Things to do in Plymouth

Culture and heritage

From the launching point of the Mayflower in the Elizabethan Barbican to the sweeping expanse of Plymouth Hoe, this is a city with a fantastic history. Love theatre and the arts? You’ll find plenty to enjoy at the Theatre Royal, its sidekick The Drum, and Plymouth Arts Centre.

If cinema is more your thing visit Cineworld at Drake Circus The Barcode with its IMAX and 4DX cinemas to enjoy the latest blockbusters. And with Dartmoor National Park just a short journey away, there’s plenty of reasons to visit Plymouth.


Travel to Plymouth and explore the underwater world at the UK’s largest aquarium, National Marine Aquarium. Then take a trip to the Hoe and see the famous Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse, visit the Mayflower Steps, commemorating the departure of the Mayflower to America in 1620, or enjoy a scenic walk along Plymouth Sound and Hoe.

The Box is Plymouth’s new cultural arts and heritage attraction and features world class exhibitions as well as contemporary arts programmes.

Sports and outdoors

Plymouth is home to teams in a huge range of sports, from Plymouth Argyle in football to the Plymouth Gladiators in speedway. And, of course, the city’s coastal location also makes it a popular choice for hiking and a wide range of watersports.

You can also take a dip in Tinside Lido, an amazing outdoor pool dating back to 1935, located right on the ocean's edge. The stunning scenery around Burrator Reservoir is a great spot, or pull on your walking boots and head out on the South West Coast Path National Trail. Try skiing on the dry slope at Plymouth Ski Slope.

Food and drink

With a great selection of restaurants, cafés, pubs and bistros you’ll never be short of dining options in Plymouth. Go to the Barbican for food from around the world, try Boringdon Hall for fine dining with local touches, or enjoy fresh seafood by the waterfront at Royal William Yard. If you like gin, a trip to the Black Friars Distillery, England's oldest working gin distillery, and the home of Plymouth Gin, is a must.

Music and nightlife

When it comes to nightlife, The Barbican has a good selection of pubs, bars and clubs, and Royal William Yard on the waterfront is home to lots of restaurants and bars too. You can also catch a show at the Theatre Royal.


Head to the Independent Quarter – in the West End – for funky boutiques and accessory shops. Or for big-name retailers try the shopping centre at Drake Circus.

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What is the main station at Plymouth?

Plymouth serves trains between London Paddington and Penzance as well as local branch line services to Gunnislake and smaller Plymouth and Cornish stations.

Which trains run directly to Plymouth?

Plymouth is serviced by a number of popular direct train routes from London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and as far south as Penzance, Cornwall.

What is the best time to travel to Plymouth?

Travel off-peak to enjoy a smoother journey on our less crowded train services.

Train tickets to Plymouth

Explore this lively ocean city with its historic harbour, the UK’s largest aquarium, a vibrant arts scene and a National Park on its doorstep. Whatever brings you to Plymouth, book your trains with GWR and pay no booking fees.