Plymouth Activities & Things To Do
Plymouth has a rich naval history; legend has it that Sir Francis Drake famously insisted on finishing his game of bowls here before defeating the Spanish Armada. The Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Plymouth on their voyage to the New World in 1620. During the Second World War Plymouth suffered massively and the city was bombed beyond recognition. The rebuilding process wasn’t flattering, but Plymouth has slowly been undergoing a makeover. New shopping districts, restaurants and bars are opening all the time; this coupled with the areas rich history and numerous nautical activities and sights make it an exciting destination.
Getting to Plymouth
Portsmouth is well served by air, land and of course, sea. Newquay airport and Exeter airport are both around an hour away by car. Rail services run to South Wales, the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland. London is three and a half hours away with fifteen direct trains per day. By road, head for the South West from Bristol then take the A38 to Plymouth. National Express run buses to London, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham and Leeds all from Bretonside bus station. Brittany Ferries sail to Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain.
What’s on and when to go?
June, July and August are definitely the liveliest months to visit.
Plymouth hosts some major festivals and new for 2014 is La Solitaire du Figaro, a world-class competition for single-handed yachtsmen and women. Around 40 sailors, all on identical 33ft boats will arrive in Sutton Harbour, Plymouth at the end of the first leg. Flavour fest is the largest food and drink festival in the south west of England; with over 120 traders set up throughout the streets of Plymouth plus a real ale and wine area, culinary temptations are everywhere. Also in August is the incredible British Fireworks championships, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds, taking part over two summer evenings it offers undoubtedly Britain’s best firework display.
The Plymouth Boat Company offers a vast array of nautical outings; from scenic cruises to an adrenaline filled 007 speedboat experience. They also do fishing packages where they will cook what you catch in their boathouse café at the end of your trip. Group packages are available.
Phoenix leisure offers pretty much any outdoors activity you can think of, plus a fair few you couldn’t. Laser clay pigeon shooting, archery, quad biking, blindfolded driving and Landrover treasure hunts are just a few of the options. Specialising in groups and team building, you are bound to find something for everyone.
Plymouth Ski slope & Snowboard centre have year round skiing and snowboarding. They cater to all levels, including complete beginners and offer group lessons. There is even the option of tobogganing and a Sno-tube ride for those The Tinside pool is an amazing 1930s art deco lido that is worth the visit to Plymouth alone. Opened in 1935, the lido was re-opened to the public in 2005 after a closure of thirteen years and a £3.4 million renovation. It is a Grade II listed building and is free to the public
Plymouth has shaken off its shore leave reputation and now offers a fantastically diverse nightlife. Conde Nast traveller magazine just named Plymouth the UK’s ‘new gourmet hotspot’. The Barbican area, which was the only area to survive the Second World War intact, has grown as a particular hub for the city’s rejuvenated nightlife. For those who love to party until the wee small hours, there is a huge amount of choice. From taking in a burlesque show at Annabel’s Cabaret, to having an authentic G&T at the refectory bar - part of the Plymouth Gin distillery.