This great waterfront city is the largest in Devon. It’s right on the border with Cornwall, and has the River Tamar, the sea, and Dartmoor National Park on its boundaries. There’s an historic connection with seafaring here, and Plymouth has prospered on a spirit of adventure and maritime trade. It’s always been a strategic port, and Devonport dockyard is one of the UK’s three operating naval bases, making the most of the wide, sheltered waters at the mouth of the Tamar. The port is also used by Brittany Ferries for their long-standing cross channel services to France and Spain. This background adds up to a busy city which has attracted investment in regeneration, infrastructure, business, and industry.
The A38 is the main road route into Plymouth, from Exeter and the M5. Plymouth Station is on the Great Western Railway route with direct trains to London Paddington taking just over 3 hours, as well as local services throughout Devon and into Cornwall. Brittany Ferries is on your doorstep for services to France and Spain – a real asset to the city. Exeter Airport, an hour’s drive away, is the closest airport for UK and European flights.
The Barbican is the historic harbour area and today it’s a focal point for bars, restaurants, and shops, as well as being home to the National Marine Aquarium. It’s always buzzing with visitors and wherever you live in the city, it’s a great magnet for days off, weekends and nightlife. The Hoe is Plymouth’s other defining seafront landmark. This famous open space looks out over Plymouth Sound, a natural vantage point with panoramic views out to sea, and the perfect open-air venue for some unique events such as the National Firework Championships. The city centre has all the high street shops you would expect, a huge modern shopping mall, and a traditional covered market. The Theatre Royal has made its mark over the years, with a hugely successful run of acclaimed productions, and of course, a family pantomime at Christmas.
A large city like Plymouth offers a good balance of state and private schools, and there’s great provision for all age groups. Plymouth College of Art & Design and Plymouth University are at the heart of the centre, and student life is part and parcel of the life of this city.