UK_City_Guide_Plymouth

Travel to Plymouth with megabus

Water surrounds Plymouth on three sides, so it’s no surprise that this city has a long and eventful maritime history. It was a prehistoric port, a vital Royal Navy base, and the starting point of the Mayflower’s pilgrimage to the USA. And when you book a coach to Plymouth you’ll soon see that nautical theme is still going strong today. Sailors’ pubs, merchant houses and seafaring museums speckle the Barbican quarter. And the paved coastal path leads to Plymouth Hoe – a monument-packed park overlooking the Plymouth Sound.

Plymouth: top 3 things to do

1. Take a boat trip on the Plymouth Sound

Want a fun history lesson? Sign up to a boat trip that shuttles you along the Plymouth Sound and past the naval dockyards. The salty skipper will give you the lowdown on Plymouth and its several-thousand years of maritime history.

2. Visit Plymouth Gin Distillery

Gin is having a bit of a renaissance, and there’s nowhere better to taste this naval favourite than at the 18th-century Plymouth Gin Distillery. Take a behind-the-scenes tour or sip a pink gin cocktail at the cosy Refectory Bar.

3. Follow the Tamar Valley Line

The local trains serve up some of the most scenic journeys in the UK, so a train ride is well worth it if you can bear to leave the city behind. Get a return ticket from Plymouth to Gunnislake for views over the spectacular Calstock Viaduct. The trip lasts about 45 minutes each way.

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Plymouth: getting around

Free WiFi and a 20kg luggage allowance are a given when you take a coach to Plymouth with megabus. For more about what to expect from the journey, read our onboard facilities page.

When you get to Plymouth, the tourist information centre is a good place to start. It’s in the Mayflower Museum and you can pick up free guides and maps, and book tickets while you’re here. 

As for getting around, Plymouth city centre is really walkable. But if you do want to rest your legs, Plymouth Citybus will deliver you to most places in the city. You can also get a Skipper ticket that lets you travel with whichever bus company you fancy.

Looking further afield, pedestrian ferries travel from Plymouth to Cremyll village and Cawsand Beach in the summer. There’s also the Mount Batten Ferry, which nips between the Barbican and the Mount Batten Peninsula. 

Plymouth: best for nightlife

Plymouth is a university city, so it dishes up plenty of chain bars and clubs. But some of the best Plymouth nightlife spots hide away in historic buildings. Backstreet naval pubs decorate the Barbican historic quarter. A bar serves cocktails and tunes in the old Plymouth treasury. And the 18th-century Plymouth Gin Distillery has its own saloon. Plus, you can’t visit Devon without popping in a traditional cider house. For a culture hit, head to the Theatre Royal or Barbican Theatre. Plymouth Arts Centre also has a little indie cinema.

Plymouth: best for shopping

There’s good news if you’ve booked your Plymouth bus travel with a plan to go shopping. Drake Circus Shopping Centre lines up the best choice of high street shops in Plymouth. It’s right in the city centre, next to Plymouth Coach Station. Little independents sprinkle the city, too, so you’re in luck if you’re hoping to find one-offs. Craft stores, art galleries and nautical memorabilia shops lead the way, and you can pick up a bargain at Plymouth City Market

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Plymouth for free: our top 3

1. Admire the harbour views at Plymouth Hoe

Short on time? Head straight to Plymouth Hoe. These waterside lawns are a whistle stop tour of the city’s past. Make sure you check out the Art Deco Tinside Lido, Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse, the 17th-century Royal Citadel and Plymouth Naval Memorial.

2. Tread the cobbles of the Barbican

The Barbican is the historic heart of Plymouth. You don’t have to spend a penny to search out the Elizabethan houses, captain’s residences and navy pubs around every corner. The Mayflower Steps are a must-see, too, marking where the Pilgrim Fathers set out for North America.

3. Follow the Plymouth Waterfront Walkway

The Waterfront Walkway is part of the South West Coast Path, so expect head-turning views of the Plymouth Sound. Watch out for art installations and history markers as you meander from Admirals Hard slipway to Jennycliff Bay. Best of all, those vistas are all for free.

Use our journey planner to book your coach to Plymouth today.