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I would just like to write a review on the Drake Circus Shopping Centre, which is based in Plymouth and for those of you who wish to know it is only about a mile or so down the road from where I live - so if anyone is in the area, then give me a shout and come and visit!Opening nearly four years ago in October 2006, it replaced an old semi-indoors shopping centre that they said had concrete cancer - but they had been saying that for around fifteen years, and even then when it came down some of the old rubble was brought back to be re-used!
At the time of its opening, it was the largest indoor shopping centre this side of Bristol and I believe that it still is as the one at Exeter is all outdoors. Built over three floors with around 1,200 car parking spaces, it occupies a large area on the eastern side of the main Plymouth shopping centre.Anchored at one end by the existing Marks and Spencer store (which was made bigger to incorporate this place) and Primark at the other, the first two levels are filled with shops that include Waterstones; Hotel Chocolat; HMV; Barratts; Boots; Topshop; Topman; H & M and the like. The top level is for cafes and restaurants such as Burger King and a more lacl chain, although there is also an ETS superstore on this level too - and with that said, there is a Starbucks on the ground floor.
I do very much like shopping here, as not only is it an undercover shopping centre but you can get everything here from your weekly shop (Marks and Spencer has its own food hall); through stationary and music and books, to kitting out the whole family with clothes - and have something to eat or drink at the same time. My only concern is the price for parking, which is currently set at the Plymouth City Council rate of around £1.10 an hour although you pay on exit in this particular one.In terms of the extra services and conviences that are provided for, there are toilets on each level bar one; a cash machine; a photo booth, and a security/ tannoy system should you find yourself either the victim of crime or lost your granny.
It is such a shame in some ways that this was built on one side of the main city shopping centre, as if you know Plymouth at all then you will know that the majority of it was bombed during the war. The town centre was rebuilt, but it is quite widespread over two or three main streets - Drake Circus being at the top end of two of them. Down the far end of the shopping centre is the 'Independant Quarter' with all of the smaller local shops, but in between the two there has been created a ghost town as everything has either remained in the local quarter or has been relocated to Drake Circus. But never mind, as I have said you can get everything at this one shopping centre (if it the big names that you are after!).In order to get to the centre then no matter which way you enter Plymouth, just head for the main shopping centre which is signposted ona ll approaches and then follow the signs for the Drake Circus car park. Otherwise, use the local bus services (including park and ride), as there are bus stops right outside one of the main entrances (of which there are about three or four!).
On one side of the shopping centre, there has just recently been opened a new park/ garden area which I think is quite nice when it is nice weather as you can get a takeaway from one of the many places and sit outside.All in all although this may appear to be a bit of a mixed bag to some people in terms of its experience I would still thoroughly recommedn it, as you will get all that you want and very often at sale prices too so enjoy it!
I also forgot to mention that the train station is within a short walking distance of the centre, and the bus and coach station actually gets itself overlooked by one end of the shopping centre. Should you wish to stay here, then there are plenty of hotels in close proximity!
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