There's so much to do in Plymouth, Britain's Ocean City during 2019!

Visit Plymouth have created a fantastic list of 115 things to do in and around the city, from family days out to delectable dining experiences, unique ways to get active and the best places to explore the great outdoors, plus loads more.

Contents


Family 

1. Oo arr me hearties! Get your eye patches at the ready for a swashbuckling day of fun on Plymouth's waterfront at Pirates Weekend on 11 to 12 May.

2. Dive into an underwater world, explore the oceans and meet over 4,000 animals at the National Marine Aquarium.

3. Become a Polar Bear Explorer and search for the adorable bear cubs hidden along the waterfront (ends 3 March).

4. Support our hardworking military at Armed Forces Day on 29 June, with entertainment, activities and displays for the whole family to enjoy.

5. The unmissable British Firework Championships return to Plymouth Hoe on 14 and 15 August, don't miss out on this completely free and truly spectacular show.

6. Look out for the parade of 40 fabulously colourful elephants taking over Plymouth in the summer with Elmer's Big Parade.

Elmer comes to Plymouth. Credit: Aleks Khotilovsk / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Elmer comes to Plymouth. Credit: Aleks Khotilovski / Visit Plymouth

7. Take the whole family climbing with a trip to Clip 'n Climb. There's no experience necessary and climbing wall suitable for all ages and abilities - plus plenty of fun challenges!

8. Visit the home of We Bought A Zoo and see tigers, lions, monkeys and more at Dartmoor Zoological Park.

9. Bounce around on over 50 trampolines or play trampoline dodgeball at Super Tramp.  

10. Get festive at the family friendly Christmas lights switch-ons in the city centre and the Barbican in November.

11. Remember, remember the fifth of November! Head to Plymouth Hoe for the city's biggest Bonfire Night celebration complete with fireworks and entertainment.

12. Put the whole family to the test with some serious team building at Escape Rooms Plymouth. Can you solve the clues?

13. Take a refreshing dip in one of the top 10 best outdoor pools in Europe, Tinside Lido. This outdoor salt water pool in the place to be on a sunny summer's day.

Tinside Lido, overlooking Plymouth Sound. Credit: Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Tinside Lido, overlooking Plymouth Sound / Visit Plymouth

14. For more family-friendly swimming fun, head to the free Mount Wise swimming pools (open during summer months).

15. Children of all ages will enjoy West Hoe Park, with a large play area, miniature train, crazy golf and trampolines.

16. Head to Central Park for a day the whole family will enjoy. There's a newly refurbished play space and skate park to try out, plus lots of open space to explore. 

17. Younger children will love a trip to Stiltskin's Soapbox Children's Theatre in Devonport Park - they put on a range of productions and activity sessions throughout the year.

18. Have you got train fans in the family? Take them on a traditional steam train on the Plym Valley Railway for an exciting day out.

19. Glide for miles and discover Mount Edgcumbe in a completely new way with Adventure Segway - don't worry if you've never hopped on a Segway before as you'll receive training first!

20. Experience a day full of animal action at Pennywell Farm - cuddle a miniature piglet, bottle feed baby animals and watch the pig racing!

21. Get creative and paint your own pottery at ClayArt.

22. Ride on Plymouth's Open Top Bus, which drives along the waterfront.

23. Enjoy dinner and a trip to Plymouth's new IMAX cinema at Drake Circus Leisure - the complex is due to open in autumn 2019.

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Arts and culture

24. Challenge yourself to watch a different type of film at Plymouth Arts Centre new cinema in Plymouth College of Art. Their programme features the best foreign and arthouse films alongside some old classics.

25. Escape for an evening with one of the incredible West End musical productions coming to Plymouth's Theatre Royal this year. The 2019 programme includes Matilda the Musical, Les Misérables, Kinky Boots, Annie, The Bodyguard and Calendar Girls.

26. Don't forget The Drum, the Theatre Royal's smaller auditorium that shows a huge range of innovative work.

27. For more experimental theatre, take a trip to The Lab at Theatre Royal, which showcases emerging artists.

28. Laugh out loud with big-name comics at Plymouth Pavilions. In 2019 you can see Russell Kane, Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard and Bianca Del Rio amongst others.

29. Watch Plymouth light up with Illuminate in November. The spectacular light-based festival marks the start of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

30. Chuckle at the Red House Theatre where a range of comedians will be performing stand-up. Rich Hall and Mark Steel are already on the bill for 2019.

31. For an intimate theatrical experience, head to the small-but-perfectly-formed Barbican Theatre (who also present shows at Plymouth Athenaeum).

32. Pay a visit to the artistic heart of Plymouth, Ocean Studios, where they host a range of events and workshops.

33. The Arts Institute is the public arts programme of the University of Plymouth, which includes exhibitions, dance, films, music, performance and talks. Head to The Levinsky Gallery for a thought-provoking experience.

34. Visit the largest independent contemporary art venue in Plymouth, KARST, which hosts different exhibitions throughout the year.

35. Plan a trip to The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art too, their exhibition programme focuses on art, design and digital media to reflect the college's curriculum.

36. Enjoy classic films and recent blockbusters in the great outdoors, with Plymouth Arts Centre's Open Air Cinema programme, returning to the waterfront during summer (expect announcements with more details in early summer).

Open Air Cinema at Tinside Lido. Credit: Dom Moore / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Open Air Cinema at Tinside Lido. Credit: Dom Moore / Visit Plymouth

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Music and festivals

37. Dance to the sounds of summer at Ocean City Blues n Jazz Festival, on the Barbican from 9 to 11 August.

38. The completely inclusive festival, Funky Llama, returns on 8 June, bursting onto Plymouth Hoe with an exciting mix of live music, DJs and dance acts.

39. Enjoy live music throughout the year (with a side of freshly cooked Thai food) at B-Bar.

40. See live music at the city's biggest venue, Plymouth Pavilions. The line-up for 2019 includes Catfish & the Bottlemen, Billy Ocean and UB40.

41. Spend a night at The Hub, a diverse live music venue offering everything from bands to reggae and house and techno nights.

42. Head to The Junction for more live music - this pub is best known for being a great venue for rock, punk and metal bands but is expanding to welcome reggae, indie and country artists too.  

43. Don't miss one of the UK's largest charity motorcycle rides. Plymouth Megaride takes place in August and will see thousands of bikes arrive on Plymouth Hoe.

44. Let your hair down at Laufest in August, a home-grown festival in Wembury which celebrates the life of Laura Plane.

45. Dance the night away at the free evening concert following Armed Forces Day on 29 June - acts will be announced closer to the time.

Armed Forces Day entertainment. Credit: One Plymouth / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Armed Forces Day entertainment. Credit: One Plymouth / Visit Plymouth

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Sport

46. Cheer on Britain's best divers at the British Diving Championships from 1 to 3 Feb at Plymouth Life Centre.

47. Get your run on and take part in the scenic but challenging Britain's Ocean City Half Marathon on 19 May.

48. Is a half marathon too far? Take on the Plymouth 5k or 10k on 6 October instead.

49. Learn to climb or test your abilities at the 13,000 square feet indoor bouldering wall, The Climbing Hangar.

50. Watch the finish of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race as Plymouth marks the end of the race once again. 

Fastnet in Plymouth. Credit: ELWJ, RORC / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Fastnet in Plymouth. Credit: ELWJ, RORC / Visit Plymouth

51. Show your support for the Pilgrims! Plymouth Argyle Football Club play at Home Park.

52. Plymouth Raiders, the city's basketball team, play in the British Basketball League (the sport's UK premier league) at Plymouth Pavilions - enjoy the electric atmosphere at one of their home games.

53. Rugby more your thing? Plymouth Albion R.F.C is Plymouth's rugby union club and play at Brickfields. 

54. Thrill seekers should take a trip to watch Plymouth Devils at the only Speedway track in Devon and Cornwall.

55. Take your skateboard or BMX to the Central Park Skate Park, which was refurbished in 2018.

56. Take to the slopes! Take a lesson in skiing or snowboarding, or just have fun tobogganing at Plymouth Snowsports Centre.

57. Dive in at the Mount Batten Watersports & Activities Centre and choose from a huge variety of activities including kayaking, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and more. 

58. Try Stand Up Paddleboarding at Royal William Yard with South West SUP.

59. Explore the city on two wheels with bike hire from Rockets & Rascals.

60. Get active at Plymouth Life Centre, which has a 50m swimming pool, a climbing centre and one of the country's leading diving pools.

61. Walk the streets of Plymouth and raise money for St Luke's Hospice at their Neon Midnight Walk or Men's Day Out.

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Food and drink

62. Foodies will not want to miss Flavour Fest, the South West's largest free food and drink festival which takes place in Plymouth city centre from 31 May to 2 June.

63. Distil your own gin at Plymouth Gin Distillery with their Master Distiller's Tour.

64. Fans of fish should put Plymouth Seafood Festival in their diaries, returning to the Barbican and Sutton Harbour on 14 and 15 September to celebrate the amazing fresh fish on offer in the city.

65. Indulge in an exceptional eating experience and treat yourself to sushi at KUKU.

66. Go out for brunch, some of the best spots include The Boathouse CaféThe Dock and Bill's.

67. Enjoy a drink with a view at The Terrace, Pier One or The Waterfront, all located on the edge of Plymouth Hoe, right by the water.

68. Learn to bake with Column Bakehouse who share the secrets of artisan break making on their short courses.

69. Go fishing! Plymouth Boat Trips run Fish 'n Trips so you can catch your own mackerel, then opt in to 'Cook Your Catch' and they'll turn it into a tasty dinner.

70. Visit Royal William Yard's monthly Good Food and Craft Market

71. Try one of the many great eateries at Plymouth Market - there's everything from sourdough pizza to vegan tacos, fresh Thai food and delicious ramen on offer.

Knead at Plymouth Market. Credit: Actuate / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Knead at Plymouth Market. Credit: Actuate / Visit Plymouth

72. Tuck into a traditional pasty! You'll be spoilt for choice in Plymouth - try Oggy Oggy or The Original Pasty House.

73. Eat at a Plymouth institution. You'll find Cap'n Jaspers on the harbour side, try their famous Jasperizer burger or attempt Half a Yard of Hot Dog!

74. Indulge in a traditional Devonshire cream tea (jam on top!) - try Tudor Rose Tea Rooms or The Flower Café.

75. As we're in Britain's Ocean City, it would be rude not to treat yourself to traditional fish and chips! Harbourside and Rockfishare recommended.

76. Have a drink at the Bread & Roses, Plymouth's only social enterprise pub.

77. Taste wines from across the world at Le Vignoble or HonkyTonk Wine Library.

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Shopping

78. Shop 'til you drop at Drake Circus, the West Country's most popular shopping centre and home to over 70 top brand names.

Shopping in Drake Circus. Credit: Jay Stone / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Shopping in Drake Circus. Credit: Jay Stone / Visit Plymouth

79. Browse Plymouth Market, open since 1959 there's a huge range of stalls to discover

80. Support independent traders in the West End of the city centre, which is a treasure trove of specialist shops

81. Visit one of Plymouth's many Christmas Markets during November and December.

82. Explore 27 New Street, a cluster of old storehouses now transformed into one of the largest collections of antique traders in the South West

83. Pop into The House That Jack Built on Southside Street for an eclectic range of independent retailers selling gifts, homewares, handmade chocolates and more.

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History and heritage

84. Take part in Plymouth History Festival from 4 to 31 May, which will feature a packed line-up of talks, guided walks, activities, exhibitions and more.

85. Pay your respects at the annual Remembrance Sunday service on Plymouth Hoe on 10 November.

86. Learn all about Mayflower 400 and the Pilgrims' voyage to the New World in 1620 at the Mayflower Museum.

Model of the Mayflower at the Mayflower Museum. Credit: Dom Moore / Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Model of the Mayflower at the Mayflower Museum. Credit: Dom Moore / Visit Plymouth

87. Reopening later in the year following some restoration works, visit the Mayflower Steps monument, close to where the Pilgrims set sail.

88. Arrange a tour of Plymouth Synagogue, the oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in the English speaking world.

89. Explore the former home of Sir Francis Drake, Buckland Abbey.

90. Plan a visit to the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre, which records Plymouth's pivotal role in supporting the Royal Navy.

91. Stroll along Plymouth Hoe to see the many memorials stood proudly on the promenade

92. Climb the 93 steps of Smeaton's Tower, the former lighthouse which stands on the Hoe and boasts amazing views of Plymouth Sound.

93. Book a tour of the Royal Citadel, a dramatic 17th century fortress which is still in use today.

94. Head to an Open Day at Crownhill Fort, a mid-Victorian fort which is a brilliant example of cutting edge fortress design from that time period.

95. Take an audio tour of Devonport Guildhall to discover its spooky secrets.

96. Climb 137 steps to the top of Devonport Column for a panoramic views of Plymouth's landscape.

97. Visit The Minster Church of St Andrew, resurrected following a fire during the Blitz.

98. See the memorial at Saltash Passage which commemorates the embarkation of US soldiers for the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.

99. Explore the 17th century Mount Batten Tower, which is even older than the Royal Citadel and was designed to protect the eastern side of the Plymouth estuary.

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Outdoors

100. Hop on the Cremyll Ferry and walk around the 865 acres of land at Mount Edgcumbe.

101. For beautiful views, stroll along Plymouth's Waterfront Walkway, a section of the South West Coast Path.

102. Walk around the grounds of Saltram House, with its remarkable range of different habitats, including farmland, salt marshes, meadows, woodland and an estuary

103. Go rock pooling on Wembury beach.

104. Look for the nesting peregrine falcons in Plymbridge Woods.

105. Ride a bike along the Plym Valley Trail, a gentle route with great views.

106. Visit the iconic Devon landmark of Burgh Island, separated from the mainland by a tidal beach.

107. Relax in the city centre oasis of Drake's Place.

108. Learn more about Plymouth and enjoy the sea breeze with a Harbour Cruise across Plymouth Sound.

109. Step back in time as you wander through the tranquil Elizabethan Gardens on the Barbican

Elizabethan Gardens. Credit: Visit Plymouth

Image credit: Elizabethan Gardens / Visit Plymouth

110. Eat a picnic on Plymouth Hoe on a sunny day, experiencing incredible views.

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Something special

111. Indulge in complete luxury with an extra special break at the multi award-winning Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall.

112. Enjoy afternoon tea with a difference - including 350-degree views over Plymouth and your own private butler - with Tea at the Top at the Duke of Cornwall hotel.

113. Dine in style with stunning sea views at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, at the top of the Crowne Plaza hotel.

114. Cross into Cornwall for a special afternoon tea or overnight break at luxury 5 star boutique B&B, Pentillie Castle

115. As an extra special treat for children, Sleep with the Sharks at one of the National Marine Aquarium's sleep overs.

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This page is based on content that originated from Visit Plymouth (adapted)