Holidays often means a break from shopping, but if you like to shop, or just want to find the perfect gift or memento of your stay, then Cornwall has it all. The cities of Truro and Plymouth both have large modern shopping centres where you can find all the big name stores packed with the latest fashions. With developments like the Drakes Circus Shopping Centre in Plymouth and the popular weekday and weekend Farmers markets in Truro, there is now more on offer than ever. Make the most of a day of retail therapy and combine it with a delicious lunch, some early evening drinks followed by a show at the cinema or theatre before heading back home – tired but happy.
In general however, relaxed and casual clothing is the norm throughout the West Country. Bright, functional surf wear is available in most towns, but for the best ranges try the North Cornwall surfing beach towns of Newquay, Perranporth and Polzeath. Great knitwear, hats and textiles are also on offer. Outdoors types will find plenty of shops stocking the latest technical hiking and walking apparel to keep them warm and snug in the fresh Cornish air, whatever the weather.
The historic South Cornwall town of Lostwithiel is renowned for its antique shops, including 20th Century classics as well as traditional items. Also near Lostwithiel is the beautiful Duchy of Cornwall Nursery – well worth a trip if only for the cream teas, but also as a home to one of the best collections of hardy exotics plants, trees and flowers – all of which can be delivered anywhere in the country.
If art is your thing, then you’ll know that Cornwall’s wonderful light and inspiring landscapes have given rise to a strong artistic movement spanning back to the 19th century. Almost everywhere you go you’ll find small independent galleries displaying original works from grass roots artists and designers with sculpture, glass ware, ceramics and paintings on offer for every budget.
For food fanatics there are numerous delicatessens selling everything from locally brewed cider, wine and ale, to small farm holding cheeses, seeded breads, conserves and pickles. The Kingsley Shopping Village at Fraddon on the A30 has an extensive Food Hall alongside its Art and Craft hall, so you can kill two birds with one stone. No trip to Cornwall would be complete without purchasing some Cornish Fairings, sticky fudge or a huge tub of Rodda’s clotted cream to take home to Aunty Beryl.