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City of Discovery
Plymouth in General
Member Name: wishywalshy
Plymouth in General
Date: 13/01/01, updated on 13/01/01 (136 review reads)
Advantages: Nice place to live
Disadvantages: Horrible weather
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?
I recommend a visit to Plymouth by you all.