5 free things to do in…Plymouth

Date Posted: 20/02/2014


Photo credit: Bao Xiou

The coastal city of Plymouth, a gateway to Devon and Cornwall as well as Dartmoor National Park is renowned for its rich maritime history. We check out five free activities to enjoy on a group trip to Plymouth.

1.    Wander through Royal William Yard

Built in the 1800s, Royal William Yard Harbour contains the largest collection of listed former Royal Navy buildings in Europe and following a multi-million pound regeneration project it is now home to art galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants.

A recently opened tunnel connects Royal William Yard with Devils Point, offering dramatic views of Plymouth Sound and Drake Island.

2.    Step back in time at the Mayflower Steps

The Mayflower Steps mark the final departure point of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620. Overlooking Sutton Harbour is the historic spot from which the pilgrims sailed aboard the Mayflower to found the first permanent European settlement in New England.

Visitors interested in the history of this famous voyage can head to the Mayflower Museum, which chronicles the pilgrims’ journey to America, as well as Plymouth’s own journey from a small port town to the city that exists today.

3.    Take the Plymouth Wildlife Trail

Over a third of Plymouth is covered with green spaces including parks, nature reserves and woodlands and the city has eight public nature reserves that can be visited year round.

Plymouth Wildlife Trail is a two-mile trail which takes visitors from the heart of the city around to the waterfront and back and is mainly flat with one gentle hill up onto the Hoe.

There is different wildlife to experience every season including frog spawn in the spring, butterflies in the summer, wild mushrooms in the autumn and a range of over-wintering birds.

4.    Explore the historic Sutton Harbour

Plymouth is a city shaped by the fortunes of sea, trade and war, nowhere more so than in the Sutton Harbour and Barbican.

Sutton Harbour

Plymouth's old port is lined with narrow cobbled streets, Elizabethan warehouses, specialist shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants, offering plenty to explore.

5.    Enjoy one of Plymouth’s free summer events

Promoted as one of Britain’s most spectacular fireworks display, the British Firework Championships takes place on 12th and 13th August. The competition is now in its 18th year and features six of the country’s top pyrotechnics companies who set off four tonnes of fireworks over Plymouth Sound as they battle it out to become the champion.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary from 15th to 17th August this year, Flavour Fest is one the largest free food festival in the south west and showcases regional produce alongside demonstrations and food theatre from some of the top names in cooking.

For further group travel information visit www.visitplymouth.co.uk.

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