Plymouth is a coastal city located on the South coast of England between Devon and Cornwall. It has a population of about 260 thousand people being relatively small city; it got city status in 1928.
We decided to visit Plymouth because of two major reasons – Plymouth Gin Distillery and National Marine Aquarium. I shall say straight away that as it appeared, Plymouth is even nicer than we could imagine – it looked very clean and cosy, people we met there were friendly and nice.
One of disadvantages for visiting Plymouth is its remote location. Plymouth is located about 200 miles (350 kilometres) from London and if you have a car may be reached in about four hours. If you go by public transport, it may take even less time from London Paddington station if you get direct Great Western train.
There are a lot of parking spaces around the city centre, although you are allowed to park for only up to two hours at some of them. We decided to have some five minute walk and parked at Lambhay Hill Car Park. There is very nice view towards Plymouth marina from the carpark and just a few minutes walk downhills to the city centre.
History of Plymouth Gin
As I said earlier, we wanted to visit historic Plymouth Gin Distillery, which is located in the city centre. I would call it a museum as the tour was really educational exploring traditions of gin producing and history of the city and a whole region. To join the tour you have to be over 18 of age, however there are some tours you may book with your accompanying children.
The Plymouth Distillery is the oldest working distillery in England. There are plenty of options to book a tour you would like to enjoy and their prices vary from £11 to £48 depending on option you choose. We visited the site in 2020 and some COVID related restrictions were there, however on positive side was a fact that groups were very small and everything around was very relaxed and calm. Normally, thousands of visitors come every year to visit this place.
National Marine Aquarium
The National Marine Aquarium is the UK’s largest aquarium. Many people say that this is the best aquarium they have visited. Ticket prices in 2020 are £19.50 for an adult (starting from 16 years) and £14.40 for a child; different types of family tickets are also available. In 2020, I suppose because of COVID restrictions, it is required that all bookings are made online in advance.
There are places to eat in aquarium and gift shop as well as paly area for children. They say, there are over 4,000 animals in aquarium. Without a doubt, this is a huge place and it will take some time to see all what it offers.
Food and drinks
There is a huge choice of lunch and dining venues in Plymouth. We had a quick discussion if we wish to go for traditional fish & chips, however we decided to go for usual English pub because we already had some recommendations. So, we found The Navy Inn near Plymouth marina on one of the main central streets, just a few hundred yards away from distillery.
All I can say is that food was excellent (huge portions), drinks refreshing and atmosphere nice and relaxed as it should be in early afternoon. As a result, we spent in the pub even more time as we were planning.
Before returning, we spent some time wandering around marina observing many yachts parked there (it was autumn already and there was almost no traffic around). Late afternoon we came back to the carpark for returning back home; whole day was really exciting.