Shopping in Livingston: A Fresh Perspective

‘When I lived in Scotland, if you asked me if I wanted to go to the local shopping mall, I’d have rolled my eyes at you.  I hate shopping. And I hate shopping in Livingston…’

livingston designer outlet
Look!  Livingston’s shopping mall has fancy moving things in it…

A 6-month break… 

This isn’t because I’m ashamed of where I’m from, you understand. It’s just that I grew up shopping in Livingston and I grew very tired of it.  I previously lived and worked in the area. Nothing made me more depressed that spending my working life AND downtime in the same square mile radius.

Therefore, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to return after 6 months of living in rural North Wales and been totally excited to realise that I actually missed the easily accessible shops, cafes, restaurants and, dare I say it, the fact that there are a few more people.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not a massive fan of People. I love being anywhere quiet.  I hate crowded places in a way that makes my anxiety spike to dangerous, brown paper bag situations. I didn’t feel this way this time and I don’t quite know why.

Ed's Diner, Livingston
Livingston can offer you a taste of 50’s America before you hit up H&M or M&S…or any other shops two initials.

You don’t realise what you had until it’s gone… 

Don’t get me wrong: after my second visit to Livingston’s massive shopping mall in three days, I’d had enough. However, being away has made me realise a lot about Livingston that I took for granted in the years I lived nearby.
In Harlech, we have a couple of fabulous coffee shops nearby. AND We live in the middle of Snowdonia National Park, which is nothing to be sniffed at. It’s just the positioning in relation to, say, going to the cinema, or needing a new pair of shoes (because, obviously) that I didn’t realise I had missed until I came home.
My closest quality shoe shop is more than an hour away in Wales.  The closest cinema is even farther.  It’s not that we even visit a cinema much, but I guess it’s always good to know that we can.

In North Wales, we’d have to plan a few days in advance. This is just so we could finish work, grab food and head 35 miles north. Here? It’s a 10-minute drive and there are 8 screens to choose from.

BB's Muffins
Coffee and Muffins….what a combination

Everything in one place… 

My Mum needed baking soda today and I was able to pick it up, along with new shoes, shirts, trousers, a tank of petrol, a great cup of coffee, and some new slippers.  All in the same place! If I tried that in North Wales, that would take me the best part of a day and I’d have ended up in Liverpool.

I’m not complaining, you understand, I LOVE living in Wales. In fact, moving there was one of my better decisions.  It’s just that the transition between where I live now and where I lived before is pretty stark.  However, I must be saving a small fortune in Harlech due to the fact that I CAN’T buy shoes when I pop to the supermarket in nearby Porthmadog.  Let’s be honest:  I need a 103rd pair of shoes like I need, well, those new trousers and shirts I just bought.

In the words of Belinda Carlisle…Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.

What I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to say I, for the first time in many years, I appreciate my hometown.  It’s just a shame that it’s taken me a 250 mile move to another nation in order to do so.

The only thing I didn’t like about rediscovering my hometown shopping centre was this…  I mean, have some respect, Livingston…

crocs stroe livingston
No.  Just no.

Have you been shopping in Livingston recently?


Suz xx


Shopping in Livingston: A Fresh Perspective



Hi, I'm Suz. I love travelling (obvs..), dogs, shoes and wine, although not necessarily in that order. I''m a full-time introvert and part-time traveller and live with my husband in Snowdonia, North Wales.

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