The ultimate Plymouth Christmas shopping guide. The historic waterfront city of Plymouth provides a fabulously festive atmosphere to do all your Christmas shopping. Read this guide to discover the best of the best this Xmas.
Plymouth is a great place to shop this Christmas. There are so many different venues ranging from the city centre to Drake Circus, across to the Barbican or the Independent Quarter. Away from Plymouth city centre, a wonderful collection of specialist shops can be discovered at Hyde Park where you can buy all those perfect Christmas presents.
The City Centre - Enchanting Illuminations In the Piazza you can soak up the festive atmosphere provided by the Christmas lights and the popular outdoor ice-rink. Visit the stalls in the bustling outdoor Christmas Market, pop into Plymouth's large department stores and check out the Big Screen, all situated nearby.
Chris Robinson's latest book "Plymouth in the Fifties and Sixties" has just been published.
The fourth in his series of histories of the city in the twentieth century, it is packed with over 500 photographs, over 250 of them in glorious colour, many of them previously unpublished.
Find it and more besides in the Chris Robinson hut in the Christmas Market in Armada Way.
You can also visit the Chris Robinson website.
Plymouth's Christmas lights transform our city's open architecture into a sparkling wonderland of incredible illuminations, many designed by the company responsible for the Christmas lights on London's Oxford Street and Paris's Eiffel Tower.
What a lovely place in which to do your Christmas shopping!
After a full day's shopping, you'll deserve to treat yourself too, so take this advice from a seasoned shopper. Book a table at Tanners Restaurant, one of Plymouth's finest dining experiences.
Run by celebrity chefs Chris and James Tanner (who you'll recognise from their numerous television appearances), you'll be treated to the very best local produce prepared by expert chefs.
You haven't eaten at Tanners Restaurant, if you haven't eaten in Plymouth.
Drake Circus - Modern, Fashionable and Indoors Drake Circus broke retail records this year and remains one of the most popular shopping malls in the South West; but best of all it is still the best place to shop on a cold or rainy day in Plymouth. There are lots of clothes and shoe shops, a large chemist, perfume stores, a music store (which I love), a specialist chocolate shop (which my children love), a store specialising in Apple products (which my husband loves) and other enticements including lots of places to eat.
The Independent Quarter - Unusual and Quirky Don't forget the Independent Quarter when shopping in Plymouth. For more unusual or specialised presents it is worth browsing the smaller shops around Frankfort Gate, where you can find Christmas gifts, games, jewellery and much more. Whilst you are there nip into the Pannier Market and have a look at the stalls there. You never know what you may find there, everything from fancy dress costumes to DVDs.
Hyde Park Shops - Unique and Very Special If you want to discover some of Plymouth's most unusual shops, you really must check out Hyde Park. Well away from the city centre, it has over the past year developed into an exciting hub for specialist gift items. If you're looking for antiques, art, quirky gifts or contemporary jewellery you owe it to yourself to visit this collection of retailers.
Nicola Hurst Designer Jewellery is an exciting gallery on Hyde Park Road, Plymouth. Not only an excellent showcase for Nicola's unique, elegant and beautiful jewellery, but also for other UK makers showing nowhere else in Plymouth.
Christmas Exhibition is now on with new jewellery by several makers plus decorations and gifts all handmade in the UK.
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The Barbican - Historical Waterfront Charm If you want to combine Christmas shopping with coffee shops and lunch breaks then you can't miss out The Barbican.
Chris Robinson's Plymouth Shop in the Barbican's historic New Street offers a comprehensive range of Chris' books, prints, cards and DVDs about Plymouth. For anyone - of any age - interested in the city you're bound to find a suitable Christmas gift!
You'll find a huge selection from over 60 British makers with price ranges from ten pounds upwards.
Gift vouchers can be purchased for jewellery, as well as her popular well established jewellery making workshops held above the gallery. The Christmas exhibition is now on.
While you're shopping you can take a break in one of the many atmospheric pubs, restaurants or coffee shops and put your feet up.
Lunch and Dinner on the Barbican For an outstanding evening (apres shop) meal, book a table upstairs in The Barbican Kitchen. This lively well-priced brasserie is one of Plymouth's culinary landmarks, boasting a mouthwatering menu and housed within one of the city's most historic buildings: the Blackfriars Gin Distillery. Great service with classic and continental dishes, offering real customer choice.
And you still can't beat those sea views, whatever the weather.
Magical Christmas Shopping With so many different places to shop, including friendly locals and street performers, Plymouth is definitely the best place to shop this Christmas.
Here's a gift idea that could turn a few heads. Soperfect Images has some great deals on Christmas portraits at their studio.
Fun one hour photo shoots start at only fifteen pounds and include a print. Why not grab the kids and take them for a photo shoot and give the finished framed photo to their grandparents for Christmas?
Alternatively, one of their gift vouchers could be the answer. Personal gift vouchers can be sent direct to your friend or loved one and are valid for six months.
Portrait sittings can be booked during the days, evenings and weekends.
Call Soperfect Images on 01752 656062 for further information or check out the Soperfect Images website to see their full range of other photographic services.
A New Home For the New Year?
Cross Keys Estates are an innovative and contemporary estate agency that was founded in 2003 on traditional and reliable standards. They recognised the need for not only a local specialist but also an estate agent that can look after your house selling and buying needs throughout the whole of Plymouth and the surrounding areas.
They are the only estate agency in the West of Plymouth and are available on 01752 500099. Take a look at the Cross Keys Estates website.
Come and experience it for yourself. And on a practical note, Western Approach car park has new brighter lighting to make parking there even safer and more pleasant. There is also plenty of parking near the Theatre Royal,which has a pay-as-you-leave system. Meaning you only pay for the time you use and no small change is required! The Pannier Market also has a short-stay car park behind it, which is an economical choice for a flying visit. There are no more excuses, the best shops and now the best parking; come to Plymouth and shop!