Known as the ‘Waterfront City’, Plymouth is a city of contrasts, with a modern, vibrant city center, stunning panoramic sea views and an interesting history which serves as the starting port for many famous seafarers, including Cook, the Pilgrim Fathers, Darwin and Drake.
One of the most famous attractions in the city are Plymouth Hoe on the lovely waterfront, where Drake played his famous game of bowls, and Smeaton’s Tower Lighthouse is situated where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Plymouth Sound and orientate yourself to the city. For history and art lovers, the fascinating Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery (Drake Circus) should not be missed.
With wide, pedestrianized streets, water features, gardens and outdoor cafes, the city center is a pleasant place to explore, shop, eat, or watch the world go by. Alternatively, the narrow streets of the Barbican area, which has an array of individual and unique shops, including many galleries of local artists’ work make an interesting contrast.
With many departmental stores, famous UK high-street retailers as well as great shops, it’s no wonder that Plymouth is the shopping capital of the South West. However, Plymouth also boasts of excellent entertainment options, including opera, theaters, rock concerts, street performers and comedy shows. In fact, the Plymouth Pavillions offers all these and more with sports facilities, bars, cafes and even an ice-ring. The city also has a host of good restaurants, many offering fresh seafood.
As the gateway to Devon and Cornwall, Plymouth makes a great base for exploring the region. Places of particular interest are Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, a beautifully furnished 18th century house with Cornish Gardens set in 865 acres, and the 13th century Buckland Abbey, home to Sir Frances Drake, once a medieval monastery that was converted into a Tudor Home. For nature lovers, the Dartmoor National Park offers great hiking opportunities.