Winter on the waterfront: polar bears, light displays, fine food and great shopping

Plymouth’s waterfront is still set to enjoy a sprinkling of magic this Christmas, with light displays, family friendly activities, great locations to eat out and safe shopping to enjoy.


The Christmas lights have now been switched on and are illuminating the Barbican, ready for shoppers and revellers to enjoy. This year 25 local businesses have also teamed up to add some extra sparkle to Southside Street with spectacular light displays in their windows.


For families, the popular Polar Bear Trail is returning from Saturday 5 December to Wednesday 23 December but this year it’s been given a vibrant family friendly twist. Each bear will have its own individual style, with nine being painted by local schoolchildren and four painted by famed local artists: Loci, Lee J Art, Arth Lawr and Steve Evans.

In total, there are 15 adorable polar bear cubs to find in businesses across the waterfront, including on the Barbican, the Hoe, Mount Batten and in Royal William Yard. You can find them all by downloading the free Plymouth Trails App, which is available on both iOS and Android. Every child that completes the trail will receive a special badge and a sweet treat when they find the ‘Golden Bear’.

After the trail has finished, the four bears designed by local artists will be auctioned off to raise money for local charity St Luke’s Hospice.

POLAR BEAR ON A CHAIR - Chance to win your own giant cuddly polar bear

The bear-themed fun doesn’t end there either. You’ve heard of Elf on a Shelf, but now get ready for ‘Polar Bear on a Chair’. One of the cheeky bear cubs will be at the Tourist Information Centre and if you snap a selfie with him, you could win your very own giant cuddly polar bear toy worth £200.

To enter, share your selfie on Facebook tagging the @ChristmasInPlymouth Facebook page and use #PolarBearOnAChair. The Tourist Information Centre will be open for selfies Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.

Diane Mansell, chief executive of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “There’s lots to see and do throughout the waterfront this Christmas and we hope you’ll come on down to soak up the festive atmosphere.

“The waterfront is also home to some of Plymouth’s best-loved independent shops, eateries and attractions with so much for you to discover, from brilliant boutiques to incredible restaurants. We’d really encourage you to shop local where you can this Christmas – every penny you spend locally will really make a huge difference to our hard-working traders and helps to support the local economy.”


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