Plymouth

Visit Plymouth and discover a vibrant modern city, once the starting point for settlers from The Mayflower and now a perfect base for exploring Dartmoor and the Devon coast.

Set in dramatic Devon scenery, Plymouth is a bustling maritime city combining the best of urban and rural life. There are wild coastal vistas around Plymouth Sound and the ragged moorland of Dartmoor is a mere step away.

From the launching point of The Mayflower in the Elizabethan Barbican to splendid Plymouth Hoe, the city is awash with history. Climb Smeaton's Tower for views over The Sound and learn about Plymouth's naval tradition in the Dome next door. There are modern attractions too, at the Plymouth Mayflower Exhibition and National Marine Aquarium.

Nearby Dartmoor National Park has always been a draw for tourists - rolling moors and raw, stony crags make it one of Britain's last real with Dartmoor Safaris, providing bespoke guided tours in smart vans.

Culture & heritage

Drama fans head straight for the modern and innovative Theatre Royal and its sidekick the Drum - home to classic British theatre, challenging new work, dance festivals and musicals. It's at the cultural heart of the city. Catch up on the art scene and modern cinema at Plymouth Arts Centre.

Attractions

Shopping

Funky boutiques and accessory shops dot the Independent Quarter, a group of over 200 independent shops surrounding Pannier Market, the place to buy West Country groceries and local seafood. Shop for hip brands like Topshop or old favourites like Marks 'Spencer in the new shopping centre at Drake Circus.

Food & drink

Plymouth is famous for its gin. You can tour the Black Friars Distillery, England's oldest working gin distillery, where Plymouth Gin has been distilled for over 200 years.

There's a world of international cuisine at the Barbican, with Mexican, Indian, Greek and Chinese on the menu. Residents dress up and head for Chagford for fine dining with local touches, or dress down to enjoy fresh seafood and fish and chips by the Waterfront.

Walks

You’ll find exquisite gardens at Plymouth’s Castle Hill and Tapeley Park. When the weather's good, locals go walking or cycling in nearby Plymbridge Woods or in the forested landscape park of Saltram House. There's a riot of colour in the Garden House, a flower-strewn eight-acre walled garden near Yelverton in Dartmoor.
Take in some glorious countryside in the nearby Tamar Valley, home to beautiful Buckland Abbey, former home of Sir Francis Drake, or explore the area by train with the Tamar Valley Sunday Rover.

Sightseeing

There's free admission at the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery in the town centre. Plymouth fills with day-trippers during summer so it's best to visit the Elizabethan House and Smeaton's Tower in the mornings.
Wake up to the spring with one of the Garden House's snowdrop walks through the pretty Dartmoor borders or walk the plank with the South West Pirate Festival at Morwellham. Plymouth Hoe is a great place to celebrate Bonfire Night and preparing for Christmas is easy with the city-centre Farmers' Market in December.

There’s lots to see and do in Plymouth, so don’t waste time in queues, buy your train tickets, travel passes and tickets to Plymouth attractions online.

Browse Visit Britain’s Devon travel guide for videos, facts, discounts and tips.