Back to School Challenge at The Old Market Hereford Review

OldMarketHerefordThe Old Market Hereford
Back to School Challenge

Reviewed by Yvette Morgan

After 150 years in the town centre the Hereford Livestock Market relocated to make way for a £90 million development in the heart of the city centre, named The Old Market  which is a 310,000 square foot open-air retail and leisure scheme, and is made up of 18 shops, 8 restaurants, a cafe, 5 kiosks, a six-screen Odeon cinema, and 600 car park spaces.

I haven’t visited Hereford for many years, partially due to the lack of brands available in the area, shopping with children and teenagers is a nightmare if they can’t find their favourite brands. I was pleasantly surprised by the new development; the centre has a very relaxed ambience, with many of the food chains having outdoor seating areas, where lots of families were enjoying a post back to school shop meal.


I had been set a challenge by to visit the The Old Market and find all the back to school items for a primary school child for £112 or under. I took my 8 year old granddaughter Darla, who by the end of the day was renamed Diva Darla, as she knew exactly the look she wanted to return to school. My idea of sensible shoes, back pack and nice warm coat was far removed from the trendy look, Darla had in mind, all in line with the Indian summer she informed me we were expecting, the staff in River Island thought her choice of school bag was so cute.


We focused our trip on H&M, Next, Debenhams and Darla’s favourite River Island, and she got all her stationary essentials from Tiger, where we found several cute novelty items.


Shopped out we went for lunch at Zizi’s, a contemporary restaurant with a tasty menu, set within a beautiful Grade II listed building in the old ticket office of the livestock market.


The food was delicious especially the desserts, and the service was excellent, with a relaxed atmosphere, definitely worth a visit.

Before we left we visited Waitrose for a few household items, which is always a treat as the closest Waitrose for me is over 20 miles away, so not really feasible for a weekly shop. The store, was well stocked with friendly staff and the same relaxed atmosphere that is the theme of the whole Old Market shopping centre. I don’t particularly like shopping and dread the hustle and bustle of the return to school shop, but I came home feeling quite relaxed, I would definitely recommend The Old Market for family shopping trips.

Back at home time to tot up the total spend, try the clothes on the  little diva, and prepare to be told off by my daughter for allowing Darla to veer slightly off the traditional schoolwear track and add a little style to her purchases.

Item purchased

Amount Spent

2 school slips and underwear


River Island
School trousers and bag


Jacket, Tights and Ankle Boots


all the stationary items needed




The challenge was to purchase all the items for £112 or less, so I was 77p over budget, not too bad considering I allowed Darla to choose what she wanted. If I had been there without a child I could have purchased more items or come in way under budget. I was surprised at how much I bought for such little money in H&M, I am not generally a H&M customer, and would have been more likely to purchase from Next if I had been alone, however I will return to H&M in the future as there was lots of choice at reasonable prices. I was a little apprehensive that our purchases were a little too trendy for school, but Darla was delighted, and she is still in primary school where uniform is preferred but not compulsory, after our little fashion show I had to admit she had done very well for an 8 year old mixing traditional schoolwear items with trendier accessories.

This is Darla wearing the slip and blouse from Debenhams, tights, boots and jacket from H&M and the controversial bag from River Island. And below (right) with trousers from River Island.


We had a lovely day, and I really like the relaxed atmosphere of the centre, I will definitely return and would recommend others pay a visit.

Old Market is open 9:00 – 20:00 Mon-Fri, 9:00 – 19:00 on Saturdays and 11:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

To get to Old Market by car, enter the postcode HR4 9HR into your SatNav. The car park is located off Blackfriars Street. The car park is accessible 24 hours a day. There are 600 parking spaces available, including Blue Badge and Parent & Child spaces.

There are toilets including disabled and baby changing facilities which can be accessed by the main car park stairwell. The toilets are adjacent to the management suite.

For more information visit

Old Market, Newmarket Street, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR4 9HR
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