Day 329 Sheltering in Plymouth

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Around Plymouth

5 miles

Kerry and James’ house, Saltash

The weather was terrible when I woke up, very wet, and the rain was predicted to last all day. I thought this was lucky for the following 2 reasons: firstly, Kerry offered me the chance to stay a second night (which meant a proper bed) and, secondly, instead of walking past Plymouth I could take a bit of time to explore the city. 

The Mayflower Steps
Kerry dropped me off near The Barbican, the old part of the city that dates back to the 16th Century. After just a short walk across the footbridge spanning one of the wharves I was soaked. 

Tinside Lido, Drake’s Island and Edgcumbe Park across The Sound
I stopped at Jacka Bakery for coffee and a truly excellent pain-au-chocolat. This bakery has been certified as the oldest commercial bakery in Great Britain, dating back to 1597, and it supplied The Mayflower with biscuits for its voyage across The Atlantic. Ancient ovens are still visible, but unfortunately unusable. 

Plymouth Gin Distillery
Just down the road is the Plymouth Gin Distillery, established 1793, the oldest one in England. 

the Belvedere Memorial, on The Hoe
I took a tour around The Mayflower Museum, which overlooks The Mayflower Steps, the point where The Pilgrims set sail for New Plymouth. I met an American couple whose ancestor was on the ship. 

Smeaton’s Lighthouse, relocated to The Hoe 1882. Game of bowls anyone?
Plymouth likes its plaques and memorials. There are a lot. There are plaques commemorating all the famous sea journeys that started from Plymouth, and memorials commemorating the famous men that set sail from here. 

Sir Francis Drake, circumnavigator of the World and famous for finishing his game of bowls before defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588
Most of the plaques at The Barbican Wharves were reminders of how the British colonised the New World; The Mayflower sailed for America in 1620, The Tory sailed for New Zealand in 1839 and plenty of ships sailed for Australia in the 18th Century. 

The RAF, Commonwealth and Allied Air Forces Memorial, the memorial commemorating the first sight of the Spanish Armada from Plymouth Hoe, and the Plymouth Naval Memorial
Up the hill, past The Royal Citadel, built in 1655 for King Charles II, to protect the seaward approaches to Sutton Harbour, I reached The Hoe. More memorials. There are 23,000 names on Plymouth’s Naval War Memorial for the two World Wars, all sailors or marines based at Plymouth. 

The Beatles were ‘ere
At the other end of The Hoe were 4 imprints in the grass, signifying the spots where The Beatles sat for an iconic photograph. All very strange. 

Blocks of granite from Dartmoor Prison, commemorating the imprisonment of Napoleon and other French soldiers in 1815
I wandered through the Stonehouse area of the city and went to the Rocksalt cafe for lunch. Highly recommended. After that I caught the bus back to the Tamar Bridge and walked across it into Cornwall again. I really enjoyed my day in Plymouth. 

the Tamar Railway Bridge

2 thoughts on “Day 329 Sheltering in Plymouth

  1. Chris F June 30, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Pants weather…really left you with little alternative but to go on a huge Plymouth Gin tasting session, soaked up with biscuits from The Mayflower????? As Spike would agree……all the ingredients for a proper Leo Sayer!!!!!!!!!


    • Lucy June 30, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      I had to think about that one! Got there in the end. I was tempted to do the distillery tour but I just didn’t have time. There’s always so much to see and fit in.


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