Plymouth is the vibrant regional capital of Devon and Cornwall. It is a thriving modern city, a historic seafaring port and holiday centre with something for everyone. When you want to escape the bustle and find a little peace and quiet, Plymouth is the perfect place to start. With a unique waterfront ambience and its spirit of the sea, Plymouth encompasses great local and international cuisine, superb entertainment and all weather activities throughout the year.
Places of interest:
There is plenty to do for all ages in and around Plymouth. A great place to start is the Plymouth Dome, where you will learn the history of the city. Then you can explore the Victorian Crownhill Fort, with great cannons, underground tunnels, ramparts, barracks and a massive dry moat. The state-of-the-art National Marine Aquarium is one of the country’s premier tourist attractions, or you can enjoy one of the other indoor attractions are on offer such as ten pin bowling, laser games, ice skating or even an indoor beach at the Pavilions Fun Pool.
The Merchant’s House is where you can learn all about the trading that plays a major part in the history of Plymouth’s past.
Plymouth Dome, sited in front of Plymouth Hoe, overlooks the great natural harbour of Plymouth Sound. This high tech interactive visitor centre on the Hoe, takes you on an extraordinary journey through the fascinating history of this great city.
National Marine Aquarium offers a really amazing experience, where you are taken on an unforgettable journey through the oceans of the world. You will encounter brilliantly coloured fish, delicate seahorses and awesome Caribbean Sharks.
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery is the place to experience and enjoy engaging exhibitions, fascinating collections, first rate services and exciting special events. The City’s Art Collections includes the nationally designated Cottonian Collection, or you can experience what the people of Plymouth do for pleasure in the social history displays.
The Barbican village is an essential port of call for you during your visit. It is a maritime treasure trove. It is where Drake and Raleigh once weighed anchor, and today you can find a bustling community of specialist shops, restaurants, cafés and world-class attractions, all in a picturesque harbour setting.
Things to do:
Plymouth is where the coast and countryside are on the doorstep for you to explore. You can take a trip on the Cremyll foot ferry to the gardens and parkland of Mount Edgcumbe or visit stately homes like Saltram House with its Great Kitchen, Buckland Abbey, once home to Sir Francis Drake, or the 20th century Lutyens designed Castle Drogo. A train ride on the Tamar valley or South Devon railway, through the counties beautiful countryside or a trip up river or across the bay is a relaxing way to enjoy the local scenery but if you want excitement there are adventure parks at Dobwalls or Woodlands, both offering thrills and spills galore. For a more sedate trip the Waterfront Walkway, combines modern art with spectacular views. Plymouth, with its great natural harbour, is made for those who love the great outdoors; and of course for real family fun, nothing beats a sunny day on the beach, with a choice of secluded coves, or simply relax on the waterfront and enjoy the stunning views across the harbour.
Mount Edgcumbe House is the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Set in Grade I Cornish Gardens within 865 acres of Country Park. It has been restored to the 18th century style, in keeping with the furniture and family treasures it holds. Features include paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gerard Edema and William van der Velde, Irish Bronze Age horns, 16th century tapestries and 18th century Chinese and Plymouth porcelain. The Country Park was the earliest landscaped park in Cornwall and comprises of Grade I listed gardens and fifty-five other listed structures.
Buckland Abbey was originally a small but influential Cistercian monastery. The house, incorporating the remains of the 13th-century abbey church, has rich associations with Sir Francis Drake and his seafaring rival, Sir Richard Grenville. Take a voyage of discovery to 13th century Buckland Abbey and enjoy the story of this medieval monastery, which was uniquely converted into a Tudor home. You can also learn about the legendary life of Sir Francis Drake, his circumnavigation and the story of the Armada
Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum is where you can discover the story of Kingsbridge in their 17th century schoolroom. There is also a complete walk – in Victorian kitchen, Edwardian pharmacy and a large farm gallery.
Buckfast Abbey is a living monastery in the beautiful Dart Valley. There is a magnificent Abbey Church, tranquil gardens and three unusual shops selling produce from Buckfast and other European Abbeys.
Food & Drink:
When the sun goes down, it’s time for the bright lights. International cuisine or traditional cooking, fine wine or real ale, it’s up to you.
Artillery Tower is a most unusual and intimate restaurant. It is set facing the sea and is one of the oldest military buildings in Plymouth. Initially built to defend the realm, it now houses a fine dining-room offering a modern, fresh style of cooking, but with respect for traditional stocks, sauces and pastries.
Bistro Bené is a licensed waterfront restaurant in the Barbican. A haven tucked away in the middle of a bustling city, offering a superb choice of mouth-watering dishes in a relaxed, charming and intimate atmosphere.
Tanners Restaurant is known throughout the region for fine quality and attention to every detail. The best of local produce, prepared with style and flair, mixed with that special ingredient that only the Tanner Brothers are capable of producing. Tanners Restaurant is housed in the oldest surviving domestic building in Plymouth, the Prysten House.
Admiral Macbride is close to the Mayflower Steps Memorial and reputedly built on the site of the original Steps, the Macbride was predominantly a fishing man’s pub until the fish market and boats were relocated. Now it caters for locals and tourists offering food and for most of the day. There is a large main room with a small alcove at one end of the bar.
Plymouth Hotels & Accommodation:
From four-star luxury to rustic bed and breakfast, Plymouth and its surrounding area has accommodation for all tastes and budgets.
Copthorne Hotel Plymouth
Best Western Duke of Cornwall Hotel
Jewell In Plymouth Hotel
Holiday Inn Plymouth
Moorlands Links Hotel
The New Continental
The Royal Fleet Club
Quality Hotel Plymouth
For an evening out you can choose from a West End preview at the Theatre Royal, a concert or comedian at Plymouth Pavilions, or the latest blockbuster at one of the multi-screened cinemas. If you prefer an active night out there are plenty of dance venues and sporting facilities in the local area.
The Cooperage is Plymouth’s premier venue if you like your music live. Located on Plymouth’s historic Barbican, the Cooperage has recently undergone extensive renovations. Free to enter, there is a great atmosphere where you can find a diverse range of music and dance on offer.
Plymouth Arts Centre has been around for over 50 years, and offers some of the best exhibitions by local, national and international artists in a dazzling array of mediums. They also show the best ground-breaking independent and foreign films in their cinema; and a vegetarian restaurant can also be found in the building.
The Theatre Royal in Plymouth enjoys a mixed programme of drama from pantomime to ballet and also incorporates the Drum Theatre.
Whatever you enjoy, it is yours to discover in Plymouth all year round. With a strong maritime history and exciting coastline combined with the rugged scenery of Dartmoor, this thriving city can keep you enthralled for ages.