|The wonderful panorama along the gulf of Plymouth, at the border between Cornwall and Devon.|
When you are planning your next travel and you are looking to the map of a country you are always obliged to make choices:
which places I should visit and which I should skip?
If you are planning to visit Devon or Cornwall the name of Plymouth will most certainly catch your eyes, written in big capital letters exactly at the border within the two English regions, and you will certainly ask yourself: is Plymouth worth a visit?
My opinion is yes: Plymouth is a city to visit if you are travelling in the South of England and United Kingdom.
Why Plymouth is a city to visit?
Plymouth's atmosphere makes first of all Plymouth a city to visit.
It is a young city with a young population and many University stundents, the faculty of Art seems to be the most popular here.
Although partly modern, having being heavily damaged by the war, Plymouth is still have some very interesting parts to visit and it has an important role in history.
Plymouth's history makes Plymouth a city to visit.
The United States of America are born in Plymouth.
If you walk along the Barbican in Plymouth you will immediately notice a Stars and Stripes flag next to the water and some steps, do you know why there is a U.S.A. flag there?
Those steps are named the Mayflower Steps.
From the Mayflower steps the Pilgrim Fathers are believed to have left England aboard the Mayflower, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to settle in North America on 6 September 1620. Those were the pilgrims that, after a miserable passage in the high waters of the Ocean founded the first settlements that would become a day part of the United States of America.
What is to see in Plymouth?
The best way to visit Plymouth if you are going to visit Plymouth in one day is to always walk along the sea coast and you will manage to see the most interesting parts of the city.
Start your walk at the Old Harbour called the Barbican. This old harbour is famous because from here the vessel Mayflower started his long journey to the U.S.A., it is one of the oldest areas of the city.
Plymouth was heavily bombed during the Second World War and many beautiful buildings were destroyed, but the Barbican is one of the best preserved areas.
Apart for the National Marine Museum the Barbican in Plymouth offers a wonderful series of bars, pubs and fish and ship and makes for a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the sun and the breeze air.
|The entrance of the Royal Citadel in Plymouth.|
If you keep the sea at your left and you start walking along the coast you will walk along the walls of an old fortress this is the Royal Citadel. The Royal Citadel in Plymouth was built in the late 1660s to protect Plymouth's harbour.
The Royal Citadel was the most important English defence for over 100 years and it is still be used as barracks today by the 29 Commando Regiment of the Royal Artillery. It is possible to visit part of it and it is worth walking around its wall to see the entrance gate with the impressive monument to the English Commandos in front of the entrance.
The Hoe is certainly the most famous sight in Plymouth.
With his red and white lighthouse and with is beautiful views over the large bay the Hoe is unmissable, particularly at sunset and you will have the chance to see huge civil and military boats coming and going along the large harbour.
This is all there is to see in Plymouth?
Keep walking along the sea (sea at your left) pass some modern bits of the town and finally head to the Royal William Yard Harbour.
Definitely of the best kept secrets in Plymouth!
What an amazing place is the Royal William Yard Harbour in Plymouth and what a wonderful example of intelligent refurbishment of a disused area!
This one time military area is now one of the best places to go for a wonderful dinner al fresco, a drink in front of the sea and in the first Sunday of the Month for a wonderful Farmer Market of local products and particularly of local and traditional food (from the local honey wines to the Sicilian Cannoli!).
The Royal William Yard Harbour was the major victualing depot of the Royal Navy in United Kingdom.
The Yard was closed in 1992 and fall in ruin for years behind a house for squatters and homeless people.
In 2006 The Royal William Yard Harbour became the object of a wonderful conservation and restoration work carried out by Gilmore Hankey Kirke Architects.
Today you are still able to enjoy your visit to this huge military complex in front of the sea, admire its Georgian architecture, enjoy the sea breeze and have a wonderful time particularly at weekends.
Is this all?
No again! this is only the beginning.
When you are in Plymouth you can also:
- take a very cheap 5 minute ride by boat and cross to beautiful Cremyll
- keep walking along the coastal path and start one of the most amazing coastal paths of the world all the way to Cornwall and Land's End and beautiful St Ives
- take a boat to France and visit Brest the city that is the exact copy of Plymouth in French style (no wonder the two cities are twinned!): click here to read about Brest.