One of the South West’s most iconic landscapes including Smeaton’s Tower and spectacular views of Drakes Island and Plymouth Sound. There has been a settlement at Plymouth for over a thousand years and it boasts a fascinating history being a port of great strategic importance. It has been a place where many voyages of exploration have been launched. These voyages have involved such characters as Sir Francis Drake, Captain James Cook, Charles Darwin and Sir Francis Chichester.
Listen to the stories that this city has to tell and learn about the people who have shaped it’s destiny. Plymouth has played an important part in the defence of an island nation over many different conflicts from the Hundred Years War to the Spanish Armada and more recently World War ll.
Royal Plymouth Citadel
Walk around the outside of this magnificent 17th Century fortress and learn of it’s history and the vital role it has played in the defence of Plymouth. Designed by Dutchman Bernard De Gomme this fortress was built during the reign of Charles ll to bolster Plymouth’s defences during the Anglo-Dutch war and to keep the people of Plymouth in check!
I am one of the official guides to this incredible site and I can share some of it’s stories with you.
Today the Royal Plymouth Citadel is home to 29 Commando Royal Artillery Regiment and is an active military base. For this reason official tours are limited and ID is required. For more information go to http://Royal Citadel, Plymouth | English Heritage (english-heritage.org.uk)
Step back in time and walk along the cobbled streets of this historic part of Plymouth where some of the most important voyages of discovery have set sail, including the Mayflower in 1620. The Old Custom House, Elizabethan House and the Island House are some of the buildings that the Pilgrims could have stayed in before their historic journey to the New World. Take a walk in the Elizabethan gardens a magical place hidden from easy view and imagine you are back in the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
Have a cream tea in one of the many cafes or shop in the galleries and gift shops.
Plymouth Gin Distillery
Visit the oldest working gin distillery in England which uses the same recipe dating back to 1793. This was originally the home of the Black Fryer order of monks who were in residence in the early 1400s. This is one of the oldest buildings of Plymouth where you can see it’s medieval hall which has a hull-shaped timber roof built in 1491.
You can take a tour to sample the gin which was adopted by the British Navy because of it’s high alcohol content. See the the distilling process close up and soak in the atmosphere.
Why not make it a full Day?
See how the post war development of the city centre compliments the historic buildings like Pristine House and St Andrews Church. Plymouth boasts the largest number of listed 1950s buildings outside of London. It is the dream of the war-time architect Sir Patrick Abercrombie who’s plans formed the basis of the reconstruction of the city after the destruction of the blitz.
Visit the Box, Plymouth’s 46 million pound refurbished museum which archives Plymouth’s rich history in a very modern setting. It contains over 2 million artefacts including film photographs art and even a Woolly Mammoth!