Plymouth walkabout

Barbican and Sutton Harbour

For the first full day of our Devon and Cornwall trip we were shown around the main sights of Plymouth by Chris’s brother Andy and sister-in-law Teresa.

We began our walk from the Royal William Yard and followed the small section of the South West Coast Path until we reached Plymouth Hoe. Our path took us along Plymouth Sound the wide bay area of sea where Plymouth is protected by a large breakwater.

Plymouth Hoe is the area where the first settlers arrived which was long before Sir Francis Drake’s time. Sir Francis did, however, play bowls at Plymouth Hoe while he waited for the Spanish Armada in 1588. The word ‘hoe’ means high ground and here you get a wonderful scenic view as you stand on the Hoe overlooking the sea.

Smeaton’s Tower

Located on Plymouth Hoe is Smeaton’s Tower, a memorial to John Smeaton, a civil engineer and designer of the Eddystone Lighthouse. The tower was originally a lighthouse constructed in 1756 however was rebuilt on the Hoe in in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884. You can pay a small sum to climb the 93 steps for amazing views of Plymouth Sound and the city centre.

A number of bars and cafes line the seafront which are excellent for a refreshing drink or snack with views across the Sound.

As you walk further round towards the centre of Plymouth you come to the Barbican which is a historic neighbourhood by the waterside. The area has a large number of restaurants within its cobblestone lanes and also which line Sutton Harbour.

Sutton Harbour

The harbour at Plymouth was where the Pilgrims left on board the Mayflower and set sail to America in 1620.

Barbican Mural

The Barbican Mural was produced by Robert Lenkiewicz in 1972. During his life, Lenkiewicz opened the doors of his studios to the homeless, addicts and down-and-outs and often used these characters in his paintings.

You can have a tour around the Plymouth Gin factory, also located in the Barbican area.

Royal Citadel

Following a delicious pizza in The Stable overlooking Sutton Harbour, the four of us took a small ferry back to the Royal William Yard.

Plymouth Hoe
Drake’s Island
Royal William Yard

The Royal William Yard is a historical collection of Grade 1 listed military buildings where a range of attractions, restaurants, cultural events and residential accommodations can be found including several AirBnB’s which is a wonderful place to stay.


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