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Plymouth, Devon’s cultural capital and once voted by The Times as the coolest place to live, is a bustling, vibrant city. Whether you wish to relax and take in the fresh sea air, enjoy the nightlife or learn more about its extensive maritime history, Plymouth can accommodate you.
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For a tranquil date where you can simply stroll and chat, Plymouth Hoe is an ideal place to visit. With breath-taking panoramic views of the Plymouth Sound, you can see Drake’s Island, the Eddystone Lighthouse and if you are really lucky, you may get to see a Royal Navy Warship! On the verdant space around the Hoe sits Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse. Soak up the sun, take a picnic and just enjoy each other’s company! For an idyllic meal together, you must try The Terrace on the Hoe. Choose from a great menu and while away the evening with stunning views of the Sound and watch the waves crash.
From birds to boats, there is always something to capture your attention on the Plymouth Sound. Taking a boat trip out onto the Sound is a terrific idea with Plymouth Boat Trips. Feel the wind in your hair while you enjoy a romantic sunset trip, embark on a fishing trip or simply join one of their guided excursions to see what Plymouth has to show. You could even charter a boat, and if you feel brave, jump on a jet ski or try other available water sports.
For something a little different, get over to Tinside Lido, which sits comfortably in the top 10 of the best outdoor pools in Europe. Built in 1935, this saltwater outdoor swimming pool offers swimming, a sunbathing deck and a great little cafe. Look out for special events such as live music and cinema evenings too.
The Mayflower is an extremely well-known name around Plymouth. In September of 1620, one hundred and two passengers embarked on The Mayflower bound for the ‘New World’. They disembarked some weeks later at Plymouth Rock in North America. There is a great museum of the same name housed over three floors, that tells the tale of the Pilgrims. From the balcony, you will have a stunning view of the Barbican. The Mayflower Steps aren’t the original steps unfortunately but there is a granite block etched with the name of the ship and the year she set sail.
Plymouth Gin Distillery is closely linked to The Mayflower. It is said that some of the passengers spent their last night here, before leaving for North America. The building dates to the 1400s and has been a working distillery since 1793, home to Plymouth Gin. There are three different tours for gin lovers or gin beginners, ranging from 40 minutes to over 2 hours. You can learn about the history of the distillery, which has been making the original gin recipe since beginning in 1793, and you get to sample one of their gin and tonics at the Refectory Bar or you can take one of their miniatures home to sample later.
Shopping in Plymouth means you’ll want for nothing. Drake’s Circus has over 70 of the UK’s more well-known stores, all under the same roof, with a good array of places to grab a snack or meal too. Royal William Yard has a wonderful collection of galleries, independent shops, restaurants and bars. Plymouth Market has over 150 stalls comprising fresh produce, clothing, jewellery and arts and crafts. Sample some street food along with your saunter and pick up a few bargains.
The Box Art Gallery is an airy and modern museum and gallery. Inside you will meet a handful of ship’s figureheads, a woolly mammoth replica and other national history specimens. The paintings and sculptures will leave you marvelling. Peruse the artefacts from the archives and enjoy a meal or snack at The Box Restaurant and Bar or The Little Box cafe.
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest in the UK and guarantees a fascinating day out. From the local waters surrounding Plymouth, through to The Great Barrier Reef, this is a journey like no other. You’ll get to see starfish, sharks, jellyfish, turtles and see if Inky the octopus makes an appearance! The aquarium is involved in conservation efforts, research and breeding programmes.
The Barbican has a few things going on, day or night. Walk the cobbled streets of the old port, along the ancient quay, and stop at a bar or restaurant if you’d like. You can jump on a ghost tour from outside the Barbican Tourist Information Centre. You will find some great little independent shops and art galleries too. At night, there is a vibrant, buzzing atmosphere among the bars and restaurants, perfect for date ‘night’.
Of course, you are utterly spoilt for choice if you’d like a day out at a beach. Bovisands and Wembury are only a short drive away. Grab a picnic and head down to the golden sands, paddle in the waves together and take in a sunset walk along the shore.
With beautiful scenery, some great history and lots to learn about and visit, Plymouth will provide for even the most discerning of daters!