Enjoy a 360 virtual tour of Plymouth a vibrant waterfront city with quaint cobbled streets, a picturesque harbour, some amazing views from the hoe. It’s the largest city in the South West and has a great historic role as a naval base. It’s a great place day or night.
Update: 23 August 2021
- Added more 360 and standard images
Visiting in April 2023 they’ve cut nearly all the trees down through the city centre on Armada Way, surely they didn’t need to cut all the trees down. Apparently it was done overnight around 2am, that in itself is sneaky and screams illegal felling if this is true. It really was a sad sight to see piles of trees lying there.
Something does need to change with this part of the city though as I remember it used to be so busy here, now it’s completely dead with hardly anyone around and not somewhere you would want to stop and wander around. Now you’d just walk on through to get to the Hoe or Barbican.
I’ve been to Plymouth many times over the years, coming since I was a wee tacker at school. When the sun’s shining there’s no where better than wandering around the Hoe and the Barbican. If you get a chance go up Smeaton’s Tower (The Lighthouse on the Hoe) to see some great views.
Now as an adult I enjoy a day on the Barbican where there is lots of choice of pubs and food outlets to choose from. Another area I like to go is the Royal William Yard with even more great food choices, plus if the suns shining you can wander around Devil’s point and the South West Coastal Path.
Every August they hold the British Firework World Championships which I’ve been attending now for many years. Usually held over two nights, Wednesday & Thursday. If you do come for the fireworks, don’t park in the Harbour car park by the aquarium. I did that only once, it took us 2.5 hours to get out after it had finished. Ever since, I’ve watched from the top of Jennycliff, where you can escape much quicker.
I’ve spent many an hour in the life centre using the climbing wall ascending the massive 16m wall. There are also lots of smaller walls to use for different skill levels, there’s a bouldering room and self belay climbs available so you can even climb on your own. It’s been a while since I’ve been, but I loved it when I was there, there a real good mix of easy, moderate and challenging climbs.
To get here I’ve often driven as Parking is pretty easy, but I do come via train to which is just as easy. The only downside is from the station it’s a 20 minute walk to get to the Hoe or Barbican.
- Mayflower Steps is where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on their voyage to the New World in 1620.
- The memorial was built in 1934 on the Plymouth Barbican Waterfront, but the original Mayflower steps are actually buried under the Admiral Macbride pub, somewhere beneath where the ladies toilets are now.
- Plymouth was granted City status in 1928.
- Plymouth was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Plymouth’s and Devonport’s centres were destroyed. Re-built in the 1950s, Plymouth’s commercial heart was the first in England to incorporate pedestrian-only shopping avenues.
- Plymouth Hoe is where Sir Francis Drake is renowned to have played his last game of bowls before his sailing voyage to engage with the Spanish Armada.
- Black Friars Distillery. The established distilling business of Fox & Williamson began the distilling of the Plymouth Gin brand in 1793 and is the oldest working gin distillery in the world.
- Smeaton’s Tower stands 72 foot high, but was originally built on the Eddystone reef in 1759 at a cost of £40,000. It was taken down in the early 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock it was standing on. Approximately two thirds of the structure was moved stone by stone to its current resting place on the Hoe.
- In 1831 Charles Darwin left Plymouth for the Galapagos Islands, where he formulated his revolutionary theories of natural selection and the Origins of Species.
- The Plymouth Barbican has the largest concentration of cobbled streets in the UK.
- Jacka Bakery on the Barbican made biscuits that went onto The Mayflower for the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers. It is the oldest bakery in the country.
- The Oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in the English-Speaking World built in 1762 by the local Jewish community.
- Drake’s Island is actually a tip of a volcano. The rocks that make the island is made of volcanic tuff and lava. The last eruption was estimated to have taken place over a hundred million years ago.
- New Street on the Barbican used to be known as Rag Street and is the oldest street in Plymouth.
- HMNB Devonport is the largest operational naval base in Western Europe.
Farmland on a small peninsula at the mouth of the river Plym, referred to in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Sudtone, meaning South Farm, developed into Sutton Harbour, the hub of medieval Plymouth. Plymouth established its reputation both as a centre for voyage and discovery, and for its military importance.
Plymouth’s military expansion began in earnest in 1670 when a citadel was built on the highest point above the town, the Hoe, meaning high ground. In 1690 the first Royal Dockyard opened on the banks of the Tamar west of Plymouth. Further docks were built in 1727, 1762 and 1793, and a huge naval complex was later established, including the communities of Plymouth Dock and Stonehouse. The Navy’s role during war against Napoleon’s France was pivotal, and in 1812 a mile-long breakwater was laid to protect the fleet.
- Plymouth’s 480 foot pier opened on 29th May 1884 and in 1891 a 2000-seat pavilion was added. It was bombed in March 1941 and demolished in 1953.
I’ve used airbnb and a hotel when I stayed in plymouth in the past, but I would recommend to use airbnb if you can.
- Airbnb, from £10 a night for a private room, while entire apartments/homes can start from around £35 a night. I saw a 6 bed home for £90 a night. This would be my recommended option.
- Hostel,Plymouth Backpackers around £25 a night, Staykation.
- Camping/Motorhome,Riverside, Plymouth Sound, Brixton, Smithaleigh all Caravan Camping. All of which are on the outskirts of the city.
- B&B & Guest Houses, there are plenty to choose just decide if you want self catering or not from £44 to £92 a night.
- Hotel, There are the usual budget Travelodge, Premier inn, Im told Jury’s Inn isn’t bad. There are no 5 star, but a few 4 stars are around. Prices start from £40 – £92 a night.
I don’t get to go to Plymouth as often as I’d like so please let me know if you have any suggestions
- Barbican Leisure Park (Tenpin Bowling, Vue Cinema)
- Bovisand Beach
- Devil’s Point
- Drake Circus (Shopping Centre)
- Drake’s Place
- Elizabethan Gardens
- Guild Hall
- Heybrook Bay
- Home Park (Plymouth Argyle)
- Life Centre (climbing, swimming)
- Lopwell Dam
- Mayflower Steps
- Miniature Steam
- Mount Batten Breakwater
- Mount Batten Tower
- Pavilions (ice skating & entertainment arena)
- Plymbridge Woods (National Trust)
- Plympton Castle
- National Marine Aquarium
- Royal Citadel
- Royal William Yard
- Saltram (National Trust)
- Smeaton’s Tower
- Tinside Lido
- Wembury Beach
If you head down the Barbican approach & harbour you can’t really go wrong, there are lots of places to choose from, here are a few I’ve tried.
- Barbican Leisure Park (Nandos, Chiquito, Pizza Hut, Bella Italia, Pizza Express, Frankie and Benny’s)
- The Bridge
- Cap’n Jaspers
- Cider House
- Cider Press (Real Ale & Live Music)
- Devon Cheese Bar (Grilled cheese and craft beer)
- Fisherman’s Arms (One of the oldest pubs with part of the old 14th Century Plymouth Castle wall inside)
- The Gipsy Moth
- The Gog and Magog (Wetherspoon)
- Honky Tonk
- Jacka Bakery (oldest bakery in the country)
- Marina Bar (Lively place on the waterfront)
- Minerva Inn (The Oldest Pub in Plymouth, circa 1540)
- Pier One
- Plymouth Gin (since 1793) Building built in 1431.
- Popworld (Nightclub)
- Prysm (Nightclub, Barbican Leisure Park)
- Royal William Yard (Las Iguanas, Wagamama, Pierre Bistro, Prezzo, Wildwood & Hook And Line)
- Ships Tavern
- The Stable (Great Pizza with a view)
- Bus, Haytor Hoppa a circular service that covers the eastern side of Dartmoor. Prices adult £5, senior £4.00, child (5-15 years) £2, family £10 (up to 2 adults and 3 children)
- Car, Try Addison Road for free on street parking, other streets tend to be £1.40 an hour. There are 2 free car parks Strand Street & Devil’s Point Park, but they are a little walk away. Try Martin Street £4 max or Western Approach £5 max.
- Ferry, The Torpoint ferry will take you across to Cornwall, 40p motorcycles, £2 vehicles less than 3.5 tonnes £4.90 over 3.5 tonnes (there is no charge for pedestrians or cyclists).
- Park & Ride, There are 3 park & ride sites Coypool Park & Ride, George Junction Park & Ride, Milehouse Park & Ride.
- Cycling Rockets & Rascals Bike Hire, located on The Barbican and Royal William Yard, £7 kids and £10 adults (full-day) Family hire is also available £45 for 4 bikes.
- Taxi, Plymouth Taxis 01752 606060, Taxi First 01752 222222, Need-A-Cab 01752 666222, 01752 777777 – Plym Cabs.
- Plymouth Land Train picks up and drops off at the Plymouth Guildhall, Barbican Mayflower Steps, Smeaton’s Tower and West Hoe Fun Park.
- Walking, It only takes about 15-20 minutes to walk from the top of town down to the hoe.
- Bus, The National Express offers a coach service, but it is a limited daily service from the coach station.
- Car, Most driving routes will bring you onto the M5, which eventually merges to become the A38 bringing you directly to Plymouth. If you cross the Tamar Bridge towards Saltash then you’ve gone to far.
- Ferry, You can sail to Plymouth from France and Spain. Brittany Ferries run regular services from Roscoff in Brittany and from Santander in Northern Spain to the ferry port at Millbay – close to the city centre and waterfront, therefore ideal to explore either on foot or by car.
- Train, easily accessible by train with a wide range of services running from a variety of locations within the UK.
- If you come for the British Firework World Championships, don’t park in the Harbour car park by the aquarium. I did that only once, it took us 2.5 hours to get out after it had finished. Ever since, I’ve watched from the top of Jennycliff, where you can escape much quicker.
- Taxis numbers
- 01752 606060 – Plymouth Taxis.
- 01752 252525 – Tower Cabs.
- 01752 666222 – Need-A-Cab.
- 01752 777777 – Plym Cabs.
- Get £25 off your first Airbnb trip of £55 or more click here.
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