Plymouth is the largest city in south west England, located on the south coast of Devon. This naval port sitting between the mouths of the River Plym and River Tamar has a population of a quarter million.
The city started as a fishing village which belonged to the Prior of Plympton. By starting a market in the 13th century the prior turned the village into a town and merchants and tradesmen set up business. A law of 1390 which said pilgrims leaving the country to venture abroad had to depart from the city or Dover was a boon to Plymouth.
The town was vulnerable to attack from the French in the medieval ages and the town was threatened and occupied a few times.
In Tudor times, after John Cabot discovered Newfoundland (Canada), Plymouth fishermen started fishing in those waters. Fishing was the main industry at that time. Sea trade opened with France, Spain and the rest of England. Wine, fruit, sugar, paper, hops, grain, coal etc. were imported and exported through the harbour.
At the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 the population was 5000, rising to 7000 when the civil war started in 1642, making the town one of the largest in England. The 17th century saw trade commence with colonies in the West Indies and America, including the tobacco trade. In 1693 a dockyard was built and the Admiralty placed officers, together with a storehouse and rope house, there. The dockyard began to boom and as it was two miles from the town centre a new residential area was built close by, expanding the population rapidly.
Eighteenth century Plymouth saw trade expand further, especially with the Mediterranean countries and new industries sprang up. For the citizens a theatre, bank, hospital and dispensary were opened. In 1801 the population of Plymouth was 19000 and that of Devonport, 23000. By 1851 the combined populations were 91,000.
After the Napoleonic wars, in 1815, the fortunes of Plymouth started to turn down as sailors and shipbuilders were laid off. However, the end of the century saw prosperous times start again with sanitary amenities, railway, library, trams etc. arriving for the benefit of the citizens. World links expanded, now taking in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
After WW1 slum clearance began and in 1928 the town was given city status. Then, the Second World War saw the city, as a major port and industrial centre, devastated by bombing, with the inner area completely destroyed. Post war saw rebuilding with a major shopping area and new Civic Centre appearing. Although new industries were introduced to the city unemployment was high, which wasn’t helped by the closure of the naval dockyards.
Revival started again with the opening of ferry links to France and Spain and the University coming into being. A new fish quay and marina have been built. Tourism and retail ensure that 21st century Plymouth flourishes.
Things to Do:
Located on Plymouth’s historic waterfront this is a buzzing, interesting area of the city. As well as soaking up maritime history you can indulge in activities such as fishing trips, boat rides around the harbour, visit the Plymouth Gin Distillery or organise a visit to tour the Royal Citadel, which is still a military establishment. There are also many eateries and leisure pursuits such as ten pin bowling.
National Marine Aquarium:
The UK’s largest aquarium is split into four themes, Plymouth Sound, British Coasts, Atlantic Ocean and Blue planet. Tickets are £14.75 for adults and £10.75 for children, plus various concessions.
There are a couple of eating areas and a family picnic park with great views over the harbour.
This was the third lighthouse to be erected at Eddystone and was designed by John Smeaton. Constructed in 1759 it was in use at Eddystone until 1877, when it was dismantled and re-erected on Plymouth Hoe. As it takes 93 steps to climb to the top, disabled people should make sure they can manage same before embarking the climb. Due to the lighthouse being closed on occasions for private functions it is best to contact the website www.plymouth,gov.uk for full information.
Over 700 years of history have passed at this lovely Abbey, starting with the Cistercian monks. Later, seafarers such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Richard Grenville lived in the property. Now it is a house and a museum and holds such treasures as Drake’s Drum. Virtually unchanged since it was built there are meadows, woodlands and orchards to wander through. Buckland is 11 miles from Plymouth and satnav is PL20 6EY.
There is a café and shop. Full information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/buckland-abbey.
This great art deco lido is located right on the tip of Plymouth Hoe, giving fantastic views of the harbour. There is a lift from the promenade above and has a café and shop.
Plymouth City Museum:
This free museum is open all year around and contains nine permanent galleries and two exhibition galleries, which has constantly changing presentations. It has the usual contents of a museum including local social and artistic life, paintings, archaeology, world cultures etc.
Located at Drake’s Circus, there is a café and a shop.
Located in Plympton, PL7 1UH, this Tudor house was refashioned by Robert Adam into a magnificent Georgian Mansion. There is much to see and do whilst there, including a tour of the house, inspecting its magnificent collections, riverside walks, nature watching etc. There is a café and shop and full information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/saltram.
As a university city, Plymouth has much to offer night owls. The Barbican has at least half a dozen, bars and clubs and the city centre has the usual range of national night clubs, including Revolution and Oceana. Vauxhall Quay and Vauxhall Street have some interesting entertainment as well.
For gay visitors there a couple of pubs and a sauna.
The Theatre Royal is one of the largest and best regional theatres in the country. It is an excellent venue for drama, musicals, pantomime etc. and has many West End productions. It is located right in the city centre on Royal Parade, PL1 2TR. For further information email to [email protected] or visit www.theatreroyal.com.
The Barbican Theatre also has a wide range of programme including comedy, drama, panto etc. Check out www.barbicantheatre.co.uk for all information.
Plymouth Pavilions puts on touring gigs, comedy, dance etc. and full programme can be found at www.plymouthpavilions.com.
Film can be found at Vue, Reel, Jill Craigie and Plymouth Arts Centre screens.
Ice Skating can also be found at Plymouth Pavilions.
Being a city with a big attachment to the sea it is not surprising that fish restaurants and traditional fish and chip shops feature prominently.
Also found are English, French, Afro/Caribbean, European and ethnic restaurants and cafes. Plenty of cafes, takeaways and pub grub can be found.
With two large national department stores and Drake Circus mall, which contains sixty national chain shops, the city is a regional shopping centre. On top of that there are plenty of independent stores and boutiques and the Barbican has art and specialist shops.
International and national hotel chains abound in the city giving a good level of comfort. There are also budget hotels and affordable rooms in pubs and guest houses. These establishments can be found in the city centre and surrounding areas.
Over 50 routes are provided by Plymouth City Bus, which covers the city, surrounding areas, including over the river into Cornwall. Maps and timetables are at www.plymouthbus.co.uk . The main bus station is at Mayflower Street.
Stagecoach also have a dozen routes connecting the city to neighbouring Devon and Cornwall destinations. Check out www.stagecoachbuses.com/plymouth.
National Express run coaches to and from all the major cities in the UK.
Sitting on a large peninsular means that transport in and out of the city by road is fairly straight forward. To and from the rest of England means travelling to Exeter via the A38 and then using the M5 to Bristol, the Midlands and North. From Bristol the M4 takes you east to London and west to Cardiff and South Wales.
The south coast is reached by using the A30, A35 and A27 from Exeter.
Going west into Cornwall the A38 continues on to Penzance with local “A” roads serving the coasts of Cornwall and Devon.
Plymouth sits on the old Great Western London Paddington to Penzance route. From London the train passes through Reading, Bristol and Exeter.
The south coast is reached via Exeter and Salisbury and then on to Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton and Gatwick Airport.
The rest of the country is basically served by going via Bristol. Local towns that are accessible include Newquay, Falmouth, Paignton, Barnstaple and Exmouth.
The nearest regional airport is Exeter.
Over a dozen taxi firms operate throughout the city and local area.
Stadium: Home Park. Plymouth. PL2 3DQ
Joined League: 1920
Chairman: James Brent
Manager: Ryan Lowe
Current League: League 2
Phone Number: 01752 562561
Email: [email protected]
Fans Forum:- www.pasoti.co.uk
Plymouth is currently the largest city in England and Wales that has never been represented in the top tier of the League.
Pre 1900, the club was formed as Argyle Football Club in 1886 but demised in 1894. It was then resurrected in 1897 as part of Argyle Athletic Club and played their matches at Marsh Mills. Home Park became the club’s ground in 1901. In 1903 the club turned professional, took the name Plymouth Argyle, and joined the Southern League.
In 1913 the club won the Southern league and joined the third tier of the Football League in 1920. In 1924, a tour of South America saw the club amazingly beat both Uruguay and Argentina. Uruguay won the World Cup in 1930.
Between 1922 and 1927, the Pilgrims disappointingly finished runners up in Division 3 South every season, but got their reward in 1930 by gaining promotion to Division 2. Argyle remained in the second tier until they were relegated in 1950 but then bounced back in 1952. Season 1952/53 saw the club reach its highest ever League finish, 4th in Division2. From this point the club basically remained in the third level with the occasional promotion to level 2. Then in 1995 they were relegated to the bottom League.
On the way they had some success in cup matches, having reached the semi finals’ of both the FA and League Cups. Then in 1996 a first Wembley appearance where they beat Darlington 1-0, in the playoffs, to gain promotion back to Division 2 (third tier). In 2003 they clinched a promotion to the newly named Championship, which resulted in a six season residence. However, the team were relegated to League 1 and then League 2, which led to administration and the sale of Home Park. The club have now fought back and gained promotion to League 1 in season 2016/17. Sadly Argyle were relegated back to League Two at end of season 2018/19.
Away fans should check with their own club about buying tickets.
There is a system in place to purchase tickets on line, called TicketFast, and print at home. For full details about buying tickets contact [email protected] or by phoning 0845 872 3335.
Buses from Royal Parade and the city centre take you to Home Park, with an eight minute walk after alighting. Check Plymouth Bus website.
A short walk from Plymouth Central station across Central Park will get you to the ground in just a few minutes.
There is a car park at the stadium but it gets full at least half an hour before kickoff. There is further on road parking further north away from the city centre. To get to the ground from either Cornwall in the west or the rest of the country in the east take the A38 Expressway to the A386 junction where the signposts for Plymouth Argyle will appear.
Realistically the only air access is to Exeter and then train to Plymouth .
Taxis can be picked up throughout the city.
Home Park has been the home of Argyle since 1901. The ground was extensively damaged during WW2 and has been extensively refurbished over the subsequent years. The biggest attendance is 44,526 when the Pilgrims met Huddersfield Town in an FA Cup tie in January 1934.
There are four stands the main and oldest being the Mayflower Grandstand. This houses the club offices, changing rooms and executive boxes. This stand is the only two tiered stand at the ground with seating on the upper tier and standing on the lower terrace.
The Devonport is the domain of the vocal fans. The Barn Park End holds the away fans with an allocation of 1300 but which can be increased if demand determines. The Lyndhurst stand on the east side of the ground is the dedicated family stand. These last three stands are all single tiered all seater and are joined together to form a smart, continuous U shape.
Each of the stands have good views, concourses and food and drink outlets.
There is a club shop at the rear of the Mayflower Stand. The current capacity is 17,150.
BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
Drake Circus Shopping Centre. Plymouth