Plymouth is the only city on the South West Coastal Path. It has a huge variety of things do. Its main attraction is its magnificent waterside location.
National Marine Aquarian: opening times 10:00 to 17:00
This is the UK's largest aquarium, it has zones with fish from Plymouth Sound and the coasts of Britain as well as the Atlantic Ocean and a coral reef zone known as the Blue Planet. There is an interactive dive display at 14:00 every day. The Aquarian is located in the Barbican Area of Plymouth.
Tinside Lido (outdoor saltwater swimming pool) - Opening times Term Time Monday to Friday 12:00 to 18:00, Weekends and School Holidays 10:00 to 18:00
A beautiful art deco outdoor swimming pool, offers the chance to just sit by the pool overlooking Plymouth Sound or brave its lovely unheated saltwater for a swim.
The Barbican area of Plymouth is the place to go for a night out. There are loads of bars/cafes and restaurants all set around Sutton harbour Marina. It is not really possible to give specific reccommendations, just wander round, soak up the atmosphere and choose a restaurant to suit your taste.
The History of Plymouth
With its great natural harbour Plymouth has always had great strategic importance for British Naval power.
In the Elizabethan Age the port thrived through trade and the remains of the wealthy Elisabethan traders houses can be seen in the Barbican quarter. Sir Francis Drake, when informed of the sighting of the Spanish Armada, famously insisted on finishing his game bowls on Plymouth Hoe before setting sail to defeat the Spanish invasion fleet.
Mayflower departed from Plymouth in in 1620 with The Pilgrim Fathers on board. They established the second permanent British colony in the Americas. You can find a plaque marking their departure in Sutton Harbour.
In the Napoleonic era a lot of the forts and baracks you can still see today were built. Napolean himself came to Plymouth onboard a Royal Navy warship and stayed anchored in Plymouth Sound for 2 weeks before being exiled to St Helena. Plymouth enjoyed a great deal of prosperity during the Napoleonic wars and there ending in in 1815 was disastrous for the local economy as many men were laid off from the shipyards at Devonport.
During the Second World War Plymouth was a major target for bombing because of its dockyard and its city centre needed completely rebuilding after the war.