Plymouth Shopping Guide
Shopping in Plymouth can be great fun: from famous brands such as Apple and Next to a host of more unusual independent boutique-style stores. The city centre benefits from wide pedestrianised tree-lined streets, al-fresco cafes and enough benches and seating to rest any shopaholic’s weary feet. The Plymouth shopping experience is about a mix of big name brands and wonderful, unique, independent shops.
Shopping in Plymouth City Centre
The main city centre shopping area of Plymouth has traditionally been in the streets radiating out from the Sundial: Cornwall Street, New George Street and Armada Way. Here you will find department stores and various major chains selling clothing for men and women, sports goods, health foods, toys, mobile phones, books and jewellery.
Plymouth Sundial and Piazza
The Sundial itself tends to be a meeting place for Plymothians and on holiday a variety of rides and roundabouts are set up near here to entertain the children of shoppers. There is also a play area with wooden animals for children can climb on, situated on New George Street. The Piazza, which is adjacent to the Sundial, hosts a variety of events and currently has a giant television screen which shows regular news bulletins and major sporting and cultural events. The seating and Spanish trees make the Piazza an ideal place for shoppers to take a break. There are a number of coffee shops and cafes around the Piazza where you can relax.
Shopping Along Armada Way
Armada Way sweeps from Plymouth railway station, past the Armada Centre a small undercover shopping centre with a major supermarket and other shops, past the Sundial and right up to Plymouth Hoe. So after your shopping is finished, you can always stroll up to the Hoe to sit on the grassy expanse or one of the benches there, to enjoy the beautiful sea views over Plymouth Sound.
Drake Circus Shopping Centre
Drake Circus is a modern, undercover, yet light-filled and airy shopping centre, it offers a wide variety of clothes and shoe shops, another large book shop, a large chemist, a music shop and some smaller shops selling goods ranging from perfumes, chocolate, gifts and lingerie, to mobile phones. Drake Circus is located in the heart of Plymouth city centre, has disabled facilities and excellent transport links, making it accessible to all.
Shopping in Plymouth can be a really pleasant experience on a warm sunny day, as it benefits from wide pedestrianised streets with ample space for pushchairs, large groups of people and al fresco eating. Along the centre of Armada Way are grassy areas with trees, flower beds and a stream running into pools. However, on a cold rainy day, it’s a relief to retreat into the temperature controlled Drake Circus, where you can browse among the shops and have lunch, without getting wet, cold or windswept.
Independent Shops in Plymouth – the Independent Quarter
The West End of Plymouth contains a variety of independent shops such as gift shops, toy shops, electronics and computer accessory shops. In recent years, this area of Plymouth has had a facelift which added new paving, trees and street furniture. Frankfurt Gate is a tree-lined square which contains many independent shops, not found in the centre around the sundial, or in Drake Circus. It is worth a browse here if you’re looking for slightly more unusual products. Shops include a toy shop, a hair accessories shop, a herb shop, beauty salons, a model shop, a photography shop, restaurants, gift shops, an internet café, and a hardware shop.
Plymouth Pannier Market is located opposite Frankfurt Gate is like an Aladdin’s cave for Plymouth shoppers with a huge range of goods on offer from its undercover stalls. Ranging from cotton reels to pets, fresh fruit and vegetables to jewellery, an enormous array of products can be purchased here in a building that has been cited as a fine example of mid-century British architecture.
Plymouth Barbican Shops – a Unique Experience
Plymouth Barbican is only a short walk from the city centre and is well worth a visit. Wander along cobbled streets and buildings that date back to Elizabethan times to find some of the most unusual and charming shops in Plymouth. If you are looking for a gift or a holiday souvenir, the Barbican is for you. Southside Street, the main shopping street on the Barbican, has several jewellers, including Victoria Sewart’s Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, art galleries, Blackfriars Distillery the historic home of Plymouth Gin, a variety of shops selling gifts and knick knacks, a dolls shop, antiques shops, a rather marvellous chocolate shop and much, much more. Many tea rooms, fish and chip shops, restaurants (such as the Barbican Kitchen) and pubs mean that you could spend the whole day here enjoying al-fresco meals and drinks after your shopping is finished. You can enjoy the novel experience of shopping in historic surroundings, on cobbled streets, with the bobbing boats in the harbour just a few yards away.
Plymouth can offer every type of shopping experience, from a modern undercover shopping mall, to a tree-lined square of small independent shops, to quaint little shops on cobbled streets, fresh with the tang of sea air. With such a wide variety of shops and shopping areas in Plymouth, there really is no need to go anywhere else.