The Lanes consist of a large portion of the original settlement in the 18th century. They certainly weren't designed with car friendliness in mind, with some of the alleys being narrow even by pedestrian standards! Also has a quiet, hidden fountain square, which is a nice place to relax.
We split The Lanes into two sections - one is the official Lanes, which you can get into just off North Street or Ship Street, and covers the truly pedestrianised alleys and narrow passages. Lots of Jewellery shops, cafes (see here), antique stores and clothes shops tucked away here, including a shop specialising in antique weaponry, which even if you're not an enthusiast, has some interesting pieces.
The other, unofficial part, extends to West Street and the seafront. This area retains the twisting and turning of The Lanes proper, but does have roads and a very limited amount of parking. There is a little, hidden arcade here, with a few pricier clothes stores hidden behind St Bartholomews Street. Otherwise, most of the shopping is found on East Street, Market Street and Brighton Place - forming a bit of a square around the arcade.