Plymouth - The Waterfront City that Helped to Shape the World


Plymouth is the most important city in Devon, a remarkable place, full of life and history. It was from Plymouth, that adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake,  James  Cook and the Pilgrim Fathers  set out on their momentous voyages to find new worlds. Plymouth  Hoe is where Sir Francis Drake is said to have played bowls when England was about to be invaded by the Spanish Armada.

Smeaton's Tower, the eighteenth century lighthouse that originally stood on the Eddystone Rock , has been rebuilt as a focal point of the Hoe. The current lighthouse can be seen some fourteen miles Southwest of Plymouth across Plymouth Sound, a breathtaking natural harbour extending from Fort Bovisand in the east, Mount Edgecumbe Country Park in the west, and the Rame Peninsula with Drakes Island guarding the entrance to the Tamar. It is a truly marvellous sight, when you stand on the sea front and watch the warships from many countries slowly wind their way through the deep water channel of Plymouth Sound towards the berths alongside the River Tamar.

Large parts of the city were destroyed during the bombing raids of the Second World War but the Barbican survived almost intact. It is Plymouth's medieval heart. The narrow streets, the Mayflower Steps, symbolic leaving point for the New World in 1620 by the Pilgrim Fathers, and the Elizabethan House, a rare Tudor time-capsule at 32 New Street, take you back in time. Across from the Harbour Lock Gates is the new National Marine Aquarium where divers feed hundreds of fish, including large Caribbean sharks, by hand.