Shopping Along Armada Way
Shops in Plymouth City Centre
The main shopping area of Plymouth has traditionally been in the streets radiating out from the Sun Dial: Cornwall Street, New George Street and Armada Way. Here you will find three major department stores and various major chains selling clothing for men and women, sports goods, health foods, toys, mobile phones, books and jewellery.
Plymouth Sun Dial and Piazza
The Sun Dial itself tends to be a meeting place for Plymouth people and every holiday a variety of rides and roundabouts set up near here to entertain the children of shoppers. There is also a play area with wooden animals, which children can climb on, situated on New George Street. The Piazza, which is adjacent to the Sun Dial, hosts a variety of events and currently has a giant television screen which shows regular news bulletins and major sporting events. The seating and Spanish trees make the Piazza an ideal place for shoppers to take a break.
Armada Way sweeps from Plymouth Station, past the Armada Centre, a small undercover shopping centre, which contains a major supermarket and other shops, past the Sun Dial 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
The opening of Drake Circus in Autumn 2006, greatly improved the shopping experience in Plymouth. 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 right 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, itâ€™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.
Shops in the West End of Plymouth - the Independent Quarter
The West End of Plymouth contains some smaller chains and more independent shops selling among other things, gifts, toys, electronics and computer accessories and is soon to have a facelift which will add 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 to find slightly more unusual products. Shops include a toy shop, a hair accessories shop, a herb shop, a beauty salon, a model shop, a photography shop, a couple of restaurants, a gift shop, an internet cafĂ©, a printing shop, a tanning salon, a hairdressers and a hardware shop.
Plymouth Pannier Market, which is located very centrally, sells a huge range of goods from its undercover stalls. Ranging from cotton reels to pets, fruit and vegetables to jewellery, an enormous variety of products can be purchased here in the newly refurbished surroundings.
Plymouth Barbican Shops - a Unique Experience
Last but not least, Plymouth Barbican is only a short walk from the city centre and is well worth a visit to check out the shops there, especially if you are looking for a gift or a holiday souvenir. Southside Street, the main shopping street on the Barbican, has several jewellers, including Victoria Sewartâ€™s Contemporary Jewellery Gallery
, art galleries, the Plymouth Gin shop and Visitor Centre, a toy shop, a shop selling eastern gifts and knick knacks, a dolls shop, antiques centres, a chocolate shop and much, much more. Many tea rooms, fish and chip shops, restaurants and pubs mean that you could spend the whole day here enjoying an al-fresco meal after your shopping is finished. Shoppers will enjoy the novel experience of shopping in such historic surroundings, on cobbled streets, with the bobbing boats just a short distance 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.