

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