Plymouth life

City Focus: Plymouth what to see and do?

Plymouth; the ocean city, full of naval history, culture and a short drive to the beauty of Dartmoor, the English Riviera and the millionaire playgrounds of Salcombe and Dartmouth. So, when all this craziness is over. What’s there to see and do for students at Plymouth and Marjon universities? We asked those who know best our Plymouth team.


The best places to get Active.

Stand up paddle boarding Plymouth

Getting active isn’t always about going to the gym or a run in the park. We’ve found five fun activities within easy reach of your Plymouth city home.

  • Stand up Paddle Boarding  – Being an ocean city, you’d expect Plymothians to make the most of their location. So, head to Royal William Yard, it’s only a 20-bus ride from the city centre and experience Stand Up Paddle Boarding from Firestone Arch, a 1 and a half hour beginners session costs just £30.
  • Located in the Barbican area of the city you’ll find The Mount Batten Centre, where you name it, you can learn to do it. From powerboating to windsurfing and even organised gorge walking in the Plym valley.
  • Who hasn’t wanted a go on a Jetski? Mayflower Jetski tours offer an introduction to jetskiing where you can learn how to ride a jetski, then take a gentle ride in the calm waters of the River Yealm, before, with a little more experience you can race across Plymouth Sound!
  • Dry land more your thing? Then Plymouth has you covered. Moreover if you need something to do on a rainy afternoon, then head to The Climbing Hangar. A 20-30-minute bike ride from the City Centre, the climbing centre has options for all abilities.
  • From riding the waves to skimming across the ice at Plymouth Snowsports centre – From skiing and snowboarding through to sno-tubing (yes, it’s an inflatable ring on the ski slope!) and a 650-metre toboggan run the centre has a wintery activity for everyone.

Plymouth’s biggest and best Events.

From marathons to food festivals and firework championships, Plymouth’s got all students covered. Here’s our top five events around the city in 2020/21.

  • British Firework Championships – An annual free event that takes place every August. Scheduled to take place on the 12th and 13th on the Plymouth Hoe. Each year six professional display companies are selected to take part – three on each evening of the event.
  • Flavour Fest – The Southwest’s largest food and drink festival takes place in Plymouth’s city piazza, it’s so close to our Central Point location you can almost smell the street food kitchens. Although 2020’s event was cancelled, Flavour Fest will return in May 2021.
  • Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon Originally scheduled to take place in May, Plymouth’s half marathon will now take place on the 4th October.
  • Armed Forces DayBeing a naval city since the 1600s. Plymouth has proud links with the British armed forces, and there’s no clearer day of that pride than on Armed Forces Day. On the 19th and 20th of September. Plymouth is scheduled to stage a ‘Muster Weekend’ with the UK, US and Dutch armed forces working together to showcase military displays, interactive demonstrations and fun activities.
  • Mayflower 400 – 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, which saw the Pilgrims sail from Plymouth to America. Plymouth had a series of events and festivals scheduled throughout the year to mark the anniversary. COVID-19 had put a stop to many of those events. However, all is not lost as many of these events have been rescheduled for later in the year and into 2021. This should mean that you will be able to experience many of the events that you may have missed before making the move to Plymouth.

The best places to find Fresh Air.

Victorians claimed sea air was good for your health. And a trip to the seaside could cure all sorts of ailments, both physical and mental. Well, if that’s true, Plymouth and Devon’s location has you more than covered. Here are 5 of the best places our Plymouth team recommend for you to clear your head after a long day or week in uni.

  • Plymouth Hoe – Name one other city that has views like that above right in the city centre. The Hoe is perfect on a sunny day to enjoy a picnic on the grass. Especially on a warmer day when you can head to the art-deco Tinside Lido for a quick swim.

  • The BarbicanAt the historic Barbican Harbour you’ll find the city’s oldest buildings including many from the Tudor and Jacobean era. Fan of Gin? Then make sure you head to Southside Street and the world-famous Plymouth Gin Distillery.

Outside Plymouth:

  • Wembury Beach – Pack the bucket and spade and head along the coast to Wembury and Heybrook Bay. If you’re living in Devon, you have to head to the beach now and again. Why not catch the 48 bus from Royal Parade? You’ll be on the beach in half-hour. Moreover, if you’re feeling a bit more energetic you can do the 8-mile journey by bike in under an hour. And don’t worry about refuelling there’s a café and beach shop for you to grab that all-important ice cream!
  • Dartmoor National park To the north of Plymouth you’ll find the imposing landscape of Dartmoor. Truly a remarkable location, covering 368 square miles, the moorland is home to ancient forests, rivers and rock formations. Come face to face with the free-roaming Dartmoor Ponies or perhaps the legendary Beast of Dartmoor where allegedly big cats from panthers to lions have supposedly been sighted!
  • Mount EdgecumbeHead out of Devon and into Cornwall. But don’t worry the historic house and country park is just a ten-minute ferry ride from Admiral’s Hard in the Stonehouse area of Plymouth. Where there’s 865 acres of country park, formal gardens and the historic house to explore.
  • Mount Batten Look out to sea from the Barbican and you’ll see a bit of land sticking out. Well, that bit of land is the Mount Batten peninsula. Mount Batten offers great coastal walks, fishing, bars and restaurants. And only a 10-minute walk from the wharf is the quaint village of Turnchapel. Which is home to a number of great pubs and pretty houses just ripe for an insta pic or three! How to get there? Head to the Barbican and look for the yellow boats.

Make sure to check back for Part 3. Where we’ll explore the best places in Plymouth, to Eat, Drink and Shop.

Looking for accommodation this September? We still have rooms in all 6 of our Plymouth locations. Already living with Host in Plymouth? Where’s your favourite place to visit in or around Plymouth? Let us know on our socials @HostStudentsUK on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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