Plymouth City Centre
Plymouth City Centre is undergoing a period of redevelopment and investment that has been called the city's 21st Century Renaissance. This is not much of an exaggeration as the city's profile is being re-shaped both physically and metaphorically.
There is more to Plymouth than its waterside location, great asset though this is. If you walk from the Hoe towards Plymouth city centre you will shortly reach Royal Parade, where Plymouth’s Theatre Royal is situated. Plymouth's flagship theatre is well respected. Many major productions have opened here before going on to London’s West End and beyond.
Theatre lovers should also take note that a stone's throw away, hidden among the cobbled lanes of the Plymouth Barbican, you can find the charming Barbican Theatre, which is well worth a visit.
Further along Royal Parade, you come to the Plymouth Pavilions, an extremely popular multipurpose venue for entertainment both day and night. Its Swiss Lake Ice Rink and Atlantis Fun Pool provide a great opportunity for active kids. In the evening it becomes one of Plymouth city centre's premier venues for popular entertainment attracting big name acts such as Jools Holland, Katie Melua and Paul Weller. It also plays host to touring productions such as The Tempest and Madame Butterfly.
Plymouth's Outdoor Events Area
Crossing Royal Parade, you reach Armada Way which opens onto a wide paved area lined with Spanish trees. This is Plymouth’s city centre's new outdoor event area, and over successive Christmas periods it has been home to an outdoor ice rink, a Bavarian-style craft market, real reindeers and a large ferris wheel that became known as the Plymouth Eye. The rink and Plymouth Eye were new features to the city and proved extremely popular for all ages.
The Plymouth Sundial
Armada Way is fully pedestrianised and provides wide safe areas to walk with children. At the centre, you will discover the Plymouth Sundial. This is the focal point of Plymouth city centre and is a popular meeting point for locals and visitors alike. You will always find people, young and old gathered here. Designed by architect Carole Vincent from Boscastle in Cornwall, this 27 feet high stainless steel sundial and fountain, pours water continuously upon a circular pond, ringed by granite and metal seats highlighting countries of the world.
Shopping in Plymouth City Centre
From the Plymouth Sundial you can see Plymouth city centre’s extensive shopping area. Large department stores mingle with smaller chain stores and specialist shops. Nearby, you cannot fail to see Drake Circus, Plymouth's fabulous new indoor shopping mall.
Drake Circus Shopping Centre
Known as Drake Circus, (though the less pedantic are referring to it as Drakes Circus) four of the most enormous cranes you could hope to see helped to build Plymouth city centre’s new enclosed shopping mall. This represents a huge investment in Plymouth's future (£200 million!) and was eagerly awaited.