Of Interest in Plymouth
||Plymouth is a
fascinating city that is packed to bursting with historic
memorabilia, maritime activity and a wide range of interesting
places to visit.
First on your list should probably be the famous Plymouth
where Sir Francis Drake reputedly finished his game of
bowls while the Spanish Armada sailed in on the horizon.
This green plateau is home to many interesting landmarks,
including three war memorials and a large statue
of Drake. You will also find Smeaton's Tower [map],
Plymouth's famous red and white lighthouse that dates
back to 1759 but has stood on the Hoe since 1882.
On the east side of the Hoe is the magnificent Royal
a dramatic fort that was commissioned by King Charles
II in 1665. The fort, which is still in use today, was
originally designed as a star-shaped fortress but
was later extended to take in Drake's Fort, including
some of the Tudor gateways and mounted 152 guns.
Just up the road from here is a later addition to the
Hoe, the high-tech Plymouth Dome [map],
which takes visitors on a journey through the ages.
The city’s other famous district, The Barbican
also takes you back in time as you see what life was like
for a 16th century merchant in the Elizabethan House
[map] on New Street, and tour the 200-year-old Plymouth
Gin distillery [map].
A must-see along The Barbican is The Mayflower Steps
where the Pilgrim Fathers set off on their journey
to America in 1620. Situated at the entrance of Sutton
Harbour, the first Mayflower stone was laid in 1891 by
descendants of the Pilgrims before the Mayor of Plymouth
added a stone gateway in 1934. A plaque with the names
of the Pilgrim Fathers, their wives and servants is displayed
closeby on the side of the Tourist
Located on Southside Street in The Barbican is the Elizabethan
a delightful little oasis of tranquillity in an area usually
full to the brim with shoppers and sightseers. The garden
has been designed to look as it would have done in the
16th century, with low box hedges, colourful flowers and
fragrant herbs in the old Elizabethan manner.
Plymouth is also home to one of the world's great natural
harbours, Plymouth Sound [map],
and you can enjoy a trip along this picturesque estuary
thanks to Plymouth Boat Cruises Ltd, which also
offer excursions along the River Yealm and to Calstock.
To make the most of the city’s wonderful sea views
on foot head along the Waterfront Walkway [map],
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 and visit parts of Plymouth not usually
seen by tourists as well as stop off at quaint little
pubs and cafés.
For those who want to see what lurks beneath the waves,
pay a visit to the National Marine Aquarium [map] on Rope Walk, a registered charity that was the first
aquarium in the UK to be set up solely for the purpose
of education, conservation and research. In the four years
it has been open to the public, nearly two million
people have embarked on the journey through the deep
reefs, shallow seas, and river estuaries to meet sharks,
seahorses and an array of fish.
Finally, if you fancy heading out of the city centre then
make sure you visit Buckland Abbey [map] at Yelverton, a National Trust property that was once home to Sir Francis Drake. Among other exhibits devoted
to his adventures and achievements, you’ll find Drake's Drum, which will beat a warning if England
is in dire peril, or so they say, anyway. In addition,
the grounds of the house boast a magnificent monastic
barn, craft workshops, herb garden, Elizabethan garden
and country walks.
If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere,
why not use our What
You Recommend form to let us know.