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“PLEASE sort out the parking nightmare.”
Review of Royal William Yard

Royal William Yard
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Plymouth and Dartmoor One day private highlights tour from Cornwall
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Historic Plymouth luxury one-day private guided tour from Cornwall
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Plymouth and Dartmoor One Day Private Highlights Tour from Devon
Ranked #16 of 171 things to do in Plymouth
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Royal William Yard is one of the best places to work, rest and play in the South West. The award winning Grade 1 listed ex-Naval victualling yard in Plymouth is home to a stunning range of leading restaurants, bars, galleries, shops and an eclectic range of high quality, local and national unique events - from monthly good food markets, theatre and outdoor cinemas through to live music and circus performances.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

Sadly the parking is letting the place down. There are many lovely places to eat but sadly a lot of people I know are going elsewhere because of the parking nightmare. You have a lovely meal and then the fun begins! You have to queue for ages, for your coins to be rejected, to walk to another machine, for your coins to be rejected, to then drive around looking for another machine and so on...... That is if you can find a space (poor residents). If you go in the day and the sun is out you cannot see the screen. There is nobody to help you if you have problems. I have been coming here since the early days of free parking and just a coffee shop but as it gets more and more popular parking is ruining it. I went twice this bank holiday weekend and struggled both times to find a space and to pay. I saw so many people drive out in fury or disappointment. Furthermore, I queued for 20 mins to pay to leave (by which time the cost went up another pound). With eating places in Vue having free parking and RWY being off the beaten track, I fear for the longevity of some of the businesses who are clearly being let down by a poor management company's lack of logistics. I really hope people see beyond the parking problems and support the food places but I for one am l losing patience and as someone who eats out three times a week this is a shame.....

8  Thank D W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 6, 2013

We have been in Plymouth for the May bank holiday weekend and came over for the heavily advertised good food market which is intended to be held on the first Sunday of every month and we understand has pretty well superceded the debunk Plymouth city centre farmers market. Yesterday was a perfect warm dry spring day. There were a lot of stalls, mostly food or plants and some rustic nick knacks. It was very busy for the little under an hour that we stayed late morning. I think it is open from ten till three. There is an easily found link to RWY online that gives more detail and confirms dates etc. The Yard was busy and there was a heavy flow of traffic and pedestrians and vehicles in and out all the time. It looked as if most motorists were not finding space inside or close enough outside. Le Vignoble and the newer Bistrot Pierre both had dozens of busy tables outside their units on the edge of the 'market' which occupied almost the whole of the Green.

But, we didn't find the market itself a very useful or satisfying experience. Firstly a lot of the people there were dressed expensively and plainly using the event as a kind of promenade. Others were revelling in the quaint novelty of outdoor food shopping. The stalls were generally more precious presentations selling small quantities of very expensive slightly unusually produce rather than offering great piles of local foods of all kinds at competitive prices to enthusiastic established customers or newcomers who could be expected to get hooked or discriminating home cooks on the look out for best value and produce. More than half the stuff we saw wasn't openly priced. You had to ask and ask again, by which time you were lured into a conversation only to find that the stuff you were slightly drawn to was two or three times as expensive as you would expect to pay in Waitrose or a good traditional local butchers or bakery. So much of the snack or finger food was priced in round £s. There is nothing of the atmosphere of say a French or Spanish town or village market and certainly nothing of the Borough Market approach to selling good food. Do we really want to pay £2 for a small wholemeal pitta masquerading as pizza with a smear of tomato and basil, or four quid for a robust see through plastic half litre container of cider branded with Disney style rural branding. And so it went on. But we were in good spirits and had half expected the feel of a Home Counties prissy horticultural show. Just a mildly disappointing and we wandered back to out taxi and headed off for a few pints in the Dolphin and a good knock about lunch in Platters.

Urban Splash are plainly doing all they can to up the image and attraction of RWY. More of the units are being let and there are some good businesses appearing. The pity is that having lost any realistic or worthwhile viable market in the city centre, the RWY effort seems to be on the verge of losing an excellent opportunity to have say, a weekly at least, proper bustling real food authentic competitive rough and tumble market, not just showcasing, but selling in vast quantities of the best of local and regional produce. Plymouth is perfectly situated to supply the very best meats, vegetables, dairy produce including cheeses, and of course fantastic fish etc. NOT just bowls of olive options, vacuum packet pieces of venison,weirdo sausage fillings and overpriced artisan breads. Come on Plymouth, wake up and smell the coffee! If there is a bit of momentum here, turn it into a real market you can be proud of.

20  Thank JoeS424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We are encouraged to come down here as the units fill and the place is further restored and becomes more convivial. We have eaten here often and as I have written before we are waiting for someone to open a good stand alone bar. We came down on Sunday for the Fine Food monthly market and wandered around the large collection of tented stalls on the green. It was very busy. Parking inside and out of the yard very difficult. Inevitably the children (and I) eventually needed to seek out public toilets. There are none. The nearby wine place, French bistrot and the big pub/brasserie on the corner had all obviously grown frustrated by the steady stream of people trying to use their facilities and we were politely (and at Seco quite gruffly) told that we could only use their if we were paying customers. The lack of conveniences is the second major problem after the unresolved parking mess.

10  Thank ChasC_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Act 1: You decide to go to Royal William yard for a Saturday lunch as there are a number of restaurants there, and have a very nice lunch at a new restaurant for a reasonable price, everyone is happy and keen to repeat the experience.
Act II. Two of the party have to leave promptly to make another appointment – and as our parents taught it was rude to be late we rush outside to our car.
Act III. The comedy starts as we try to pay for parking. Trying to pay is a nightmare - the system used is novel to us in Plymouth, the screen cannot be read in sunlight, and as other reviewers mention, it is very picky about which coins it accepts.
As the number of restaurants and shops increases, so does the number of visitors and a slow moving queue builds up of people peering at the illegible screen, trying to figure out the instructions. We spot a notice saying pay on line, up to midnight, so we leave, planning to pay that way.
Act IV. The tragedy: The cost has been increased to £1 per hour - OK so that's £2 for an average meal which would have cost £20 - £60 depending on where you ate, but since that is almost the only reason to go to RWY why is it not factored into the general rent and upkeep ? If you had gone there to sail on someone's boat which is kept there, well they will have paid £2,000 - £3,000 a year to keep a boat there; so you would think the management would throw in a bit of parking.
With this attitude to visitors, tragedy may well befall the restaurants there as customers leave with a sour taste in their mouths. Would you go back to a place that has left the imprint of their size 12’s on your backside as you leave ?
If the Monty Python team had been re-formed and asked to come up with a sketch about parking, they would not have thought of something as far fetched as this.
Epilogue. Finally able to sit down at the computer at about 8 pm and start trying to pay. Lots of fields to fill in, but I suppose the website designer has tried to impress his boss by using six pages where one will do. And yet there is no way to check your arrival and departure times, so you have to guess and hope you have paid enough – major design flaw.
But wait they are not finished with you yet ! There is a 25 pence extra charge for paying on-line.

17  Thank upgrademan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

The Royal William Yard is possibly worth a short visit as an interesting historic site. There are several places to eat though some of the restaurants are chain establishments, and the food is, therefore, pretty predictable. .

The worst part is the parking and this problem does the traders who are in the RWY no favours. Other reviewers have commented on this and they are absolutely right. The pay-machines seem to have a mind of their own and it recently took me 30 minutes standing in a queue on a very cold night to settle up. And don't expect any sympathy from the Management; an e-mail to the RWY Manager, copied to the parking company, commenting on the problem was not even deemed worthy of the courtesy of an acknowledgement by either party.

9  Thank JC G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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