8 Things To Do In Plymouth Before You Catch The Ferry To France


For many travellers, Plymouth is often seen as little more than a transport hub for connecting ferry services to France. As such, the most the average traveller gets to see of the city is the odd pub or fast food outlet in the vicinity of the ferry port. Which is something of a shame, as with even just a few hours to spare before heading off to France, Plymouth has some great things to see and do. From entertaining the kids to hitting the beach to simply killing time in the most relaxing way possible, be sure to check out one or more of the following if you have a few hours to spare:

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Create Your Own Bottle of Gin

First up, one definite highlight of your day in Plymouth should be a trip to the city’s famous Gin Distillery. This is the oldest working gin distillery in the UK and the business dates back to 1793 and the building itself as far back as the 1400’s.

Said to be the place where the Pilgrim Fathers spent their final evening before setting sail for New World, visitors today are given incredible insights as to how the traditional distillation process takes place. And if you book the Master Distiller’s private tour in advance, you get to walk away with your own personal bottle of gin and enjoy a tipple in the bar.


Visit the National Marine Aquarium

Adults and kids of all ages are powerless to the charms of spectacular aquariums. And they really don’t come much more spectacular than Plymouth’s – the National Marine Aquarium being the largest in the United Kingdom.  From sea horses to sand tiger sharks to spellbinding demonstrations put on by trained staff throughout the day, a great option when the weather outside isn’t exactly on your side.

Why not take a look at Tin Box Travellers review of the National Marine Aquarium.

Beach Life

If you find yourself with plenty of time to spare and sunshine in generous amounts, it’s worth remembering that from the centre of Plymouth, you’re only ever about 15 minutes by car or bus from some fantastic beaches – so much so that you might want to think about heading to Plymouth a day or so early to lap up all that’s on offer before departing on the ferry to France. You can view ferry routes, timetables and book ferry trips to France from Plymouth here on Brittany Ferries website

Devon Beach Huts www.minitravellers.co.uk

See Where It All Began

Take the time to visit the Barbican harbour area – the exact spot from which the Plymouth Brethren departed England in 1620 to begin settling a new land we now know as North America. There’s also an incredible beach across the bay, which can be accessed by way of a short Cremyll ferry trip that takes less than 10 minutes.

Discover the Elizabethan Hidden Garden

One of the hidden gems of Plymouth can be found just off New Street, where the Elizabethan hidden garden plays host to a pretty fountain and beautiful box hedges. An excellent opportunity for an enjoyable stroll, should you find yourself blessed with one of Plymouth’s comparatively few sunny afternoons!

Sample the Seafood

For reasons that should be relatively obvious, Plymouth is home to some of the most decadent seafood in the whole of the United Kingdom. Along with award winning fish and chips shops, you’ll also find yourself spoilt for choice with historic pubs, cosy cafes and more fine dining opportunities than you’ll ever have time to experience in full! If you’re looking to start your holiday in style, Plymouth is the perfect place to do exactly that.

Photo Credit to www.twinklediaries.co.uk

Catch a Devon Cream Tea

Alternatively, anyone with more of a sweet tooth will find themselves right at home in any of the city’s cafes that serve up traditional Devon cream teas.  Pretend for a short while at least that calories don’t exist and perhaps start a debate with the locals as to which goes on the scone first, the jam or the cream!

Smeaton’s Red and White Tower

Referred to by most as Smeaton’s Lighthouse, this imposing and impressive structure was originally built in 1759 and has become one of the most famous and important landmarks of the entire South West coast.  And the answer is yes – you can visit the lantern room and take in some of the breath-taking views.

Why Not Pin this Post for Another Day!

NB: Photo Credits Sunset  Gin Distillery Beachhuts – Gavin MacIntosh Cream Tea – Twinkle Diaries

Post created in collaboration with Brittany Ferries


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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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