BRI­TAIN'S OCEAN CITY

Just a few min­utes south of the ru­ral glo­ries of Dart­moor Na­tional Park lies the re­mark­able sea­port of Ply­mouth on the Devon/corn­wall bor­der - a vi­brant and his­toric sur­vivor to re­mind us of days gone by but never for­got­ten.

Exclusively British - - CONTENTS - Words | ROBIN GLOVER

Ply­mouth is a re­mark­able sea­port - a vi­brant and his­toric sur­vivor to re­mind us of days gone by but never for­got­ten. →

PLY­MOUTH IS THE CITY WHERE, in 1620, the Pil­grim Fa­thers spent their last night on land be­fore bravely sail­ing to the New World, reach­ing land on 21st Novem­ber, the ori­gin of that great US hol­i­day. Its har­bour also saw, a few decades ear­lier, in 1577, Fran­cis Drake set off on a voy­age of state-sanc­tioned piracy which be­came the first English cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion of the world, re­turn­ing in 1580, and in its close em­brace has the Royal Navy been cos­seted since the 17th cen­tury. Ply­mouth fully de­serves its recog­ni­tion as a Bri­tish mar­itime icon. 45 easy-driv­ing miles be­yond Exeter brings you to this (orig­i­nally) an­cient city, much da­m­aged dur­ing WW2 but re­tain­ing hun­dreds of unique and charm­ing de­lights, within its bounds, and with all the sea­side at­trac­tions you could wish for, on the doorstep or at least within a short ferry-ride. The area now known as Sut­ton Har­bour and the Bar­bican is truly un­for­get­table for its many out­stand­ing his­toric build­ings, of gran­ite and Tu­dor brick, and maze of cob­bled lanes and streets. Look out for Jackas Bak­ery, in busi­ness, on this very site, since 1597 and Bri­tain’s old­est gin dis­tillery where, since 1793, Ply­mouth Gin has been pro­duced in a 14th cen­tury build­ing first oc­cu­pied by the Black Fri­ars. For the throngs of folk not con­tent with re­fresh­ment at one of the many dock­side ale­houses (try the Dol­phin, one of the old­est and most orig­i­nal) sat­is­fac­tion will be found in the sheer va­ri­ety of bars, cafés and in­ter­na­tional restau­rants that have opened for busi­ness in this spe­cial zone around the har­bour and its ma­rina. Take a short stroll around the head­land, with the stun­ning views of the Sound to your left, and an­other mirac­u­lous ar­chi­tec­tural sur­vivor awaits. The fab­u­lously-grand, art-deco Tin­side Lido was built in 1935, at the height of a boom in out­door bathing, and is pro­tected by a Grade 2 list­ing. Con­sid­ered one of the finest open-air pools in Eu­rope, it is the per­fect place from which to watch the boats go by. How­ever, you, like Sir Fran­cis Drake be­fore you, might vote for the view from the Hoe, on the grassy hill over­look­ing the lido, and leg­end has it that, in 1588, his friendly pas­time of bowls was in­ter­rupted by the sight­ing of the ships of the dis­tinctly un­friendly Span­ish Ar­mada,

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