Plymouth! Just a Thought – Maybe SWCP Part 7, Day 7?

Aerial picture of the southern coast line of Plymouth city

PLYMOUTH - JUST A THOUGHT!

I booked 7 nights accommodation as this cost the same as 6 nights more or less. That's nice because it gives me a little freedom and allows for me to be flexible about my plans. It's always nice to have a fall-back in case of travel or severe weather issues. However, if things progress really well then I have a very good option plotted out for Monday 24th May should it take my fancy.

MONDAY MAY 24TH, 2021

Approximately 5 miles - Easy: Nice and Flat!

SCHEDULE:

  • 09:30 - 10:30 Drive to Cremyll to park my car and take the ferry across to Plymouth (assuming I didn't do this yesterday).
  • 10:30 - 14:00 Walk around the Southern coastline of Plymouth city centre; no particular hurry so I can stop for as many coffee stops as I like. Final destination for this weeks walking would now be the East side of Laira Bridge.
  • 14:00 - 17:00 Dawdle my way around Plymouth with a stop for some late lunch perhaps and then arriving back at the ferry to Cremyll

Though optional, this would definitely be the easiest stretch of this trek. Although possibly still quite tiring as I will probably have walked 10-15 miles by the end of the day.

Highlights:

(courtesy of South West Coast Path website)

  • Views of Drake’s Island. Records show that in 1135 the island was known as St Michael’s and had a small chapel on it. The chapel was later dedicated to St Nicholas and the island took the same name until it changed again to Drake’s Island after Sir Francis Drake who was based in Plymouth. A small fort was built here in the 16th century to help protect Plymouth’s dockyard.
  • The Royal William Yard: designed by the engineer Sir John Rennie for King William IV, whose statue stands at the entrance. The yard was used to supply the Navy with biscuit, beef and beer and here you will find the recipe for Ship’s Biscuit and a map of the cuts of beef commemorated in marble.
  • In 2013 the Coast Path was extended through the Royal William Yard and Devil's Point Park. The   Yard is steeped in history and is considered to be one of the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain.The site has been sympathetically restored and transformed into an exciting mixed-use development of apartments, offices, restaurants, and retail space with a public marina at its heart. Cafes, food, shops history and culture are all on offer at this thriving visitor location which is now a key staging post on the South West Coast Path following the installation of a contemporary staircase in 2013 that links the yard to Western King for the very first time. The staircase provides a spectacular viewing platform where you’ll be able to take in amazing views of the Yard, the River Tamar and beyond!
  • Stonehouse and the Georgian terraces of Durnford Street: here you will find the Sherlock Holmes pavement to mark the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle worked in one of these buildings when he was a young doctor. Perhaps trips to Dartmoor provided inspiration for his famous book The Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • Views from the Royal Navy Millennium Wall, with its models of some of the Navy’s submarines and ships.
  • The Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower. Completed in 1759, the tower was positioned on the Eddystone Reef and had a significant influence on lighthouse design. When replaced by James Douglass’ lighthouse, it was dismantled stone by stone and placed in a celebratory position on the Hoe. The foundations and stub were so difficult to remove that they remain out at sea next to the current tower.
  • The Royal Citadel: built of local limestone in the 1660s on the site of previous defences, it is still used by the military today. Guided tours are available in the summer. For details contact the Tourist Information Centre.
  • Exploring the cobbled streets of the Barbican and Sutton Harbour.
  • The Green Man and the shrine to St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, around Cattewater.
  • Mount Batten Artillery Tower: built in the 1650s, it guards the southern approach to the harbour and was actually used in WWII.
  • Fort Bovisand and harbour: commanding fantastic views over Plymouth Sound, the fort was one of many 19th century defences built around the Plymouth area to guard against French attack.
Route around south coast of Plymouth City
Optional extra: Walking the south coast of Plymouth City if all has progressed well so far.

For further information about the South West Coast Path - and this stretch in particular, why not visit the South West Coast Website

You are more than welcome to join me on this trip and or on any part of my next SWCP journey - subject, of course, to sensible social distancing measures. Please get in touch beforehand though and I will be sure to look out for you.

And please bookmark this page and return a few weeks later; I will be posting an update and some more photographs in good time

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