Best Things To Do in Plymouth England

Step into the charming world of Plymouth, England, where history, maritime allure, and natural beauty unite to create an unforgettable travel destination. This coastal city, nestled on the southern coast of Devon, boasts a tapestry of experiences that will enthral every type of adventurer. From its ancient maritime heritage, immortalized by the legendary voyage of the Mayflower, to its vibrant cultural scene, Plymouth offers a treasure trove of activities and attractions waiting to be explored.

As you wander through its cobbled streets and immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere, you'll uncover hidden gems, indulge in local delicacies, and encounter welcoming locals eager to share the city's rich past and exciting present.

Plymouth England Boat

National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium is a popular tourist attraction that showcases the fascinating world of marine life. Established in 1998, it is the largest public aquarium in the United Kingdom and is home to a diverse range of marine species from around the globe. The aquarium aims to educate visitors about the importance of marine conservation and raise awareness about the threats facing our oceans. With over fifty tanks, the exhibits offer a mesmerizing glimpse into the underwater world, featuring everything from colourful tropical fish to awe-inspiring sharks and rays.

One of the Aquarium's main highlights is the Eddystone Reef exhibit, which houses various fish species found in the waters surrounding the famous Eddystone Lighthouse. Visitors can marvel at the vibrant corals and watch as groups of fish swim gracefully through the artificial reef. Another must-see is the Atlantic Ocean tank, which contains over two million liters of water. This massive tank mimics the natural habitat of marine creatures found in the Atlantic, such as giant loggerhead turtles, reef sharks, and shoals of shimmering mackerel. It provides a spectacular display that gives visitors a unique perspective on the marine ecosystem.

Plymouth Hoe

Plymouth Hoe is a famous landmark that offers stunning views of the city and the sea. This historic spot holds great significance in British history and is a popular destination for locals as well as tourists. The name "Hoe" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "hōh," meaning a sloping hill. As its name suggests, Plymouth Hoe is a large grassy expanse that gently slopes down to meet the waterfront. This unique geographical formation provides the perfect vantage point to admire the panoramic views of the Plymouth Sound, where countless ships have sailed throughout the centuries.

Plymouth Hoe is not just a beautiful natural landscape, but also a site of great historical importance. It was here that Sir Francis Drake famously played bowls before setting sail to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588, a crucial moment in British naval history. To commemorate this event, a statue of Sir Francis Drake now stands proudly on the Hoe, overlooking the sea. The Hoe also features several other notable landmarks, including the Royal Citadel, a 17th-century fortress built to protect the town from invaders. Its imposing walls and bastions still provide a commanding presence on the Hoe today.

Plymouth Hoe View

In addition to its historical significance, Plymouth Hoe is also a popular recreational spot. The vast, open space is ideal for picnics, kite flying, or simply basking in the sun. The Hoe Green is a well-maintained lawn where locals often relax or engage in friendly games of cricket or rugby. Walking along the promenade, visitors can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and take in the stunning views of the coastline. Many benches are strategically placed along the Hoe, providing both a resting spot and an opportunity to soak in the picturesque surroundings.

Moreover, Plymouth Hoe hosts various events throughout the year, attracting visitors from near and far. One of the most anticipated events is the annual Plymouth Hoe Bike Nights, where motorcycle enthusiasts gather to showcase their bikes and enjoy live music and entertainment. The Hoe also serves as a venue for major fireworks displays, drawing large crowds during festive occasions such as New Year's Eve and Bonfire Night.

Whether it is a quiet stroll along the promenade or a lively gathering during a festival, Plymouth Hoe offers something for everyone. Its rich history, stunning views, and vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination that truly encapsulates the charm and beauty of Plymouth, England.

The Barbican

Is a historic area located in the city of Plymouth, England. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque and quaint neighbourhoods in the region, attracting both locals and tourists alike. The area’s name originates from the word “barbecue”, which in medieval times referred to a collection of buildings and houses clustered together. Today, the Barbican is a vibrant district that showcases a blend of history, culture, and maritime heritage. One of the main attractions in the area is the Mayflower Steps, which commemorate the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers aboard the Mayflower ship in 1620. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of these brave pioneers and learn about their journey to the New World. The Mayflower Museum, located nearby, provides a wealth of information about the history and significance of this iconic voyage.

The Barbican is also home to a multitude of independent shops, art galleries, and restaurants, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a unique shopping and dining experience. The narrow cobblestone streets add to the charm of the area and are lined with well-preserved historic buildings, some dating back to the 16th century. The architecture showcases a mix of styles, including Tudor, Jacobean, and Georgian influences.

Among the cobblestone streets and historic facades, an array of antique shops awaits, each holding a trove of hidden gems that seem straight out of a time machine. Here you can find vintage cameras, toys, books, paintings, signs, medals and so on.

Even a complete suit of armor. This evocative relic instantly transports you back to the days of gallant knights and epic battles, offering a tangible link to a distant past.

But the surprises don't stop there. Imagine coming face-to-face with a hairpiece once elegantly worn by none other than Audrey Hepburn. The connection to Hollywood's golden age is palpable, giving you a chance to own a piece of the glamorous past.

Explore the shelves laden with aged books, each one a repository of knowledge and stories from times long gone. Turn the pages and you're touching a part of history that has been handed down through generations.

Plymouth Gin Distillery

The Plymouth Gin Distillery is a historic and iconic landmark that has been producing gin since 1793. Itoldest ope is the rating gin distillery in the world, with a rich history and reputation for exceptional quality. The distillery is situated in a beautiful building on the Barbican. Its location by the sea is not only picturesque but also plays a significant role in the production of their gin. The distillery uses local water, which is naturally filtered through the granite of nearby Dartmoor, giving the gin a unique and distinct flavor.

Gin Distillery

Visiting the Plymouth Gin Distillery is like stepping back in time. The building is steeped in history, with its original Victorian distillation equipment still in use today.

One of the highlights of the visit is the opportunity to explore the distillery's unique gin laboratory. Here, you can experiment with different botanicals and create your own personalized bottle of gin, tailored to your taste preferences. It's a hands-on and interactive experience that allows participants to gain a deeper understanding of the art of gin-making.

Royal Citadel in Plymouth England

A historic fortification that stands proudly overlooking the city and the waterfront. Built in the late 17th century, the Citadel was strategically positioned to defend the city from any potential invasion. It is one of the finest examples of 17th-century military architecture, designed by Sir Bernard de Gomme, a prominent military engineer at the time. The Citadel's imposing structure and strategic location make it a significant landmark in Plymouth's history.

The fortress was originally built to safeguard the city from attacks by the French and Dutch navies, as Plymouth was a key maritime stronghold during that era. It was also intended to suppress any possible uprising or rebellion from within. Today, the Citadel is still an active military base, serving as the headquarters for the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army. It remains an important part of Plymouth's defense network and a symbol of the city's enduring military heritage.

Aside from its military history, the Citadel also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Plymouth Sound, the Hoe, and the surrounding area. The elevated position provides an ideal vantage point for observing the comings and goings of ships in the busy harbor and appreciating the natural beauty of the coastline.

Whether exploring the underground tunnels or simply appreciating the beauty of the coastline, a visit to the Citadel is an experience that encapsulates the essence of Plymouth.

Royal William Yard

Royal William Yard is a historic waterfront development. It was built in the early 19th century and was originally used as a naval victualling yard. Today, it has been transformed into a vibrant and cultural hub, offering a range of shops, restaurants, bars, and leisure facilities. The Yard is nestled on the edge of the beautiful Plymouth Sound, providing stunning views of the water and the surrounding countryside.

At the Yard there are also plenty of options for outdoor activities, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing, allowing visitors to make the most of the stunning natural surroundings.

Plymouth Sound

Is a natural harbour that has played a significant role in the country's history. This iconic landmark stretches between the western coast of the South Hams and the eastern coast of Plymouth. The Sound is protected by a breakwater, which was constructed in the 19th century to defend the Royal Navy's fleet against potential attacks. Today, the Sound serves as a busy and bustling maritime gateway, accommodating commercial vessels, as well as leisure boats and yachts. The picture-perfect views of the Sound make it a popular spot for sailing, kayaking, and other water sports.

At the Sound the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on the Mayflower in 1620, seeking religious freedom in America. The nearby Barbican area of Plymouth is a reminder of this historic voyage, with its narrow cobblestone streets and traditional fisherman's cottages. Visitors can explore the Mayflower Steps, where it is believed the Pilgrims embarked on their journey.

Mayflower Steps and the Mayflower Museum

Standing on the very spot where the Mayflower ship set sail in 1620, the Mayflower Steps evoke a profound sense of awe and wonder. As you gaze upon these historic steps, it's hard not to be moved by the magnitude of the journey that commenced from this point.

Me on the May Flowers Steps

Step into the Mayflower Museum, and you're greeted with an immersive experience that delves into the Pilgrims' story. Through carefully curated exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays, you're transported back to the challenges, aspirations, and sacrifices that characterized their quest for freedom and a new life.

The museum's narrative unfolds with meticulous attention to detail, offering insights into the daily lives of these intrepid travelers. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the historical context that led to this voyage, as well as the trials they faced during their arduous journey across the Atlantic.

Entry Fee is just 5 Pounds

Tinside Pool in Plymouth England Tinside Pool

A stunning saltwater outdoor pool located in Plymouth, England. It is situated right on the waterfront, offering breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding landscape. This iconic pool was originally built in 1935 and has since become a beloved attraction for locals and visitors alike. With its striking art deco design, Tinside Pool has been named one of the top 10 outdoor swimming pools in Europe. The pool features a unique semicircular shape and is surrounded by a spacious sun terrace, perfect for sunbathing and relaxing. Tinside Pool is known for its crystal-clear water, which is filtered and treated to maintain hygiene and safety standards. The pool is open to the public during the summer months and provides a refreshing escape from the heat. Whether you enjoy swimming laps or simply soaking up the sun, Tinside Pool offers something for everyone.

Tour Drakes Island

Drakes Island, named after the legendary Sir Francis Drake, boasts a history as rich as the tides that have lapped against its shores for centuries. Once a military stronghold and a Napoleonic-era prison, the island's stone walls and historic structures bear witness to its multifaceted past.

Several guided tours are avaible which lead you through the island's intriguing history, historical intrigue, and the individuals who shaped its destiny. Guided Tour's are right now the only option visit Drakes Island.

As you traverse the island's pathways, soak in panoramic views that stretch across the azure waters and encompass the charming cityscape of Plymouth. The island's unique vantage point offers a perspective that's both captivating and humbling.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider a guided tour that delves into the island's ecological significance. Drakes Island is not only a historical treasure but also a haven for wildlife, making it a prime spot for birdwatching and appreciating the natural world.

Ferry Ride to Mount Edgcumbe

When you step onto a ferry from Plymouth, get ready for the magic of Cornwall to unfold before your eyes. On the other side, you'll find the captivating landscapes of this stunning region. And right there, waiting to be explored, is the remarkable Mount Edgcumbe.

Mount Edgcumbe

It's a combination of a mansion and gardens that'll leave you in awe. The mansionstands as a testament to history, while the gardens around it are a burst of colors and scents, creating a scene straight out of a storybook.

Don't miss the chance to explore the small yet enchanting maze garden. It's like stepping into a fairytale, with winding paths and hidden corners inviting you to get lost in nature's embrace.

And what's a day of exploration without some good food and drinks? Mount Edgcumbe has got you covered with some charming cafes that offer a perfect spot to take a break. Imagine sipping your favorite brew amidst all this natural beauty – it's the kind of experience that makes memories.

Now, here's the magical touch – Mount Edgcumbe's historic house and gardens have graced the silver screen in several Rosamunde Pilcher movies. The very same landscapes you're strolling through have been part of romantic tales captured on film. It's like stepping into the pages of a beloved novel come to life.

Burgh Island

Burgh Island is a small tidal island located off the coast of Plymouth, England. This island boasts a picturesque and charming atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind. Accessible by foot during low tide and by sea tractor during high tide, Burgh Island is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the area. The island is home to the famous Burgh Island Hotel, an Art Deco masterpiece that has hosted numerous notable guests over the years, including Agatha Christie, who wrote some of her novels while staying here. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views of the surrounding area. In addition to the hotel, there are a few other buildings on the island, including the Pilchard Inn, a historic pub that dates back to the 14th century and provides a cozy and traditional atmosphere for visitors. The Island is also known for its stunning natural beauty, with rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and rolling hills. Take leisurely walks along the shoreline, explore the unique rock formations, or simply relax on the beach and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Saltram House

Nestled on Plymouth's outskirts, Saltram House is a testament to the grandeur of Georgian architecture and the opulence of the past. Surrounded by idyllic gardens and parkland, this stately home exudes an air of elegance that is sure to transport you back in time. Built in the mid-18th century, Saltram House has been lovingly preserved, allowing you to experience the extravagant lifestyle of the Parker family, who called this place home.

As you step through the imposing entrance, be prepared to be awestruck by the intricate details and craftsmanship of the interior. Lavish rooms adorned with exquisite artworks, fine furniture, and decorative elements will ignite your imagination and make you feel like you've stepped onto the set of a period drama.

Wandering through the lush gardens, you'll be greeted with breathtaking views of the River Plym and the rolling countryside. The carefully manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and meandering pathways make for a delightful stroll, providing ample opportunities to capture postcard-worthy photos.

While exploring Saltram House, don't forget to visit the quaint tea room for a delightful spot of afternoon tea. Savor delectable treats and aromatic blends while soaking in the serene ambience that surrounds you.

What is Plymouth Famous For?

Firstly, it's renowned for being the celebrated departure point of the Mayflower in 1620, a momentous voyage that marked the beginning of American history. The Mayflower Steps, an iconic monument, pays homage to this significant event and stands as a poignant reminder of the city's maritime heritage.

Secondly, Plymouth boasts an impressive naval history, being home to the Royal Navy's largest operational base, HM Naval Base Devonport. This thriving naval port has played a pivotal role in protecting the nation's shores and safeguarding maritime interests.

Furthermore, Plymouth has gained fame as a cultural hub, with a vibrant arts scene that includes a diverse range of galleries, theaters, and creative spaces. The city's dedication to the arts is evident in numerous festivals, exhibitions, and events that celebrate artistic expression.

Lastly, the captivating natural beauty surrounding Plymouth is unparalleled. From stunning coastlines and pristine beaches to lush green spaces and rolling countryside, the city offers a harmonious blend of urban and natural delights.

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