Newnham Court Shopping Village
Keen to get to the shops, but wanting to stay outside and away from the crowds? Newnham Court Shopping Village means family trip outside plus Christmas shopping sorted!
Keen to get to the shops, but wanting to stay outside and away from the crowds? Newnham Court Shopping Village has a garden centre that is still open (garden centres were deemed essential stores – it’s a long story…)
You might not have spotted Newnham Court Shopping Village before as it is tucked away and just off the exit at junction 7 on the M20, or junction 5 on the M2. It might not seem an obvious Muddy destination at first but there are some hidden products and services to be discovered that will help you tick off your to-do list and not have ‘I’m borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred’ in your ear every five minutes at the weekend.
First up, the parking is free and there is lots of it. Normally there’s holiday clubs at Pennies Day Nursery (from 4 to 10 years) with a wide range of activities for different age groups plus Gymfinity Kids – the UK’s first quality Gymnastic & Ninja Knights club offering fun and exciting activities for babies to children aged 16 years. However that’s not open during Lockdown obviously.
Start at Notcutts Garden Centre where you will start wondering if you do need planters in the shape of Combi vans whilst hunting down their wide range of plants, bulbs and hardy annuals. Get your kids involved too (Gardening Badge for Beavers/Brownies?) with its dedicated kids’ section with plenty of colourful tools for the smaller hands in your family.
We know that it’s more important than ever to help bring local wildlife into our gardens as hedgehogs and some well-known birds are on the decrease, so why not encourage the children to make your garden interesting for local fauna. You could suggest that they pick out interesting and different havens for wildlife, including bird boxes and feeders, bug hotels, bat boxes and hedgehog houses, as well as range of feed for wildlife to make your garden more wildlife-friendly while you pick out some of their greetings cards – we told you that you could sort your to-do list here.
If there is a pet in the family, your kids can have a lot of fun selecting new togs, toys or accessories as its Petcare section is not lacking in this area – from clothing and bedding to toys, Christmas presents and there’s even a pick n mix snack station for your dog – whatever next…
Any Christmas fan should be prepared to be dazzled by The Notcutts Christmas Shop which is now open with a continuous display of different colourful decorations set out in different themes. Whether you are after a more old-fashioned affair with vintage-inspired items or you prefer a more muted and sophisticated theme, they seem to have Christmas totally covered it here.
Think ahead to Christmas shopping here too as the perfect place to pick up some handy stocking fillers. We were quite taken by the Nutcracker Stainless Steel cookie cutter set as well as the largest puzzle section I have ever seen in my life – who would have 2020 would have been the year of the puzzle but if a passion has ignited this year, head there!
And let’s not forget the Christmas tree where you can scoop them up here trees with both real ones (due in December) and artificial as well as the essential sparkly outdoor and indoor lights to bring the Christmas magic alive.
Make sure you also snake your way around to Maidenhead Aquatics. A huge selection of fish (from the exotic and huge to the cute and small) await you there plus the staff there are well used to fishy-based questions from inquisitive younger minds so don’t miss this shop and you might be inspired to buy you very own and then keep coming back here to stock up on fish food or aquarium essentials or treat your fish to some new plants interesting aquarium ornaments!
If hunger is starting to kick in, we are told that Bricks Coffee Shop does tasty sandwiches, panini, wraps, cakes and gateaux to keep them amused whilst you enjoy fresh barista made Piazza Doro coffee. There are currently offering a takeaway only service.
We also spotted that there is a Chinese restaurant on site and in a Covid-19 world, they are currently operating a very efficient takeaway service so maybe you could just scoop up dinner on the way home?
You might also like to know that there Pure Hairdressing (and its sister salon) is located in the Courtyard – but these are currently closed due to Covid.
Finally, if you are a runner then you should head to its runnersneed section, within Cotswold Outdoor, where they have the technology to observe your running style, on its treadmill, and provide a free gait analysis and footwear fitting. I know that this would lead to much amusement for from my children but what a great tailored service to help you find the perfect kit – whether you’re hitting the pavement, trails or the treadmill.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Ticking off that to-do list as well as keeping younger minds occupied along the way. Plus, Christmas shopping – from presents to stocking fillers to the all-important Christmas decorations.
Not for: Anyone seeking high street fashion stores or the razamataz of a buzzing shopping mall. Half-terms mums with younger kids (the aquarium!) and Christmas-shoppers are well catered for but teens probably won’t be quite so enthused.
Bearsted Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5LH, newnhamcourt.co.uk