On the south coast of Devon in the UK, lies the city of Plymouth. The city has been heavily involved in British maritime history and there are many sea-related artefacts still to be seen.
Within the city there are a number of popular attractions. There are numerous great cafés and restaurants along with accommodation to suit all budgets.
The historic Plymouth Hoe is perhaps the most iconic location in the heart of the city. It is a large, open space of green lawns on the top of the limestone cliffs offering great views over Plymouth Sound. The Sound is one of the most effective natural harbours in the world and is at the root of most of Plymouth’s history.
The Hoe is most famous for its lighthouse, Smeaton’s Tower. The tower was formerly positioned on Eddystone Rocks, 12 miles off the coast of Plymouth. However, it was dismantled and repositioned on The Hoe as a memorial to its designer and is now open to tourists.
Head to the National Marine Aquarium, the largest in the country. It is particularly focused on Plymouth Sound’s marine life. However, there are also exhibits that display the global diversity of the marine ecosystem. This is a great family attraction and you will not regret a day spent here.
The Barbican area around the old harbour is one of the few places that survived extensive bombing in World War II. The historic site makes for a captivating stroll as you can take in the historic significance of Plymouth's past. The Mayflower Steps are a popular visit as they are the site where the Pilgrims left the UK to sail to the New World.
There are numerous other attractions to visit in Plymouth, including the Royal Citadel, Crownhill Fort and the Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.
One of Plymouth’s major selling points as a tourist destination is that it’s within easy reach of many fantastic things to see and do. For example, just a 30 minute drive outside of the city centre is Dartmoor National Park. The moors are a fantastic place to go walking for a day and unwind. Make sure you take a picnic so you can eat in a picturesque spot and watch the world go by.
An hour’s drive northwest of Plymouth is the coastal town of Exmouth. The town has a holiday atmosphere and a walk along the promenade is a must if you visit here. However, also make sure you visit Powderham Castle, located on the opposite side of the river Exe. You can see the inside of the castle via a guided tour or take in the glorious gardens by yourself. You might also get the chance to look round one of the many shows held here throughout the year.
Just south of Dartmouth, is the sheltered cove of Blackpool Sands. This isolated stretch of shingle beach is the perfect place to spend a day. There are also sand pits dotted around the beach for families with children who are desperate to make sandcastles. The beach is fully equipped with good showers, a well-stocked shop and the all-important café.
There are various other day trips suitable for everyone within a short drive of Plymouth. For example, you can go to Diggerland and experience the never-ending fun of driving JCBs, or take a ride on a steam train on the South Devon Railway.