Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, is just 30 miles from St Weonards in Paignton and it is really easy to get to by bus, train or car.
There is plenty to see and do for everyone in Plymouth, the National Marine Aquarium (great choice if the weather is not great), the Plymouth Gin Distillery (where you can enjoy a guided tour and tasting) and Smeaton’s Tower on the Hoe (which at 72 feet high has great views over the city).
Visit Plymouth have recently launched a free app – Plymouth Trails – which you can download and use offline and which guide you on walking tours around the city to follow at you own pace.
The app uses maps to guide you on routes around the city and at each stop there are videos, images and text – there are even ‘image overlay’ stops where you can experience ‘now and then’ with old images being superimposed on the current view.
There are also three core trails with an audio option.
- Mayflower Trail: This trail follows a circular route around the Barbican area of Plymouth. See the buildings and meet the people that shaped the city in 1620, when the Mayflower ship and its passengers set sail for America. The tour is 1.2 miles long and takes about an hour – there are also bronze waymarkers along the route to help guide you round. There is an activity pack to download which will entertain (and educate!) younger members of the party.
- City Centre Trail: Being the largest Naval port in the UK, Plymouth was a huge target for the Germans during WWII. Devonport Docks were the main target but often bombs fell on the city itself and after a series of raids in 1941 much of it was destroyed. This 1.9 mile tour takes you through the city centre to discover how Plymouth was re-built following the war – this unique post-war architecture is now a City Centre Conservation area.
- Plymouth Hoe Trail: Enjoy a walk along the coast learning about Plymouth’s maritime history, taking in key landmarks such as Tinside Lido and Smeaton’s Tower. Explore Plymouth Sound – the natural harbour shaped by the rivers Plym and Tamar along this 2.1 mile walk which takes about 90 minutes to complete. The trail explores ‘The Hoe’ which means ‘high place’ in Old English and has been the centre of Plymouth life since the Middle Ages.
You can download the app now on Android or iOS, or find out more on the Visit Plymouth website. The three core routes have also been designed to be as accessible as possible, with newly dropped kerbs and improved facilities for wheelchair users.