Plymouth is the largest city located on the south coast of Devon about 300 kilometers southwest of London.
Set on the River Tamar, it is one of the UK’s largest seaports and naval bases and therefore has a rich maritime history.
Tourists will also enjoy beautiful buildings filled with art galleries and boutiques selling local produce, scenic walking and cycle paths like the South West Coast National Trail and harbor activities such as boat tours and sailing.
Learn about life underwater at the National Marine Aquarium that is the UK’s biggest aquarium. Exhibits are split into Plymouth sea life, British marine life, Atlantic Ocean and Blue Planet which covers global sea life including coral reefs and tropical fish. Check out their website (www.national-aquarium.co.uk) for details of conservation talks and daily feedings.
Step back in time at Saltram, a magnificent Georgian mansion located in parkland on the edge of Plymouth. Admire the stunning interior decorated with fine paintings and objets d’art, then find a quiet spot in the extensive gardens where you can sit among wildflowers or fruit trees.
To escape from the summer crowds on the coast, head to Burrator Reservoir. Popular for fishing, walking and cycling you are rewarded for scenic views of the stone dams and surrounding forested countryside.
Walk along Plymouth Hoe, a large public open space situated above limestone cliffs that offers excellent views of Plymouth Sound and Drake’s Island. Take a dip in the Tinside Lido, an Art Deco outdoor salt water pool then climb the Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse.
Roam the pretty cobbled streets of the Barbican, a harborside quarter filled with quaint shops, fish restaurants and historical places of interest like the Mayflower Steps and Elizabethan House. Book a tour at the Plymouth Gin Distillery where you can learn about the distilling process and sample the products at the oldest working gin distillery in England.
Sail the high seas on the Cawsand Ferry that takes you on a half-hour crossing of the Plymouth Sound to the Cornish village of Cawsand. Spend some time in this pleasant fishing and smuggler’s village with picturesque cottages and inns, and stop for a cream scone with a warming cup of tea.
Plymouth no longer has its own airport, but is easily reached by train or within 45 minutes’ drive from Exeter International Airport. Close to other sights in south Devon, Cornwall and Dartmoor you’ll find Plymouth is a good base to start exploring this part of England.
Twenty minutes from Plymouth is the town of Ivybridge that offers a slower pace of life and quiet escape from the seaside. With a solid cloth making and milling heritage, visit the Ivy Bridge, a medieval packhorse bridge, then drop into one of the country pubs to meet the locals.
Tavistock, is an old stannary town located just 30 minutes’ drive from Plymouth. Time your visit for the Pannier market on Friday where you can browse arts, crafts and antiques and hopefully grab a bargain! Enjoy a pleasant walk along the Tavistock Canal, and the Dartmoor National Park is found nearby with numerous walking trails across wooded valleys and barren moors studded with granite tors.
Drive one hour from Plymouth to Torquay, a seaside town where you will be forgiven for thinking you are on the Mediterranean with palm trees, great beaches and a busy marina. Visit the Torre Abbey, swim at the excellent beaches or stroll the seafront where you can stop for lunch and dine on fresh fish in one of the many restaurants.