Travel to Plymouth
With its rich maritime heritage and eclectic architecture, Plymouth is a city with many facets. Severely bombed in World War II, the city was largely rebuilt in the post-war era, with many listed buildings dating from this period. However, Plymouth also possesses many historic gems, not to mention fabulous sea views and exciting attractions that make this seaside destination well worth a visit.
Whether you're planning a short break or considering commuting to Plymouth from Exeter
or further afield, try to organise a lift share to save money on your travel, so you have plenty left in the bank to explore all the city has to offer!
A historic maritime city
For centuries Plymouth has been an important centre for shipping and trade and a launching place for many famous voyages. It was from here that the Pilgrims set sail for the New World in 1620, and the Elizabethan captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake was a former mayor.
You can still get a sense of Plymouth in these bygone days in the historic neighbourhood known as the Barbican
. Visit the Elizabethan House
and Merchant's House
for a vibrant glimpse of life in the 16th and 17th centuries, and pause a moment at Mayflower Steps, which commemorate the Pilgrim Fathers' monumental voyage. There are also lots of quirky shops, galleries and restaurants set amongst the charming cobbled streets, making this a brilliant place to spend an afternoon.
For more history accompanied by stunning views over Plymouth Sound, stroll around the Hoe, a grassy open space along the waterfront that's home to a number of war memorials, as well as the imposing 17th-century Royal Citadel
(still a military base today) and Smeaton's Tower
, an 18th-century lighthouse that has been reconstructed nearby.
More things to see and do in Plymouth
With several universities and a thriving cultural sector, modern-day Plymouth also has much to offer, from theatre and cinema to regular sporting events and concerts (don't forget you can arrange a car share with fellow fans to save money). It's a major centre for water sports such as kayaking and windsurfing, and also hosts the thrilling British Fireworks Championship
Explore the free exhibitions at the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
, or peek under the sea at the National Marine Aquarium
– the largest in Britain. Book a tour at the world-famous Plymouth Gin Distillery
to sample this historic spirit, or spend some time perusing the colourful stalls at the Grade II-listed Pannier Market. The great thing is that unlike more touristy centres, a visit to Plymouth doesn't have to blow your budget – especially if you've tracked down a cheap ride through Liftshare!