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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Plymouth As A Lifestyle Destination Part 2

    Plymouth As A Lifestyle Destination Part 2

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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Plymouth As A Lifestyle Destination Part 2
    Plymouth As A Lifestyle Destination Part 2

Plymouth As A Lifestyle Destination Part 2

Nov 2023


By Jack Merriott-McMillan-Duncan, Managing Director

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Hello again everyone and welcome to the second instalment of my guide to different aspects of life in Plymouth. As we head nearer to Christmas and start wearing woolly jumpers and big coats, we start to organise ourselves in readiness for the festive season. This is why I thought I would have a chat about how great it is to live in our ocean side city. My last blog concentrated on areas and activities around our waterfront and coastline, this time, I thought I would talk about city life and all the benefits that it can bring.

I moved to Plymouth from, what is in comparison, the small county town of Taunton to join the Royal Navy in 1993, I still cannot believe that this was 30 years ago. When I got here, I was a little overwhelmed by all the amenities that were on offer and the size of the city itself. I wouldn’t consider myself a country boy, but I guess at this time in my life I really was and I found the transition exhilarating.

There were restaurants, shops, cinemas, pubs, clubs, parks, and lots of traffic. It is true that I used to walk miles to the bus stop to get a bus to school as a kid, here every area had its own school, sometimes two or three all within a few minutes’ walk away, but the biggest change for me was the socializing aspect of the city.

The Barbican was, is and will always be a mecca for socializing, especially in the summer and even more so on bank holidays, as it is the place where so many people congregate for meeting with friends and having a drink or three. Many people start a good afternoon out closer to their houses and most seem to end up following a well-trodden trail to the Barbican where you can sit, chat, eat or dance until the sun sets and further in to the evening. There is something for everyone, from cocktail bars, pubs, clubs and some really great restaurants as well.

For me, I do love a wander around the cobbled streets of The Barbican looking around the antique and curiosity shops and the odd charity shop as well. If you wander off the beaten track, there are some real gems there waiting to be explored like artists’ studios, tea rooms and the odd psychic to tell you your destiny.

The one thing that I have noticed since living in Plymouth for over three decades now is how much things really do change. What was Bretonside Bus Depot is now The Barcode, a large complex for people to go and enjoy themselves. There are burger bars, restaurants, cocktails and drinks, cinema, childrens’ activity centre and parking all in one place, what could be simpler or easier.

Drake Circus is the largest shopping complex for Plymouth and has retail and food outlets over three floors. I do feel that this facility could benefit from having some bigger named brands in there but for what it is, you can find most of what you need. Clothes, books, food, toiletries, eateries, jewellers, foot wear or just coffees, you can find all here as well as the added benefit of onsite parking.

Mutley and North Hill have a younger / student vibe with lots of bars and coffee shops to suit all wallets with the addition of one of the city’s newest attractions – The Box. This is Plymouth’s biggest art gallery and cultural centre, which is now home to thousands of fascinating objects from all around the world and includes many local exhibits spotlighting Plymouth’s heritage and achievements. Plymouth prides itself on its arts and culture and regularly hosts many exhibitions and events throughout the year. This is the second time I have mentioned The Box, but I still have no favourites or prejudices for places to go or things to do in Plymouth.

It is around this time of year that Plymouth sets up the Christmas Market on the city centres piazza. Plymouth Christmas Market will run from 30th November to 17th December this year and will be sure to have lots of festive treats on offer. The last Christmassy thing is the panto, oh no it’s not, oh yes, it is! Every year it keeps audiences enthralled right through to the new year, but not many people realise that there is usually another panto / Christmas show at the Barbican Theatre or you might want to go to one of the many other Christmas shows that are put on by local am-dram societies.

This year Cross Keys Estates are proudly sponsoring Zak the Zombie and the Christmas Repair Shop, a production by the very talented Theatre of Boom. I can’t wait to see this as some of my closest friends have not only written it but also taken starring roles in the performances and before you say anything, YES, I am being a little bias, but what else do you expect when you come to realise just what a friendly and sociable lot of people Plymothians truly are.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this and look forward to writing part 3 for you.

Take care everyone and have a very Merry Christmas.

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