Destinations: Plymouth, England


A major city of over 260,000 people on the south coast of Devon, Plymouth is a comfortable size for visitors to handle and find their way around easily. It has plenty in terms of history and natural attractions to offer the visitor and is often used as a base by visitors to Dartmoor, the Tamar Valley and the beaches of south-east Cornwall.

Plymouth has long played a role in Britain's maritime history. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony - the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. They left near the commemorative Mayflower Steps in Sutton Pool. During the English Civil War the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged between 1642 and 1646. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, and exporting local minerals (tin, copper, lime, china clay and arsenic) while the neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval shipbuilding and dockyard town.

Destinations From Plymouth

Devon and Cornwall Coast

Travel by rail from Plymouth: 20 mins

Exposure to westerly storms and pounding surf has given rise to the famously dramatic scenery of Devon and Cornwall coasts, made all the more exciting by the numerous tales of smuggling and plunder. This journey can be made by train or by car. By train, the whole trip takes two hours without stops. The train stops and you are able to get off and continue your journey later in the day at Looe, St Austall, Falmouth Town, Falmouth Rocks, Hayle and St Ives.

Falmouth

Travel by rail from Plymouth: 1 hr 4 mins

Falmouth is one of the foremost holiday destinations in the UK, offering everything from superb, Blue Flag beaches to sailing, cliff walking and a bustling town centre. Falmouth has been shaped and influenced by its strong connection to the sea. Combining a fascinating maritime heritage and modern creativity,it is building a name for itself as one of the South West's leading cultural and festival destinations.

Penzance

Travel by rail from Plymouth: 2 hours

Penzance is well known for being the most westerly major town in Cornwall. Famous for its pirates, well the singing variety anyway, Penzance is a historic port on the south facing shores of Mount's Bay and has one of the mildest climates in the UK. One of the striking things about the town is the abundance of palm trees and gardens full of sub-tropical plants, a sure sign that you have arrived somewhere unique.

Torquay

Travel by rail from Plymouth: 58 minutes

Torquay is a seaside resort town on the English Channel in Devon, South West England. Known for beaches such as Babbacombe and cliffside Oddicombe, its coastline is nicknamed the English Riviera. Torquay Harbour near the town centre offers shops, cafes and a marina. Torre Abbey, a monastery founded in 1196, has art galleries and extensive gardens featuring plants from local native Agatha Christie's novels.

Barnstaple

Travel by rail from Plymouth: from 2 hrs 8 mins

As the premier town in North Devon you'll find great bars, great restaurants and big name high street shopping. But that's not all that makes Barnstaple special. That's done by the independent boutique shops within the town, the proud local food producers selling their delicious delicacies in the Pannier Market and, of course, the town's colourful history. It's this mix of new and old, of modern and traditional that's behind Barnstaple's charm.

Corwall Atlantic Coast

Travel by rail from Plymouth: 1 hr 48 mins (Newquay)

The north coast on the Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, is more exposed and therefore has a wilder nature. The prosaically named High Cliff, between Boscastle and St Gennys, is the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall at 223 metres. However, there are also many extensive stretches of fine golden sand which form the beaches that are so important to the tourist industry, such as those at Bude, Polzeath, Watergate Bay, Perranporth and Porthtowan.

Ferries To Spain and France

Travel by ferry: from around 19 hours

Brittany Ferries operates a ferry service to Santander from Plymouth on Britain's South Coast. It is the most direct ferry route to Spain from Plymouth. The crossing operates once a week in each direction with sailing durations from around 19 hours. Other Brittany Ferries operate from Plymouth to the following destinations: Roscoff, France; St Malo in Brittainy, France.

Southampton

Travel by rail from Plymouth: from 4 hrs

A major port for cruise ships, Southampton is an historic walled city that was founded by the ancient Romans. The City Walls still stand and form a walkway on both sides of the River Ouse. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events in England throughout much of its two millennia of existence.

Barnstaple

Travel by rail from Plymouth: from 2 hrs 8 mins

As the premier town in North Devon you'll find great bars, great restaurants and big name high street shopping. But that's not all that makes Barnstaple special. That's done by the independent boutique shops within the town, the proud local food producers selling their delicious delicacies in the Pannier Market and, of course, the town's colourful history. It's this mix of new and old, of modern and traditional that's behind Barnstaple's charm.

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