Things to Do

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A short drive from Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, Plymouth is a fantastic day trip from your base on the English Riviera.

An abundance of naval history

Plymouth has a long maritime history - after all, this is where Sir Francis Drake famously played bowls while waiting for the Spanish Armada. Later the Mayflower set sail for America with the Pilgrim Fathers – you can find out more about that at the Mayflower Exhibition on the Barbican.

There’s also one of the largest active dockyards in the country, the Devonport Royal Dockyard, where boats and submarines are refitted and repaired. Visitors are free to wander through some areas of the dockyard and see the day-to-day operations.

The Barbican is one of the most popular areas for tourists, with lots of restaurants and shops. If you’re fond of a tipple, the Plymouth Gin distillery is a fascinating place to visit and you can even get a taster.

National Marine Aquarium

Nearby you’ll find the National Marine Aquarium, the UK’s largest aquarium and home to sharks, tropical fish, crustaceans and other aquatic species. They even do overnight stays for older children where you can sleep near the sharks!

Modern day Plymouth has a real cosmopolitan feel to it, and for those who fancy a bit of retail therapy, the new Drakes Circus shopping centre lets you spend an afternoon treating yourself amongst the many brand name stores.

Plymouth is another great day out from the English Riviera, South Devon’s beautiful bay.

For further details of places to stay, things to do and events in Plymouth, please visit the official Visit Plymouth website.

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