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Plymouth in General

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Plymouth is a city of 243,795 inhabitants (2001 census) in the southwest of England, or alternatively the Westcountry, and is situated within the traditional county of Devon. It is located at the mouths of the rivers Plym and Tamar and at the head of one

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      07.04.2010 02:31
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      A lot of potential, worth a visit (just not a long one!)

      I grew up in Plymouth and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the city. I think the most important thing to be said is that it is a city bursting with potential, but very little has been done to exploit this potential and turn it into the thriving city it could be. Sadly, Plymouth has a grisly reputation with outsiders and has become known for being a dirty city, with high levels of crime and few redeeming features, when in fact this is far from the truth. One only needs to look out onto the Plymouth Sound on a bright day or wander down to the Barbican to realise what this city has to offer.

      LOCATION

      The location is *ideal*...you're by the sea, yet only a short car/bus journey from the moors, and right next to Cornwall. The biggest city in Cornwall/Devon, Plymouth is an important hub for many living in the south west.

      ARCHITECTURE

      Sadly, as a Naval base Plymouth really suffered during WWII. For this reason there is a lot of 'plate glass' and modern architecture, some dynamic, inventive - though controversial (the Levinsky building) and some...well, the less said the better (no names). For this reason there isn't a lot of cohesion in the town centre, the main focus of which is now the Drake Circus shopping centre (the Westcountry's most popular shopping centre) featuring over 60 shops including Marks & Spencer, Next and Primark. There is also an expansive car par with 1,200 car parking spaces.

      The Hoe/The Barbican

      The jewel of the city, Plymouth Hoe is the large, open public space surrounding the seafront, commanding stunning views of the Plymouth Sound.

      The Barbican is the name given to the old harbour area and is one of the few parts of the city to survive The Blitz. Here, you'll find picturesque, old, cobbled streets and Tudor dwellings, including 'The Elizabethan House' an old house built in the early 16th century which is now a museum. The Barbican is a real tourist must-see as it features 'The Mayflower Steps' where it is believed the Pilgrim Brothers set off for America in 1920. It also includes the studio gallery of famous artist Robert Lenkiewicz, the National Marine Aquarium (the largest aquarium in the U/K and the deepest in Europe) and the Plymouth Gin Distillery. The Barbican has a very bohemian feel to it, mainly comprising of galleries, gift shops, restaurants and bars.

      Student Life

      The students in Plymouth are fast becoming a defining feature of the city itself. The University has expanded rapidly over the last 10 years, the campus has expanded, and the 'North Hill' area has been transformed into a student hub with a bustling nightlife.

      As such, there is a real disparity in the city between the North Hill area (populated with students and young people), Union Street (younger Plymouthians) the Barbican area (young professionals + older Plymouthians), sadly I don't think this does anything to help the city's crime levels and means that the city centre itself is transformed into a no-mans land at night.

      Entertainment

      Plymouth has plenty to keep you entertained whatever your tastes: you can ice-skate at Plymouth Pavillions, see a matinee at the Theatre Royal, go bowling at Barbican Leisure Park, shop at Drake Circus, see a Football match at Home Park, watch the fish at the aquarium, ski at the dry slope at Marsh Mills, amble round The National Trust's Saltram House, play bowls on the hoe (I said 'whatever your tastes'!) and the list goes on...

      Food

      Plymouth is filled to the brim with restaurants, bistros and cafe bars. The first thing I would say is that it would be nice to see more variety (a wider range of cuisines perhaps?). And that, considering how close Plymouth is to the sea, it's astonishing (and shocking!) that there are so few seafood restaurants (there are only two that I'm aware of (correct me if I'm wrong)...The Seafood and Pasta Restaurant on Quay Rd and The Fish Market Restaurant - both are unremarkable. You'll easily find your favourite chain restaurants here, though: Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia, Pizza Express, La Tasca...But if you're keen to try something a bit different, here's my top 5:

      1. Tanner's Restaurant: Is owned by the Tanner Brothers (Chris and James have achieved celebrity status due to their appearance on a number of popular TV food programmes). The food is the best you'll find in Plymouth (by a long shot), but - for the city - the prices are high (approx. £40 p/h). If you don't want to shell out that much The Barbican Kitchen, their bistro on The Barbican is also very good (approx. £25 p/h).

      2. The Souk: This informal, colourful Moroccan-style canteen offers a range of Moroccan and African-style dishes in tapas and main course style (approx £20 p/h).

      3. Platters: The most authentic fish restaurant in Plymouth, Platters' family restaurant has been serving customers a wide range of fresh fish for over 20 years now (£25 p/h).

      4. Yukisan: The first Japanese restaurant in Devon, Yukisan offer an exquisite selection of authentic Japanese dishes including sushi, yakitori, tempura, lobster, oysters, steak, fish, and sashimi (£35 p/h).

      5. Lorenzo's: Lorenzo's Spanish tapas bar is a brightly coloured, informal bistro perfect for sharing a bottle of wine and a few tapas with friends. The food is always tasty, the portions generous and the prices cheap (£20 p/h).

      Nightlife

      The city has a thriving nightlife with plenty of bars and clubs to keep even the most seasoned party-goer content. If you're a student head towards the cheap and cheerful bars on North Hill, a clubber to Revolution, Varsity, Walkabout or Oceana, or if you enjoy your cocktails you might like Carpe Diem on North Hill or The Treasury near the Barbican, but your most important port of call has to be the bar at The Plymouth Gin Distillery where they serve the best 'Bramble' I've ever tried (and I've tried a few - trust me!).

      Arts/Culture

      Sadly there isn't a lot going on in Plymouth in terms of Arts/Culture. However, the Theatre Royal is a real gem in the city and plays host to a whole range of productions including Ballet, Musicals, Opera, Pantomime...The Arts Centre on The Barbican is an intriguing gallery that also contains a cinema (showing the less commerical/mainstream films that you won't find at Vue, the city's multiplex). It also includes a restaurant 'The Green Room' that offers a range of organic cuisine and regularly holds themed evenings where you can enjoy a film and a three course meal for a set price. The city's Museum & Art Gallery is definitely worth a visit, witnessing both permanent collections and special exhibitions.

      People

      As with most of the Westcountry, you'll find people here are much friendlier than in the South East (just don't head to Union St. a 3am). The Plymouth species are jokingly referred to as 'Janners' and if you're wondering what that is coming out of their mouth that's 'Janner', the dialect of English spoken by many inhabitants of Plymouth...everything is pluralised and 'u' is pronounced 'o' - I hope that helps!

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      21.02.2010 09:39
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      Beautiful place to live

      I have lived in Plymouth for about 3 years now, I didn't really know anything about the town, except for when I used to come down for ice skating when I was younger, the only thing I could remember was the toys r us.

      I started off coming down for day trips, this is how my partner convinced me to move, I couldn't believe all the beautiful places surrounding the city.

      It took me 3 years to know my way around and I still get lost in Royal Parade lol. I know there is crime everywhere you go but I don't notice it here. I have moved around a lot in those three years and have never had to experience any trouble, which was a daily thing in my home town.

      I think Plymouth has something to offer everyone from babies to OAPs, and the council really look after the city, there are a few run down areas but in general most of the streets are clean and tidy. You will see a lot of police walking around, this worried me at first, but I now know that they don't do it for anything in particular they just make themselves involved in the community, which I think is nice and makes you feel safe even though the crime in the city isn't that bad.

      Everything is on your doorstep, you have Zoo and Dartmoor just up the road, Cornwall 15 minutes away and some beautiful secluded beaches hidden away on the outskirts.

      Within the city there is something to do for all ages whatever your budget.

      Local Attractions -

      Dartmoor Zoo is located on the outskirts of Plymouth, a bus is available from the city centre to get there. The zoo itself is a great way to have a family day out offering great value for money.

      National Marine Aquarium is a must see if visiting the city, they have a wide variety of sea creatures and have lots of things to keep kids entertained. Admission charges are pricey but great value for money.

      Bovisand Beach is beautiful and always clean, the sand is soft and the beach has cliffs on either side, this beach is also great for catching crabs in the rock pool, its also likely that you will be able to find a secluded part of the beach to enjoy your stay.

      Wembury Beach is situated near Plymstock and is more popularly used, mainly because it has a café and shop near, the beach its self is clean and is well known for its rock pools.

      Plymouth City Museum is a great way to see many beautiful and unique pieces of artwork.

      Barbican is a great place to go if you have a large or small budget, filled with quirky shops and great bars and restaurants if you walk through the Barbican you will come to the Hoe where there is a park, greenery and children's bouncy castle and rides.

      There are many more reasons to visit or live in the city, the schools are great and most have very good ofsted reports, I currently go to the Plymouth college and my experience of it has been noting but superb. The university have good success rates and always come highly recommended by its students.

      I couldn't ask for more in a city, you have the hussle and bussle of the city but travel just a small distance out of the city and you find yourself in beautiful countryside's or tranquil settings.

      A top place to live.

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        10.06.2009 10:59
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        Great place if you are not looking for "cutting edge"

        The City of Plymouth, on the banks of the river Tamar stands, at the Gateway to Cornwall. It has got everything for the holiday maker and daytripper. It is an ideal base from which to explore Devon and Cornwall. If it's sun sea and air you are after, you've come to the right place. In Plymouth you are never far from the sandy beaches of Devon or the more rugged beaches of Cornwall that so well known for their water sports.

        Plymouth has attractions by the dozen like the Plymouth Dome, situated on the Hoe, where you can explore the role and history of Plymouth as a seafaring city. Stand on the Hoe, where the bowling green is a reminder of the game that Sir Frances Drake played before he beat the Spanish Armada. Visit the Aquarium where you can learn about the latest in undersea technology. Walk through the Barbican where you can see the historic spot where the Pilgrim Fathers left England for the New World (America). Just a few yards down the road the famous Plymouth Gin distillery is a popular destination for thousands of visitors every year opposite the quirky "House that Jack Built".

        Wander around the pedestrianised city centre, sit by the fountains, sculptures, plant boxes and lush gardens. Sample the local delicacies at one of the pavement cafes. Try the shopping experience at the New shopping Mall where you can find all the main retailers.

        Catch a West End Show at the Theatre Royal or a music gig at the Plymouth Pavillions. If you are into sport, you can go skating and swimming at the Plymouth Pavillions or take part in water sport, football, tennis and hockey at Central Park. A large student population ensures a lively night scene.

        There is lots to see and do in Plymouth, and the people are warm and friendly. It may not be the most modern city in the country, but it has a big heart.

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          28.01.2009 19:50

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          South West Town

          Plymouth has quite a bad reputation, it's known to be a bit dirty and uncared for, with outdated buildings and high levels of crime and vandalism. i must admit, every time i've been to plymouth in the last few years this has proved to be the case, which is a shame, as it could be a real hub.

          it has all the usual shops and boutiques, with a semi decent night life, and there are some famous bands and acts that play there which is a bonus for people from cornwall.

          it has travel links but both the train and bus station need cleaning and modernising, they're very grotty and don't generally encourage people to stay!

          One of the good things Plymouth does have going for it, however, is it's live bands - quite often bands won't travel down into Cornwall due to the lack of decent venues, so Plymouth will be their most south westerly stop - perfect if you like there!

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          10.01.2009 21:09
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          Great place to visit and shop! Why not try a night out there too!

          I have visited Plymouth a few times since i moved to the Westcountry. Plymouth is a city in Devon, close to the sea. It is home to quite a few military bases.

          There is a lot to do in Plymouth, by day and by night. With lots of pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, Union Street is popular with the locals and the students alike. With a vast number of people decending upon it for a big night out most nights out of the week.

          By day, there are so many options. Why not take a walk to the Barbican or the Hoe? Have a look around the National Marine Aquarium at the vast sea life. If that doesnt tickle your fancy, there is also an indoor Ice Rink, Dry Ski Slope and Bowling alley. Not to mention the huge Multi screen Cinema.

          Shopping in Plymouth is a joy, with the massive Drakes Circus shopping centre along with its high street. Within the centre of the city is a Church, within a roundabout which was blitzed in WW2. Back then most of Plymouth's wonderful buildings where damaged or destroyed.

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          25.09.2008 18:34

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          It may surprize you

          I have lived in Plymouth for 5 1/2 years now, and really love it.
          It has the advantage of being sandwiched between Dartmoor, and the sea, so depending on how the mood takes you, you can head off to the beach or walk the solitary moors, looking out for the Dartmoor Ponies.
          Plymouth is a town that was fairly devasted by WW2 bombing, so a lot of its finest buildings have been lost, but walk along the Hoe, where Sir Francis Drake was playing his game of bowls, before heading off with the Armada. Meander thought the streets of the Barbican, with the plymouth Gin Distillery as a notable ditraction. Visit the Mayflower exhibtion, and def visit the Aquarium, which is really fantastic. Reggie Perrins is a vegetarain indian restaurant that is well worth a visit
          The new shopping centre Drakes circus, has dramtically improved shopping in Plymouth, but its really all the same stores.
          You can always catch a ferry to france- Roscoff, or Spain- Santander from here. Its a good stopping off point.

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          10.03.2002 01:53
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          Welcome to Plymouth, the largest city in the Westcounty famous for its history, especially its maritime links from the fine county of Cornwall Geographically Plymouth is way down in the south west on the border between Devon and Cornwall on the south coast. Of course that means it is in Cornwall though locals deny this and Exeter people claim this, hence the title. The river Tamar passes through Plymouth to its mouth and estuary and this is the border line between the counties. It is the largest city in Devon in terms of population close to 200,000 people. Despite that Exeter is the capital of Devon as it has the administration and county council buildings, while Plymouth is the industrial city. Getting there is easy, though is a long drive from any part of the county, about five hours from London. By car the main road into Plymouth is the A38. Just get onto the M5 motorway and keep going south towards the south west. Past Exeter the motorway turns into the A38 and branches in two one to Torquay and other to Plymouth. It is easily signposted and good roads all the way. The A38 leads into the city and beyond branching for the city center and ring road for other parts. Plymouth station is also on the main London and Edinburgh lines. The airport is in decline as it is surrounded by housing and cannot expand though provides internal flights. Plymouth also has a large naval history with Devonport dock providing jobs. This has recently been in the news as a nuclear submarine has docked there adding to the economy but at a potentially huge cost. Plymouth also has a reputation for being an area of high unemployment as these old industries decline. Tourism is the most prosperous industry now taking over from others. Things such as the Barbican and Marine Aquarium have been built in an attempt to revive the place and recently it has grown as a retail and shopping district. The main high street is a fully pedestrian only zone and has al
          l the usual shops and brand names. They have a Disney shop as well and a few specialist stores. There is one street with literally seven banks and building societies in a row and that is all there is on the street, that amuses me and there are several fast food outlets in and around the city center. The water front and docks are within walking distance. Nothing too outrageous there are plenty of nice stores and spacious though standard city shopping and CBD zone. Lots of concrete though they have tried with greenery to make it look a little nicer it is still pretty gray. Provides basic needs and is good source for shoppaholics out there. Some pubs in the city center no recommendations from me as I am not an expert and there are plenty of nice restaurants around if you look not too far away. The hard truth is that Plymouth is not that nicer place to look at. Much of this is due to heavy bombing during the war and quick rebuilding making it a concrete jungle and some very deprived areas. There are poor places where jobs are scarce and the result is not pretty. In the war like Exeter Plymouth was bombed. Exeter had no strategically importance just in revenge for the Nuremberg raids they tried to take out a nice city and the cathedral. They missed the cathedral, but took many lives. Plymouth was bombed even more intensely because of its importance as a dock and navy backing. Unfortunately civilians got in the way, and huge area of the city was totally destroyed. The rebuilding was done with speed not beauty in mind and the result is not too nice to look at. Many streets just look alike and buildings are basically ugly. One of the nicest areas of Plymouth is the waterfront and the barbican area as well as the Hoe. It has been recently renovated at a large cost and as a result looks much nicer. It is geared towards tourists with lots of shops around there, and there are plenty of places to eat around the area. On the waterfront is the new Nation
          al Marine Aquarium. A decent place if you like staring at fish for a few hours is your sort of thing. I was not too impressed by this as it was a bit boring though is a nice building and seems popular and if you are visiting is worth a visit. The Hoe is also worth a visit, again towards tourists there are signs saying what happened and is pretty interesting and nice to look at. Generally around the waterfront it is nice to have a look around to see what is happening, providing the weather is nice. Fishing still goes on and there are plenty of boats. The Barbican is full of the arts, crafts and nice cafes around to wander and is generally very pretty. The Plymouth Done is good for an educational view, it describes the history of the city, though is more entertaining than many museums. Sir Francis Drake had to finish a game of bowls on the Hoe before fighting the Spanish departing from Plymouth and it was also the starting point of the Pilgrim fathers on their way to America aboard the Mayflower, just parts of the history around Plymouth. It is a fine place for history and a sense it can still be found despite having to re-build after the war. Accommodation varies in Plymouth, and should be able to suit whatever you want and need. There are some top four and five star hotels around that are great services though I have not stayed in any. There are also middle of the road places and lots of things for people on a cheaper budget. Also plenty of warm and friendly guest houses and bed and breakfasts around. The nightlife in Plymouth is interesting. To compare it to other large cities like London or Birmingham would be unfair, but compared to the surroundings it is a hive of activity. Basically it is able to draw from all areas, tourists and the countryside so is good with a selection of clubs again in scales and prices. Plymouth also has a University, once a polytechnic and is now building a decent reputation for itself. As a result there are a fair number of st
          udents in the city and things can be geared towards them. Many places offer student discounts and so on, the nightlife reflects this. Slightly out of town is the Warmer Village, basically a large entertainments complex full of cinemas, food and other things. Great fun for me, and if that sort of thing could be for you then well worth a visit, one of the best in the region. Sports and Entertainments are good in Plymouth and are getting better. Plymouth Pavilions is one of the best examples of this, a top quality entertainment place purposely built. It hosts conferences and concerts as well as a fun swimming pool and an ice rink. There are also other full size 25m pools and gyms in the city and the surrounding area. The theater Royal is also worth a look to see what is on. Next season Plymouth will also have a second division football team. Of course they deny they are Cornish and of course the rest of Devon says they are in response. They aren’t really, though the football team gets support from all over Cornwall, and that is a pretty big audience. Mostly born out of jealously it is an insult and a cheap pun for the title. Plymouth Argyle look certain for automatic promotion, though by this time next year they could be coming straight back down. They have a new 18,000 stadium after the redevelopment of Home Park which stage two of its redevelopment should be completed this summer. The city council have come under a lot of pressure as they paid in full for the ground and now after a budget deficit are having to adjust elsewhere like education and especially old peoples homes and pensions. The new ground does look great though and they are a good side. I hope the Plymouth Exeter football rivalry does not become a fiction event though it could become that. The ground is right on the A38, a pretty spectacular site and good luck to them. Well there you have it, Plymouth. I think I have managed to keep my Exeter prejudices out of here, pret
          ty good going for me. Seriously it is not the nicest place to visit for sight seeing though there are some attractions, especially the waterfront. Not always the nicest to look at, though investments are there. Nice enough place and a center for some much nicer areas such as Cornwall and the South cost of Devon and worth a look if you are down. (How comes Plymouth is a major city under the UK and Ireland travel guides on dooyoo while Exeter is not? Disgraceful and that has made me very sad :( . Chris)

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            23.12.2001 15:05
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            From a small port which acted as the starting-point for Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Pilgrim Fathers, Plymouth has become the largest city in south-west England west of Bristol. One hundred years ago, there were the ‘three towns’ of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse. Now it has become a vast sprawling mass of villages converging on a new city centre, based on the area within walking distance of the seafront. Most of the city’s historical sights (and sites) are to be found here. Three small but homely museums (admission each £1, or 50p children/senior citizens) should be mentioned - the Prysten House (the oldest building in central Plymouth, dating from the 14th century, with some of its original features carefully restored); the Merchant’s House (a medium-sized comprehensive display of Plymouth history, with an emphasis on the Victorian period) and Elizabethan House (a small restored 16th-century dwelling with some contemporary furniture). On Plymouth Hoe you will find Smeaton’s Tower, currently being renovated, Plymouth Dome (a modern museum with audio-visual displays of local history, mostly focusing on World War II, admission £4, £3.40 senior citizens, £2.60 children), and the National Marine Aquarium (£6.75, £5.20 senior citizens, £4 children). The Barbican is the heart of old Plymouth, with cobbled streets, narrow lanes and historic buildings which survived the bombing of World War II. This is where you’ll find the smell of the harbour (not always a recommendation), the best craft and gift shops, home bakeries, antique malls and markets. Try New Street Antique Market for vintage postcards (something I can never resist), to say nothing of the only really worthwhile second-hand bookshop in the whole city, packed with piles of books on every subject that are well worth a good rummage as long as you’re not in a hurry. It is also home to a cluster of small but inviting art g
            alleries. Beryl Cook and Robert Lenkiewicz are very much local heroes of the art world, and the latter is noted for his rather risqué figure studies, not least huge murals in the Barbican and adjoining streets of prominent local dignitaries in a state of undress. Mr L is not a man with whom one crosses bureaucratic swords lightly. Also here is the Blackfriars Distillery, home of Plymouth Gin, which does guided tours on application. The Mayflower Steps marks the site from which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed in 1620, and there are several other plaques commemorating various departures and landings of bygone times. Just a few minutes’ walk away is modern Plymouth, the city centre which was almost completely destroyed in the Blitz and is still undergoing reconstruction. Three or four streets will provide you with all the regular high street names, from Boots, Waterstones, WHS, and Woolworths, to Toys’R’Us, HMV, Virgin, MVC, and Thorntons. A large pannier market is packed with vendors of everything from bargain clothes and bric-a-brac to food, records, and watches. Dingles is the city’s major department store. Plymouth’s shopping centre is convenient and functional, but often criticized as being like a collection of sterile concrete blocks. Recent planning decisions have pedestrianized the area and gone some way to landscaping it more attractively. Also currently under redevelopment is the main bus and coach station at Exeter Street, a notorious eyesore which has attracted much adverse comment in the local press and is at long last being refurbished. For entertainment, the Theatre Royal is the main venue for touring drama and opera productions and pantomime, while the Pavilions is the place for rock, pop, comedy gigs and sporting events. Clubbing is the preserve of Union Street and Mayflower Street nearby. Just north of the main shopping centre, in North Hill, are the university on one side, the cen
            tral library - yours truly’s first employer - and city museum & art gallery, both adjacent opposite. The latter has a rolling series of temporary exhibitions, and large permanent displays of local ceramics (in the 18th-century local man Thomas Cookworthy was the first in England to produce successful hard paste porcelain), archaeology and natural history. Unfortunately it is rather restricted by lack of space, which means only a small amount of its rather fine art collection can be displayed at any one time. This includes some superb local landscapes, including the 19th-century Newlyn School, as well as good Camden Town Group pictures, but they languish in the basement too much of the time. If going by car, parking in Plymouth is no picnic. City centre parks are few and far between, and extremely pricey. There is limited free street parking in the Cattedown and Mutley areas, a few minutes’ walk from the Hoe and shopping centre areas, if you don’t mind walking. Moreover, putting your vehicle in a 24-hour multi-storey overnight is not recommended if you want to find it in the same condition as you left it (I don’t speak from experience, only the warnings of friends and car park attendants), but I suspect the same goes for most cities these days. Should historic houses be your speciality, there is a list of places within a few miles. Mount Edgcumbe is especially noted for its gardens, while just over the Cornish border are Cotehele and Antony House, and just outside the city is Saltram House (whener ‘Sense and Sensibility’ was filmed a few years ago), and Buckland Abbey, in Elizabethan times the house of Drake, nine miles north in the Tavistock direction. A few miles beyond lies England’s last wilderness, Dartmoor National Park (or Dartmoor Forest, to give it its old name) – worth a full opinion in itself. As for a personal view on Plymouth, it’s difficult for me to sum up objectiv
            ely. They say familiarity breeds contempt. I’ve lived in the area, though outside the city, since childhood, and I’ve always worked here. Sometimes I’ve loved it, sometimes I’ve found it merely useful, other times it’s bored me. Also I write at a time of change. The city has taken the brunt of ‘peace dividend’-associated job cuts, particularly in the defence field. An area which depended until very recently on its dockyard and maritime industries is in the throes of, quote, rediscovering itself, if that doesn’t sound pretentious. For all that, there is a wealth of history to be seen, the shopping facilities are good, there is plenty to do and see. And if you ever want to get away from it all, yours truly’s beloved Dartmoor is never far away! Recommended websites: www.plymouth.gov.uk www.plymouthcitycentre.co.uk For more on Lenkiewicz: www.robertlenkiewicz.co.uk/

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              23.07.2001 00:13
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              I Have lived in Plymouth for 16 years and now i've moved away, I do get terribly homesick for it. Although I do agree with most of the other opinions written here, I do feel the need to balance the scales a little bit. The clothes shops in Plymouth are DIRE!! If you want to go on a shopping spree you would need to go as far as Bristol at least, as Exeter is just as bad. There are very few shops to chose from, and the ones that are there are quite small, so contain very little variety, and the clothes are all very similar or the same in most of the shops. Be warned, if you are thinking of going to Plymouth for a holiday or for Uni, do not expect a great choice of clothing. Having said that, Plymouth does have a lot to offer, I will not bore you by going over old ground, mentioned in other postings, but do not just stick to the city itself. Plymouth is a great place to base yourself for venturing onto the moors. Dartmoor has a wonderful array of places to explore, try Shaugh Prior or Cadover Bridge. Both of these are delightful moorland spots, with a beautiful clear river running through them. If you want to get away from the crowds, pick up your picnic blanket and the sarnies and hear along the river. Most people tend to sit where they can park their cars, so further along the river you find few people, and its much quieter and serene. The river itself always seems to be crystal clear, although take shoes you can wear in the water as the rocks can sometimes be sharp and slippery. Whilst you're enjoying your day out, treat yourself to a Devonshire cream tea, or some great ice-cream. Langage Farm ice-cream is the best ever, and you can actually buy it on the farm itself. Out towards Plympton, near the industrial estate, I think it is actually sign posted now! Even their standard flavours like chocolate and vanilla are better than any you've ever tasted. And they have unusual flavours as well, like thunder and lightning which I
              seem to remember has honeycomb pieces in it...Yummy!!

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                16.05.2001 19:16
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                A students life is a hard one, your forced to live in low quality housing for an extortionate price by either a corporate land lord of an old miser who makes Rigsby out of ‘Rising Damp’ look like a softy. Not to mention the endless hassle of deadlines, debt (which I’d say 99% of students experience, unless daddy is paying!), and people always taking the piss because we are students, and therefore must be of the lowest form of life. For the last two years almost, I have been attending Plymouth University studying geography. Unlike most students in Plymouth I live in an excellent house for hardly any money, but please don’t tell our land lord that! The University itself is situated along the main Plymouth – Exeter road which runs through the centre of the city, and is just off the roundabout before Charles Cross (the one with the bombed out church in the centre). It also has one of the best geography departments in the country, and can boast some world-renowned lectures in their chosen field. In recent years it has also had a lot of more spent on upgrading the existing facilities, from the former polytechnic to its current university status. Plymouth in the last 50 – 100 years, has lost some of its importance in the United Kingdom with the decline of the dockyard, and naval base. It was once famous for Sir Francis Drake, and the nasty Spaniards turning up one day for a fight in their boats, and him telling them to wait until he had finished his bowels on Plymouth Hoe. It still does however had some excellent shops in the main high street, these include the main high street retailers including, Topshop, Dixons, Argos, WHSmiths, Woolworth’s, Boots, HMV, Virgin, Moss Bros., etc. Sometimes these shops do not stock the whole range of their products, but they are fairly comprehensive, and a lot better than anything in the immediate area. If you wish to eat in Plymouth then there is alway
                s somewhere to eat for all pockets, there is the obligatory plastic food outlets, including KFC (best of a bad lot), Mc Donald’s, Burger King, etc. If its pub grub that you want, then I can recommend The Hogshead, which serves fresh food, at a reasonable price. As always if its something to stuff your face with after a couple of shandy's and a good night out, then there are millions of places to eat, which are open to the early hours of the morning. The clubs in Plymouth are different to say the least; I have experienced clubs in Newquay, Truro, Edinburgh, London, Cardiff, and a couple of other places up and down the country, and Plymouth are different to all of them. You have your upmarket clubs such as Millennium, which is clean with big dance floors and space, oh the space! The drink's prices however do match the quality of the establishment. I can strongly suggest that clubbing during the week is your best option, and preferable on a student night. You will not find that difficult as student nights extend from Mondays (Le Kepi Blanc), through to Thursday (JFK’s and Millennium). They are great night outs but not for the feint hearted. Not all the clubs are any good, some are your usual dingy places, with watered down drinks, poor music and no people. A good tip I have found in telling the quality of a club is the carpet, if its sticky then go someplace else. Accommodation is the same as every other city in the country; you have a choice of a luxury hotel, for a couple of hundred pounds a night to a little fleapit for a pittance. After all in this world you get what you pay for, and money does make the world go around. Plymouth also has great transport links as you would expect to find in a regional capital, the train station is on the main line from Edinburgh, Cardiff central, and London, this however is when they do run, which sometimes as I have experienced is not all the time. It also has a huge bus station w
                here all of the major companies run buses too and from, as well as the city hopper, and stage buses. You also can expect to find an abundance of taxi firms, and mini cabs, most of these are reputable but best check first as its better to be safe than sorry. The Barbican This area of Plymouth is one of the best looking parts of the city, in recent years it has had millions of pounds spent on doing the area up, and making it look good for the tourists. It has a wide selection of small shops selling collectibles and souvenirs, depending on your taste. It also is the home to the world famous Plymouth Gin, a favourite of mine, and you can even get the chance to look around the distillery for the exchange of a few pounds, (free sample included!) Another recent addition to the Barbican is the national Marine Aquarium, I haven’t been personally but my sister took her two young sons to see it when they had the shark exhibition on last year, and they loved it. This is probably one of the most glowing recommendations that it can receive, as I know how demanding they can be, so it must be good. The Hoe is also a great place to go when the weather is good, it can boast some brilliant scenery, including a good view of Drakes Island. You can also see the very sight where the great man himself was playing bowls when those naughty Spaniards decided that they wanted a rumble. It is also the home of the original Eddystone lighthouse, which is currently being given a face-lift. And then of course you have got Plymouths very own answer to the millennium dome, the ‘Plymouth Dome’, which basically is a big building with a dome roof, and tells you about the history of the city. Plymouth can also boast a Warner Village, for those people who are not familiar with this set up I will explain. The Warner Village consists of a bowling ally, multi screen cinema, restaurant, pub (with a late licence), and a nightclub, as well as t
                he now obligatory Mc Donald’s. You could spend days in this place but I wouldn’t advice it, as you would have to mortgage you kidneys to pay for it. On the plus side however they do offer concessions to students, so it’s not all bad. In general Plymouth is not a bad place to live or visit, being a country lad I do miss the open fields, and the fact that where I live to everybody knows everybody else, and they are all friendly to each other, but I expect that’s just city life for you. The only down side I have found to Plymouth is that I’m sure it has more than its fair share of rainy days, but these I have found can be combated by going to the pub, where it doesn’t rain! P.S. I apologise if this review seem to be a bit sketchy as I’m feeling slightly under the weather, but feeling a lot better than BJEEE who doesn’t feel very good at all. I swear they must have put something in our squash last night; it just goes to show that you can’t trust anybody.

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                13.01.2001 23:41
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                Situated in the south west of England, Plymouth is on the Devon /Cornwall boundaries. A city with a huge population (Several million) Plymouth is deemed as a desirable place to visit and live. Its geographical position means that the Naval dockyard and busy port can operate without too much hindrance. Also, it is known for its active nightlife and famous for important historical reasons(Mayflower sailing, Sir Francis Drake etc). Residing in Plymouth for 99% of my life, I feel that I am fairly qualified to write a knowledgeable account of Plymouth in general, as with any city there are good and bad aspects. Getting here is easy, by coach to Bretonside bus station, by train(ha ha)by plane, yes we do have a tiny airport, or by car.(Head down the M5 follow the A38 and turn off before the big bridge). Flattened by the Germans in World war two, Plymouth has risen from the ashes. There is a monument in the middle of one of the town roundabouts, which serves as a reminder. Charles Church was destroyed in the Blitz, and was never rebuilt. Part of the city was less lucky and was raised to the ground, purely because of Plymouths Dockyard. Plymouths main city centre church St Andrews stood the war well, and is amongst many that weathered that era. Plymouth has an immense city centre shopping area, in which most of the leading high street stores are situated. The area has been recently pedestrians, allowing easy access for all, wheelchairs and pushchairs included. It has been tastefully done, with a large sundial in the centre of the shopping area (Which is normally filthy or foaming), and modern seating and lighting. There is an indoor pannier market too selling the usual market kind of stuff. In general there is a wide and assorted variety of wares to be found in Plymouth. Pepped up at certain times of year with craft fairs, displays and fairground rides. Parking is relatively easy as there
                are many car parks to choose from as well as on street parking in certain places. It will cost you about 70p an hour to park, watch for the 2-hour max stays though. The Barbican is where many of the cities curio and antique shops can be found. Within reasonable walking distance of the city centre this ancient part of Plymouth is still a favourite of visitors to the area. The atmosphere is that of older days, with narrow one-way streets and minimal parking the Barbican is really an on foot experience. There is now a glassworks, which is open to the public, and is easily a good couple of hour’s entertainment, in which local tradesmen display their glassblowing skills to the general public. There is a new marina, should you have visited by boat, but be warned that it is extremely expensive to berth there. Actually, there are a choice of several marinas and jetties for the more nautical travellers amongst us. Plymouth joins Cornwall by way of toll bridge or chain ferry; both cost £1.00 on the return into the city. Both of these services can become grid locked in the summer though, so if you are planning a journey try to find out what building work is being carried out on the Tamar bridge, which is currently undergoing major widening and strengthening work, on the odd occasion even causing total closure of the bridge. There is easy access to Dartmoor, so famous for its remoteness and natural beauty via car, or by the regular reliable public transport service that is provided in Plymouth. As Plymouth is a port, there is the possibility of utilising the water taxi system, which sets off from the Barbican to explore more of the surroundings. Very recently a water lock system was installed allowing foot passengers access to other parts of the Barbican that could previously only be accessed by a round car journey of 2 miles. And jolly interesting it is On the other side of the lock is one of Plymouth
                most recent crowning glories, The National Marine aquarium, again very interesting, but ridiculously expensive for residents of Plymouth to visit, and the new Fish Quay. Further up the sea front is the once proud art deco outdoor swimming pool, now in disrepair and a battleground for local politics on what is to become of it. I remember enjoying using it as a child and over the years is has been left to rot and ruin. A shame really, as Plymouths number one monument Smeatons Tower on the Hoe promenade is also in the same shocking state. I believe that funding has been made available to rectify Smeatons problems, so summer visitors may be privy to a revamped lighthouse on the Hoe. There are still small sea filled swimming pools on the seafront and diving boards into the sea, for the kamikazes amongst us (High tide use only, other wise highly dangerous). The Hoe is where the war memorial and statues to commemorate Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake have been erected, as it believed that Drake saw the Spanish Armada approaching whilst playing bowls on the Hoe. Plymouth has been ever expanding over recent years, which has seen the employment prospects of the area soar and rise according to the season. Residentially it is a lousy place for untrained unskilled labour in the winter months, but summer time sees employment for the masses. The people of Plymouth are very much like me, like you I hear you say, easy going, fairly laid back, and we love the slower rate of life that Plymouth seems to have. There are over half a dozen indoor public swimming pools in the cities boundaries with plans for more on the drawing boards. These are all pay to swim pools. There are few outdoor pools, but after a major refurbishment of Mount Wise Pools in Devonport these are superior and free. Sports facilities are superb, with many all over the city. Accommodation in the city is quite expensive and
                properties tend to be run by agencies with a few exceptions. However in the outlying areas renting property is more economical, but less easy to find. A quality one bed roomed flat in the city can start from £80 pw with a months deposit and rent in advance. That figure can be lowered by as much as half in the outskirts. There are many students in Plymouth, most of whom attend the local University or Further Education Colleges situated in the area, which reflects on the active nightlife in the town. Union street is the place where the nightlife is, from seedy little bars to massive complexes the district promises just about something for everyone. The primary and secondary schools are generally good, and seem to fare evenly with the rest of the country. Council services seem much as they are around the country with the same social and financial difficulties. The beaches in Plymouth are stony and pebbly until you broaden your horizons and take a nostalgic trip in the open topped bus to Fort Bovisand. There the beaches are sandy and in general very clean and safe to swim. The views from the surrounding cliff tops are stunning, and many people rent spaces in the local caravan parks adjacent to such beauty. It is possible to travel on Brittany ferries from Plymouth to Roscoff in France or Santander in Spain, and occasionally cruise ships stop by and collect passengers. Eating in the city is quite reasonably priced, and can cater for all tastes from the large burger and chicken bars, to the small homely speciality fish restaurants, from the good old fish and chips to the traditional Cornish pasty, and every exotic style of food in-between. Some places are obviously better than others. Hotels and B+Bs are widespread and can easily be located either on the Internet, or through the local tourist board. They are generally of a high standard, and incorporate some of the Hotel giants Holiday Inn,
                Novotel and Trusthouse Forte to name a few. There is a small cinema, and a Multiplex multi screen cinema, I have to say I prefer the smaller one, cheaper, less queues, food is better and cheaper, and the film is the same wherever we sit to watch it. Granted it has surround sound, and plush airline seats, but at a vastly extorted price. Our largest theatre The Theatre Royal has been home to many a Broadway hit, and is still very popular, although expensive is a lovely treat. The Pavillions leisure centre also has a great stage and has been host to the British snooker championships and appearances by all the countries music legends, as well as accommodating things for the younger viewers in the crowd. We have seen Bananas in Pyjamas, Barney and hope to see Polka dot shorts next month. Each visit has been a treat, and has been well received by the kids. Also inside the Pavillions complex are meeting rooms, the Atlantis fun pool and the ice-skating rink. We have skittle alleys, Go Kart racing and even a dried ski slope and toboggan run. What don’t I like about Plymouth?, well, not a lot really, apart from the fact it is normally raining here when there is brilliant sunshine everywhere else. The state of the historical monuments and…………. Because we are a tourist city we tend to be overcharged for just about everything, including our daily bread. It would be nice to see a slight reduction in prices during the winter months. But is that the price we have to pay for living in such a charming beautiful part of the country? Probably. I recommend a visit to Plymouth by you all.

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                  25.10.2000 23:34
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                  Plymouth as it is now is a combination of 3 towns Plymouth, Stonehouse and dock( Devonport) The most historic part of Plymouth is called the Barbican. There has been a harbour at the Barbican for hundreds of years. It is called Sutton Harbour which was the name of the origonal settlement. The Barbican is famous around the English speaking world because from there emmigration has taken place to almost every English speaking country. Probably the most famous is that of the Pilgrim Fathers to what is now the United States of America. Plymouth was not the place where the voyage started but it was the only place in England ( I understand) where they had a friendly reception (no different now either) and the place where they got their repairs before their final goodbyes to the old country. Just up the hill from the Barbican is St Andrews Church where there is a Door of Unity placed there by grateful Americans for the kind treatment recieved by Amercan Sailors who were fighting against England in one of our many wars with France. There are also other monuments to various cross Atlantic Crossings by sea and by air. The Australians (with the Tolpuddle martyrs) the New Zealanders, the Canadians etc all have their plaques and it makes interesting reading when the day is not sunny. When the days are wet, as they can be in this part of the world, there is lots to do around the Barbican. Where the old Fish Quay was is now a glass foundry and you can view (and buy) wonderful glasses and other objects being made. If you are hungry you can visit Capt'n Jaspers, a must in my opinion, where you can stand or sit on the quayside and eat from a stall that sells the best fast food you can buy, at least I think so as do many other sailors boys over the years. If you have a half a day to spare you can visit the National Marine Aquarium and see the shark exhibition and the fantastic breeding tanks of Sea horses. If you pick the right day youcan go
                  up towards the Hoe (of Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada fame)and visit the Citadel where the guns of the fort face towards the city as well as out to sea. This goes back to the days where Plymouth picked the wrong side in the English civil War. If you are younger (or young at heart) the Barbican comes alive at night. There are resturants(a wonderful fish resturant) and pubs (bars) galore. It can tend to get a bit boisterous at times but nothing like some would have you believe. You can even have a tipple where they made Plymouth Gin (and still do.) Plymouth is an excellent place for a holiday and I have only scratched the surface of its interests, and then there is Dartmoor (England's wild country) and the beautiful villages of the South Hams - and that's just Devon. Plymouth is the gateway the Cornwall - a wonderful country and you don't need a pasport -- but that's another story. Come and enjoy yourself.

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                  10.09.2000 22:52

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                  Much of the centre of historic Plymouth was destroyed by bombs in the 2nd world war. It was from here the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in the Mayflower. On Plymouths sea front is the hoe which gives good views of the area. They have a high tech vistor centre which interprets the past with visual and sound effects. Also radar, satellites and cameras monitor the weather and shipping activity. Plymouth is a naval port, Plymouth itself has two rivers the tamar and the plym they have created a natueral harbour, forming the boundary between Devon and Cornwall.

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