Things to do in Plymouth

Plymouth, known as Britain’s Ocean City is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe with a whole host of events both annual and seasonal, new and returning, you are sure to find something to entertain in this exciting waterside metropolis.

Historic Plymouth

Known for its quaint cobbled streets, a picturesque harbour and a wealth of independent shops, galleries, bars, cafes and restaurants Barbican and Sutton Harbour are always popular destinations. The Barbican’s Historic Quarter is a must see for art fans where you can get your hands on original pieces of artwork or just soak in the wealth of talent on display. From here you can explore further to the Elizabethan Gardens and a bit of American heritage, the Mayflower Steps, where the Pilgrim fathers set sail on their first voyage to the United States.

If you’re looking to continue your historical tour head to Plymouth Hoe from where Sir Francis Drake set sail to engage with the Spanish Armada or maybe wander over to The Royal Citadel, a dramatic 17th century fortress that is still an operational military base. Once you’ve finished your travels in time, stop for a picnic under Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse for some spectacular views of Plymouth Sound. Be sure to visit Tinside Lido, the restored art deco outdoor pool on the tip of Plymouth Hoe with a panoramic view of the sea. Keep your eyes peeled for the many memorials that can be found around this part of the city.

Another famous area of the city is the Royal William Yard, constructed in the 1800s, it is the largest collection of Grade 1 listed military buildings in Europe. Today alongside the history you will also find a thriving cultural hub with some of Plymouth’s most celebrated restaurants, independent retailers and lounge bars as well as regular public events like outdoor theatre and cinema, arts and craft markets and live music.

Vibrant nightlife and busy days

On top of all the historical and cultural draws Plymouth also has a fantastic array of shopping and nightlife. In the independent quarter you will find independent and specialist retailers selling everything from art, jewellery, clothing, antiques and even wedding dresses. You will also find delicious distractions in the form of handmade chocolates and fudge. If you are looking for a specific item or your high street fix head to Drake Circus, the landmark shopping centre with a selection of big name brands selling everything from clothing to stationary. Plymouth also boasts a thriving nightlife scene from live music and comedy to a wide array of theatre performances. You can also enjoy a tipple in the many pubs, bars and clubs dotted around the city, so whether it’s for a special occasion or just for a night out with friends you can always find a fantastic night out in Plymouth.

A short journey from the city you can also soak up the many stately homes, parks and gardens including the world renowned Dartmoor National Park. You can also take a boat trip down the River Tamar to explore the Tamar Valley and surrounding areas.

Whether you’re looking to be active, shop, see some live entertainment, soak up some culture or just to learn more about the heritage of this exciting city, Plymouth has everything you could want and more.