||With a population
241,000, Plymouth is Devon’s largest city.
It has a colourful maritime history that attracts thousands
of tourists every year through the wealth of museums
and exhibitions dedicated to it.
But those who don’t already know, it was from Plymouth’s
famous docks that Captain Cook set off round the
globe and Sir Francis Drake played bowls as the
Spanish Armada approached in 1588. Plymouth was also the
departure point for the Pilgrim Fathers when they
left to settle in North America, and where Sir Walter
Raleigh began his journeys.
Despite the important links to the past, the Plymouth
of today is a distinctly modern city, as most of
it had to be rebuilt after extensive bombing during World
Luckily some old buildings remain around The Barbican,
including the 16th century Elizabethan House [map] and The Mayflower Steps [map],
where the Pilgrims began their journey.
Plymouth’s two largest docks are Millbay
Docks and Sutton Harbour and with the Plymouth Sound
[map] on its doorstep, the city is also home to an array
of water sports centres,
where you can have a go at wreck diving or jet skiing.
Also worth a look is the hugely popular National Marine
Aquarium [map] that provides visitors a glimpse into life under the ocean
The city centre's main street is Armada Way [map],
a wide, tree-lined street, which has the train station
at its northern tip and the famous Hoe Park at
the south, where you’ll find attractions such as
the Sir Francis Drake statue and the Royal Citadel
a magnificent fort commissioned by King Charles II.
Running off Armada Way, are Plymouth’s three pedestrianised shopping streets: Mayflower
Street, Cornwall Street and New George
Street, where you can pick up everything from designer
clothes to visitor souvenirs.
The city centre is also home to an array of luxury
hotels, B&Bs, trendy
eateries, bars, nightclubs and theatres, including the
renowned Theatre Royal [map],
which attracts West End musicals.
The best way to get around Plymouth is on foot as the
city is fairly compact and has numerous pedestrianised
streets. There is also the wonderful Waterfront Walkway,
which follows a marked path from Admirals Hard in the
west to Jennycliff in the east at a distance of 10 miles.
Along the route you will meet famous historical characters,
such as Drake and Raleigh, visit parts of Plymouth not
usually seen by tourists and stop off at little pubs and
Other attractions worth visiting include the Plymouth
City Museum and Art Gallery [map],
the Smeaton Tower lighthouse [map],
the Merchant’s House [map] and Plymouth Arts Centre [map].