Plymouth Hoe Lighthouse

Britain’s Ocean City

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, has seen a lot of investment and regeneration in recent years and is now a lively waterfront city with plenty of things to do and see, a wide range of places to eat, and both pedestrianised and traditional shopping areas.

There are some famous landmarks and historical sites to see around the waterfront. The Barbican’s cobbled quayside has many markets, independent shops, pubs and restaurants to explore and buildings that go back to Elizabethan times.

Plymouth Hoe is famous for being where Sir Francis Drake played bowls at the time of the Spanish Armada. There are also some fantastic views over the water, and Smeaton Tower lighthouse now stands out as a distinctive landmark on the Hoe.

You can also discover where the Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth in 1620 bound for North America by visiting the Mayflower Steps close to the Barbican.

National Marine Aquarium

National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium, with its deepwater fish tanks is impressive and well worth a visit.

Plymouth Sound has some stunning views of the warships in the Plymouth dockyard and views across to Cornwall. The dockyard is still the largest warship dockyard in Western Europe.

Navy ships in Plymouth harbour

Navy ships in Plymouth harbour

The seafront has many impressive historic buildings including the Royal Citadel fortress, Mountbatton and Royal William Yard. The latter has now been developed with walkways and a large range of restaurants and eateries.

There are plenty of boat trips and ferries around the Sound and, if you like to fish, there are plenty of fishing trips available for different ability levels.

Royal William Yard - harbour views and numerous restaurants

Royal William Yard – harbour views and numerous restaurants

Plymouth is a good place to go shopping having a full range of modern shops along with many local and specialist retailers in the lanes and markets of the old quarter.

Plymouth has two large foodie events. Flavour Fest in June where local traders from Devon and Cornwall come to demonstrate and sell local specialities. The Plymouth Seafood Festival in September takes place in the Barbican and is a 2-day celebration of the fresh fish that abounds in Plymouth, with plenty of street entertainment and music.

With the Barbican, the Hoe and the Dockyards, Plymouth has plenty to offer its visitors as well as some much needed retail therapy!