I know Plymouth might not be at the top of many people’s travel list, or even anywhere to be seen on said list, but as someone who lived there for 13 years, I’m going to try and change your mind.
If you have decided on your trip to the UK to see somewhere else instead of London, great, you are already winning! There are so many incredible places to visit and heading to the South West you really can’t go wrong. Now I know you may be thinking about just jumping on the train and completely bypassing Plymouth, but here are 10 reasons why you need to get off the train…
- We are on the border of Devon and Cornwall. Jump in the car/ boat/ train/ bus/ bike and within 30 minutes you are out of the city and surrounded by some of the most spectacular views. Whether you like hiking the vast open space of the Dartmoor Moors, sailing, strolling on the beach or surfing Plymouth is the perfect central place to explore from or make a pit stop on your way through to Cornwall.
- It’s a seaside town without really having that slightly tacky seaside town feel, want a bucket and spade and some rock? Good luck finding it in Plymouth. Unfortunately, we don’t have much of a beach BUT we have Plymouth Hoe, walk 5 minutes out of the town centre and this is the view. Worth the trip alone!
- Scuba Diving. Yes, that’s right I said Diving. Now I know it’s England and its cold (most of the time). But there is such a thing as a dry suit, and Plymouth probably has more wrecks per mile than in any other part of the world including HMS Scylla. So if you like wreck diving Plymouth is a must! I’ll be writing about doing my Advanced Open Water soon with Aquanauts.
- The Lido. Plymouth has a 1935 Art Deco lido it is in-between Plymouth Sound and Plymouth Hoe. It’s pretty amazing and worth the visit alone.
- The Big Prawn. I mean come on where else in the world can you see a statue of a big prawn?
- The Mayflower Steps. This one is especially for all of my American travel friends. Plymouth was the last stop where the Mayflower docked before the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on 6th September 1620 making the voyage to America settling in Plymouth, MA.We also have a museum close by.
- Arts and Culture. Plymouth is known as a city of makers and is home to many artists and art lovers. Dance, Theatre, Visual, Film, Photography, Textile…the list is endless. Whether you are looking to by a piece of art, listen to some live music or see a performance there is always something on. The best place to find out what’s happening is on the Artory App.
- The Barbican. It has something for everyone; great shops (from traditional sweet shops to galleries) history (make sure you visit the Elizabethan gardens), great food and some great pubs and bars. The Barbican is the perfect place to wander during the day and enjoy a drink in the evening.
- Like sharks? Plymouth is home to the National Marine Aquarium, which is the largest aquarium in the UK. It even offers sleepovers with the sharks! That’s right you can sleep in the aquarium with the sharks! Unfortunately, you need a child to accompany you…small details.
- Gin. If none of the above has managed to persuade you to visit we have a Gin Factory.
I have created a self-guided walking tour of Plymouth on Walkli so be sure to download it before your visit. They have walking tours of different places around the world so please do check it out.