The Harlequin Centre


The Entrance

The main entrance to the Harlequin Centre is on the southeast side of Queens Road, near the High Street, you enter the upper level facing southeast. The doors are set back, southeast from the main wall, there are two large pillars in front of the entrance, which has five sets of double doors. The fifth set (at the northeast end, separated by a short section of wall from the rest) is automatic.

Layout of the Centre

The Centre is arranged on two levels, named the Upper and Lower Mall.The main entrance brings you into the Upper Mall, at the northwest end of a passage leading to a concourse area. We will call this the Upper Southwest Passage, which leads to the Upper Concourse. Another passage, which we will call the Upper Northeast Passage, leads from the Upper Concourse to the upper level of Charter Place.
Note that the floor of this upper level slopes gradually upwards as you move anti-clockwise through the Centre so that you cross Queens Road via a bridge before reaching the upper level of Charter Place.

The Lower Mall can be entered via:

There are also various escalators, lifts and stairs within the Centre. The Lower Concourse mainly comprises the food court. There's a very short Lower Southwest Passage leading to toilets and the Lower Northeast Passage is divided into two sections by Queens Road.

Which Part?

  The Upper Southwest Passage
The Upper Concourse
The Upper Northeast Passage
The Lower Southwest Passage
The Lower Concourse
The Lower Northeast Passage

The Upper Southwest Passage

The Upper Southwest Passage is a wide corridor which runs east from the main entrance before bearing slightly right (southeast, parallel to the High Street).

Northeast Side, Going Southeast from the Main Entrance

  Monsoon, women's clothes
French Connection, women's clothes
passage veers right
Ann Harvey, clothes
Virgin Megastore, on the corner into the Upper Concourse

Southwest Side, Going Southeast, away from the Main Entrance

  Waterstone's Books
French Connection, men's clothes
David Clulow, opticians
Silver Mine, jeweller and fancy goods
3-door fire exit
Trade Secret, toiletries
Vibe, clothes, closing
Wall juts out
The Perfume Shop

The Perfume Shop has one entrance in the passage, the other in the Upper Concourse. There's a large pillar to your left, about a metre from the shop front. The entrance is on the corner with a sharp post which holds shutters.

The pillar indicates the beginning of the Upper Concourse, however the right hand frontage continues southeast.


The Upper concourse

The Upper Concourse is generally rectangular in shape with the two passages (Upper Southwest and Upper Northeast) leaving from the northwest side. This concourse is otherwise bounded by shops as describe below. The concourse is also a balcony around an atrium which allows some natural light to the Lower Concourse. This atrium is bounded, largely by a metal rail, except where lifts, escalators and stairs use this space. A bridge crosses the atrium, about in the middle, running northwest/southeast.

Note that there are several large pillars in the concourse, some distance away from the shop fronts.

Going Clockwise from the West Corner, Virgin Megastore.

Northwest Side
  main entrance to Virgin
fire exit, 2 double doors, in recess
Vision Express, opticians
Accessorize, ladies accessories
floor slopes up to your left into the Upper Northeast Passage.
Northeast Side
  Carphone Warehouse
Jessops, photographic

Bear slightly left

  John Lewis
Southeast Side
  John Lewis
fire exit, one set of double doors, not set back
WH Smith
Southwest Side
  Boots the Chemist
Adams, children's ware, set back., large pillar outside entrance
Perfume Shop

The Upper Concourse Balcony has a number of stalls whose positions and tenants may vary from time to time.

Going Clockwise from Opposite Virgin Megastore

The rail continues up the slope. Just after the top of this slope, the rail bends sharply right onto the bridge. The bridge is slightly hump backed.

Continuing round the balcony

  stall (at time of survey)
plant pot
trolley park
pillar with leaflet rack (at north corner).

Turning right

  information desk (opposite John Lewis)
pillar with leaflet rack

Turn right again

  information board to left, in cut-out of corner
staircase down to Lower Concourse
2 lifts

The lifts have call buttons (up and down) in a circular plate. The Lower and Upper Malls, plus levels 1 to 5 in the car park are served. The internal buttons are located on the right-hand wall of each lift, as you enter. The layout is:

level 5
level 3 level 4
level 1 level 2
Upper Mall
Lower Mall
doors open doors close

Between the lifts is a glass panel and semi-circular column before you reach the panel with the call buttons.

Beyond the Lifts, Going Clockwise

  stall in alcove (at time of survey)
southeast end of the bridge
pillar in line with the rail at the southeast end of the bridge
pillar also in line with right hand rail
escalator, right hand one you need, goes down southwest to Lower Mall

The other escalator comes down from Level 1.

Important - you need to veer left about 11 o'clock to avoid the escalators, particularly the left hand one coming down towards you. As you find the rail again, there's a large pillar in front of you.

Continuing Round the Balcony

  The floor slopes down
seat on your left
pillar, about half a metre from the rail
rail turns right towards the up escalators, you need the left-hand escalator, pass the first one coming up from the Lower Mall.

There's a gap between the two escalators, the escalators go up northeast. The rail continues northwest, (opposite the Perfume Shop)

back to the corner opposite Virgin


The Upper Northeast Passage

Southwest Side, Going Northwest from the Upper Concourse

  fire exits, two sets of double doors
Body Shop
Ann Summers, sex shop
Envy, clothes
Oasis, women's clothes
Suits You, men's suits
Birthdays, card shop
Morgan de Toi, women's clothes
Gymboree, children's clothes
Ernest Jones, jeweller
Uniqlo, clothes

There's a seam across the floor, the corridor veers slightly right.

  Westgate, dept store
Barratts, shoes
H & M, clothes
Miss Selfridge, women's clothes
River Island, clothes
Marks & Spencer
Whittard, tea and coffee sales
recess to one single and one double blank door
Yogurtland, icecream and yogurt
Micco, leather clothing and goods

The corridor bears left at the top of the slope.

  area with various photo booths and novelty machines
Dr & Herbs, Chinese medicine
recess to double blank doors
Style, Mobile accessories
Going Places, travel agent
La Brioche Doree, cafe
mat in front of doors leading into Charter Place

There are five sets of double doors, the left-hand set is automatic.


Northeast Side going Northwest from the Upper Concourse

  fire exit, two sets of double doors
Warehouse, clothes
Faith, ladies' shoes
Sephora, toiletries
Bay Trading Company, clothes
Wallis, clothes, juts out slightly
La Senza, lingerie
Ciro Citterio, men's clothes
passage to stairs, lifts, public phone and fire doors.

The Passage to Stairs, Lifts, Public Phone and Fire Doors

Southeast Side
Northeast End of the Passage
  Three sets of double doors, fire exit
Public phone
Northwest Side of Passage, Going Northeast
  Double doors leading to stairs, (complex route)
two lifts to Management offices, Play Group, Baby Change (level 1).

The lifts have a panel between them with common call buttons. The destination buttons are on the panel to your left of the doors as you enter the lift. The layout is:

level 5
level 3 level 4
level 1 level 2
Uppper Mall
Lower Mall
doors close doors open

Note that these are touch sensitive buttons, no announcements.

Continuing Northwest along the Upper Northeast Passage

  pillar at northwest corner of the passage, just in from the main frontage
New Look, women's clothes
passage veers left, presenting Superdrug at an angle across you
notice board about a metre from the window between the doors to Superdrug
Frangi Tie Rack
Sunglass Hut Watch Station
fire exit, three sets of double doors
Ravel, shoes
Clarks, shoes
H Samuel, jeweller
Jacques Vert, women's clothes

The Disney store curves right to a three double door fire exit.

  Next, men's clothes
Two lifts

There's a glass panel between the door of each lift and the panel with the call buttons on a circular metal plate. The destination buttons are on the right-hand side of the lift as you enter, the layout is:

level 5
level 3 level 4
level 1 level 2
Upper Mall
Lower Mall
Doors Close Doors Open

Continuing Northwest along the Upper Northeast Passage, Beyond the Lifts

  Next, women and children

There's an interconnecting passage to the men's store behind the lift shaft.

There are escalators, in the middle of the corridor, opposite Next Women's and Children's. These escalators link the Upper Mall to level 1. You need the left-hand escalator which goes up northwest.

Continuing Northwest Along the Upper Northeast Passage, Beyond Next

  Druckers, cafe patisserie
Clinton Cards
Select, women's clothes, pillar in middle of entrance
Bag Boutique, closed
Birds, women's clothes
Victoria Health Foods
passage to right

The Passage to Toilets

Southeast Side, Going Northeast
  wall with billboards, slope down
blank double door
4 blank doors
recess to 4 doors, fire exit
baby change area
sharp pillar in middle of passage

This is a T-junction into a passage running northwest/southeast.

Northeast Side from Southeast
  gents toilet
parent and child toilet
disabled persons toilet, (opposite the end of the passage from the mall)
ladies toilet
Southeast End
Northwest End
  blank door
Southwest Side
  blank wall
passage from Upper Mall, with a pillar in the middle
attendant's room
Northwest Side of the Passage from the Upper Mall, Going Northeast
  blank door
fire hydrant
slope down
customer lockers
blank wall
two vending machines

As we go beyond this passage, we're on the matting before the doors to Charter Place. The escalators serving the Lower Mall are in the middle of the passage, opposite the doors from Charter Place, you need the left-hand escalator, going down southeast.

Note that there's a round pillar between the entrance and escalators, avoid this to the left to locate the down escalator.


The Lower Concourse

Note, there are pillars around this concourse.

going Clockwise from Boots

Southwest Side
  Boots the Chemist

The down escalator from the Upper Mall emerges virtually opposite the entrance

  Ponti's Restaurant
passage to High Street
The Passage to the High Street

You go up nine steps, going southwest, through doors, turn right, then left towards the High Street, you come out via Carey Place.

Continuing on the Southwest Side, Beyond the Passage to the High Street
  blank wall
La Brioche Doree
Little Chef Express, going round corner
Northwest Side
  Burger King
Lower Southwest Passage
Pillar, just beyond the passage, about 1.5 metres from the shop front
County Book Shops
USC, clothes
First Sport
Alexander Craig, jeweller
Lower Northeast Passage
Northeast side
John Lewis
Southeast Side
  John Lewis
BB's Coffee and Muffins
fire exit, 3 double doors in recess
WH Smith
Southwest Side

Within the Concourse

In the middle of the Lower Concourse is a large seating area partially surrounded by a rail and sometimes by tables with chairs and plant pots.

Important Features, Going Clockwise from Opposite Boots
  escalator, coming down from northeast
entrance to seating area virtually opposite the passage to the High Street
passage through the seating area, opposite County Book Shops, with a pillar in the middle at the southwest end, you go up 5 steps opposite John Lewis
entrances to the seating area with 5 steps down are opposite First Sports, opposite the Lower Northeast Passage and opposite John Lewis.

As you continue, opposite John Lewis beyond a pillar, are the stairs up to the Upper Mall. Go up 10 steps, turn right (180 degrees), up 10 steps, turn right (180 degrees) then up 10 steps to the Upper Mall.

Continuing Round the Lower Concourse
  recess between the stairs and lifts, occupied by plant pots
2 lifts, up only, as per Upper Mall
5 steps down into the passage from County Book Shops

The rail continues towards the up escalator, in front of you, going up southwest.
Note, you could find yourself in the recess between the escalator and rail.

The rail continues beside the escalator. There's a pillar on each side of you. The right-hand one forms the back of a Lloyds TSB cash point. Beyond the cash point is a recess to the rail beside the down escalator moving from right to left.


The Lower Southwest Passage, Leading to Toilets and Telephones

This Lower Southwest Passage leads northwest from the Lower Concourse.

Southwest Side

7 phones, two lowered for wheelchair access
fire doors, two double doors across the passage, central pillar
2 blank doors
recess to blank double door
ladies toilets
baby change area
rail juts out
parent and child toilet
gents toilet
disabled persons toilet
vending machine
disabled persons toilet

Northwest End

  2 sets of fire exit double doors, up steps to Queens Road

Northeast Side, Going Northwest

  window to County Book Shops
blank wall to two double fire doors, across the passage, centtral pillar
customer lockers
wall with billboard to end


The Lower Northeast Passage

Southwest Side, going Northwest

A seam on the floor marks the start of this passage.

  2 double door fire exit
Globe the Discovery Store
Best Jeansware
Naughty, women's clothes
Monserrat, men's clothes
O 2, mobile
American Express, foreign exchange
Puccino's Espresso Bar
The Watch Hospital
Swag, jewellers

Exit doors, across the end, to Queens Road. There are five sets of double doors either side of Queens Road the doors on the extreme southwest end are automatic, on each side of the road.

Go through the doors into Queens Road, continue across the road into the remainder of the Lower Northeast Passage.

Southwest Side, Going Northwest from Queens Road

  Westgate, dept store
Cromwells Mad House, clothes
Evans, women's clothes
Eisenegger, clothes
Clinton Cards
Marks and Spencer

The slope levels off then resumes outside M & S. Just after the slope restarts, the stairs to the Upper Mall are to you right. You go up 3 x 10 steps curving left, coming out facing the lifts between the two sections of Next.

As you come down these steps, you're facing M & S.

Continuing northwest

  Millie's Cookies
Thorntons, chocolate
one single and one double blank door
Caprice, jeweller

Since the floor of the passage slopes upwards and the front of BHS is level, you go up four steps into the entrance near Caprice, whilst you have level access via the entrance near Colorama.

Continuing northwest

  Colorama, photo processors
recess to blank double door
Network News, newsagent
blank double door
doors to Charter Place, across the end.

Northeast Side Going Northwest from the Lower Concourse

  fire exit, two sets of double doors
Dune, ladies shoes
Jane Norman, women's clothes
Time, women's clothes
Partners, stationers
All Sports
Beaverbrooks, jeweller
passage to right, running northeast

The Passage

Southeast Side
  Beaverbrooks window
Northwest Side
  windows of Supercuts
lifts, as above
stairs to Upper Mall and car park

Note, there's a complex route to these stairs.

Continuing along the Lower Northeast Passage

  entrance to Supercuts, at angle
pillar on corner just beyond entrance
Bear Factory, teddies
Gordon Scott, shoes, recessed entrance with pillar in middle
doors across the end, to Queens Road.

Continuing Northeast Side, Northwest from Queens Road.

  Randall's Coffee House
Claire's, teenager's accessories
Stead & Simpson, shoes
Sport & Ski
Early Learning Centre
Foot Locker, shoes and sportsware
Gadget Shop
recess to fire exit, four sets of double doors
Dorothy Perkins/ Burtons
lifts, below Next
Guardi, women's shoes, etc.
Phones 4 U Extra
JD Sports
The Link
The Natural World
doors to Charter Place.

There are escalators opposite Panasonic and Network News, going up northwest towards Charter Place and the Upper Mall. The left hand one is the one you want.

Note, it's possible to walk between the escalators, and that there's a pillar in line with this gap about 2 metres from the foot of the escalators.

There's various seating in the middle of both sections of this passage. There's a stall opposite BHS, Belts.

Note, you can walk underneath the stairs, we suggest you keep to either side of the walkway. Another stall is a little way southeast of the stairs, opposite M&S or Burtons.

In the southeast section of the passage, the foot of the escalators is opposite O 2 and Beaverbrooks. You go up northwest, via the left-hand escalator. There are two phones on each side and a Lottery booth to the northwest of these escalators.