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“An attraction with an identity problem but not as bad as portrayed” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Rheged Centre

The Rheged Centre
Redhills, Penrith CA11 0DQ, England
+44 1768 868000
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Ranked #22 of 55 things to do in Penrith
Activities: Shopping, Dining
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Attraction details
Owner description: Housed under a unique grass roof with a diverse programme of exhibitions, live streaming, film, family entertainment with a mix of shopping and dining experiences.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“An attraction with an identity problem but not as bad as portrayed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Visited the Rheged Centre during the recent school holiday. it must be about 10 years since I was last there. I can't agree with some of the negative comments about it having gone down hill as it was exactly as I remembered it. Even the specialist paper shop was sill there. I had read some of the reviews before I visited but did not experience poor staff attitudes, dirty or poorly maintained public areas or high price food. The food was above average price but was also above average quality. Perhaps we have all been seduced by supermarkets providing mass produced food like chilckens at £4.00 each into thinking that cheap food is a fundamental right, but the success of 'best of' type ranges shows that people are willing to pay more if the quality is also right.

I think the main problem is that it is hard to know what Rheged is - is it an exhibition space, is it an out of town shopping area, is it a cinema, is it a showcase for specialist food outlets? It seems to be able to do some of these things well, but I'm not sure the location or the size make it possible to do it all. The only places that I know succeed at doing this have size on their side such as The Trafford Centre Complex.

I'm no expert in this area and I don't have answers for these issues but I do think Rheged is an experiment worth preserving as I haven't come across anything like it anywhere else in the UK and there are a lot of good things there for visitors and locals alike.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestmorlandFamily, Manager at The Rheged Centre, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Good morning. Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. The points you make about the role of supermarkets in influencing our views on the price of food are very interesting. At Rheged we use local produce from small and artisan suppliers in our recipes including beef and lamb from our own farm. We also make and cook all our food here from scratch in our kitchen, using fresh local ingredients. Both these factors influence menu prices. You are also quite right to identify that there is nothing quite like Rheged in terms of its offer, from visual art exhibitions, films and live cinema events to family workshops, pottery painting and play. Add to this shops selling products not often found on the high street; Cafes, Fairs and Festivals and a conference venue - all under one grass roof. As part of Rheged's evolution we will aim to strengthen its identity by creating more cohesion with our offer and ensuring everything we do is "of this place". Thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you again soon. Kind regards. The Rheged Team
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Date | Rating
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English first
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
416 reviews 416 reviews
172 attraction reviews
Reviews in 155 cities Reviews in 155 cities
446 helpful votes 446 helpful votes
“Getting bad again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

Why oh why oh why don't they sack everyone gut the place and start again. There is something fundamentally wrong here.

It's so so frustrating as the location is excellent to stop meet friends and carry on into the lakes. But every time I come here it's like a lost opportunity .

First, the staff are never friendly.....ever. There's never a smile or a cheery hello. The coffee although improved from previous years is still massively over priced, for a small mug you'd get a decent larger costa for the price.

The food, for a place that seems to offer a great choice there rarely is.

The cinema. Please please take a poll of people who enter your establishment and see how many realise there is an IMAX cinema here. You are crazy, literally crazy, you have an IMAX cinema yet I guarantee most people don't know it. I have suggested before in previous reviews you put some sort of board up but you never do. So that to me suggests a distinct lack of customer care and leadership by management. It's as if your coasting along thinking people will come we don't have to do anything. That's fine, but don't whinge when people put bad reviews on here. Look at the reviews they are not exactly brilliant.

Next the outdoor shop is very over priced I would suggest looking around get your size then buy on line. Next the book shop, I have received good service here before but the last time I visited everything seemed to much trouble ....this seems to sum the place up its as if no one is ever bothered....

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestmorlandFamily, Manager at The Rheged Centre, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to provide us with feedback, although we were very disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your visit. Many of our customers tell us how cheerful and helpful our staff are, so I can only apologize that you did not experience this when you visited and we will look into it further. Following your point about the cost of our coffee, I can assure you our coffee is cheaper than most high street specialist coffee shops and we have just changed coffee supplier to an even better tasting coffee, but will keep the prices the same. There is a new management team in place and we will be making a number of changes over the next few months that will address your concerns and further strengthen our visitor experience. This includes changing the programming in our Imax style cinema so it becomes one of the key reasons for visiting. This includes live streaming national events via satellite, a film club for younger visiotrs, partnerships with festivals and a changing programme of day time films which have real relevance to Cumbria as well as maximising the Imax style experience. This new programme includes improving awareness of the cinema within the centre. Thank you once again for your feedback. Kind regards. The Rheged Team.
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lake district, england
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“What a difference”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Visited last Sunday. Whay a difference a few years make. The interior and exterior where scruffy to say the least. We where greeted with a skip full of old furniture in the car park, the pond was full of rubbiish which can't be good for the tadpoles.Other areas outside need attention, not good to see rubbish and broken equpment piled high in storage areas.
Inside was dirty in places, creacked trays in the cafe, chipped tray stations and a dirty floor. Lunch was decent but not relaxing with people standing next to tables waiting to be served.
The shops were empy of people, not suprising, overpriced with a mass selection of imported goods and a small smattering of Made In Cumbria items.
I will not be recommending to any visitors to the Lakes, I would By Pass and visit Keswick instead.
As a Cumbrian resident I would have thought the Westmorland Group would keep this local attraction in tip top conditition especially due to the local funding that has gone into this venture.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestmorlandFamily, Manager at The Rheged Centre, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback and we are so disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your visit. As you can appreciate we are a large building and although we do try to keep on top of the decoration, it may not always look brand new. We are infact in the process of doing a spring clean and we will address the issues you have raised. This explains the skip in the car park - a very temporary measure, and we can only apologies that this was not located in a less obvious position. We have also given the ponds a good clean. We are sorry you felt disappointed with the shops. We can assure you that rather than stocking them with mass produced products from abroad, our buying team instead choose products which champion artisan producers, are British made, ethical, have an interesting story to tell or are original and beautifully designed. This means some of the items in the shops are a little more expensive than mass produced products. However I will pass your comments back to our buyers as it is vital we get the right mix of price points and we will work harder on how we communicate our buying approach to our customers. We do hope that you will come back in the future. Kind regards. The Rheged Team
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Glasgow,Scotland
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Good stop off”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Stopped here before heading back home to Scotland after a long weekend at the Lakes.
They had owls on show at the reception area which my kids loved and got to hold (for a price)
The cafe was a bit pricey but food was relish, so you get what you pay for !

The adventure playground outside was charged at £1.50 per child which I thought was laughable!

Good place to stop though

Visited May 2014
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WestmorlandFamily, Manager at The Rheged Centre, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are delighted you enjoyed your visits. The owls have proved to be a real hit and they will be back again in the summer holidays. We are a family business and offer free parking, entry to the Rheged Centre is free and we offer a number of free holiday activities for children. We currently charge a nominal fee for outdoor play to help with its upkeep.
Kind regards. The Rheged Team
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Much more than meets the eye”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

There's much more to this place than you would first expect! There's plenty for kids and adults alike including a massive cinema! Give it a try!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestmorlandFamily, Manager at The Rheged Centre, responded to this review, June 5, 2014
Good morning. Thank you very much for your feedback and we are delighted you enjoyed your visit with us. We have a new programme of films starting on our giant cinema screen this summer and a new Lego exhibition opening too. Kind regards. The Rheged Team
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