Insider’s guide to Plymouth

Everything you need to know about cruising and mooring in Plymouth

Going ashore

An abundance of shops and historic sites more than justifies a trip ashore. See pictures in our Plymouth gallery.

Black Friars Distillery
The working home of Plymouth Gin since 1793, the distillery offers guided tours where you can learn about the art of making this world-famous gin and then have lunch in the excellent Barbican Kitchen Brasserie restaurant where the food is of both high quality and good value.

The Barbican
Packed with eateries, shops and galleries, The Barbican is a great place to while away an afternoon and stock up the fridge from the M & S food hall. The tourist office is also near here and there are about 20 historic sites within walking distance, including a restored Elizabethan house and the Mayflower Steps monument.

Sutton Harbour
This sociable harbour is home to both Sutton marina and also the new fish market – the centre of the busy Plymouth sea fishing industry. You can spend a pleasant afternoon walking around this area, admiring the many new buildings that have been built around the marina, as well as watching the comings and goings of the many boats passing through the lock.

National Marine Aquarium
At the UK’s largest aquarium  you will find over 4000 animals from 400 species on display in three massive tanks as well as many smaller ones. The Mediterranean tank, Britain’s deepest tank, has sharks that swim overhead.

The Hoe

The Hoe is a stretch of open land looking out to sea where Sir Francis Drake is famously said to have continued playing a game of bowls as the Spanish Armada advanced up the Channel in 1588. It is also the site of the world’s first offshore lighthouse and Smeaton’s lighthouse, built in 1759, was the third lighthouse built on these notorious reefs. It stood there for over 120 years and set the pattern for all later offshore lighthouses.

The Royal Citadel

The Royal Citadel dates back to 1670 and is in a very prominent position overlooking the harbour. Take a tour of the building to admire the Royal Artillery canons and head to the walls for marvelous views of the harbour, including the Mount Batten peninsula opposite. Open Tuesday afternoons, from 2.30pm.

For more in-depth information check out the full feature in the October 2009 issue of Motor Boats Monthly.

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