Plymouth – City Guide
From the moment you enter Plymouth, it’s easy to see that this is a city thoroughly designed with student living in mind. With the University set at the very heart of the city centre, the panic of sleeping through your alarm and finding yourself with only 5 minutes to get to your lecture is a thing of the past. In Plymouth, everything you need is just a short walk away.
Things to do
If you’ve got a day free from lectures, there’s always plenty of things to do.
- The Hoe is also the place to be for any major festival. MTV Crashes Plymouth is an annual music festival held here as well as the British Firework Championships. Yep. You read right.
- There are hundreds upon hundreds of shops, including River Island, Superdry – and of course, our student budget saviour: Primark. But if you were hoping for more of an educational outing, Plymouth also holds one of the most esteemed aquariums in the UK. The National Marine Aquarium is a fun and interesting day out, and an incredible learning opportunity for any science or marine biology student. Plus, the aquarium offers and incredible deal in which you only have to pay for entrance once, and gain free entry for the rest of the year. Bargain!
- The Hoe is the place to be in Plymouth. It’s the city’s alternative to a beach with a large expanse of grass with Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse overlooking the sea. Here you’ll find the Art Deco Tinside Lido, built in 1935, which opens in the summer months.
- Situated in the ideal local between moors and sea, Plymouth is perfect for exploring the countryside, with many stunning beaches just a short bus journey away. Bovisands and Wembury are the nearest to the university and are both areas of outstanding natural beauty.
- Take the Cawsand Ferry into Cornwall where you can visit quaint villages and towns such as Cawsand and Kingsand.
- Dartmoor Zoo is just a 20 minute drive from uni and a great day trip out with mates, it was even the subject of the movie ‘We Bought a Zoo’ with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
- Finally, Saltram House is a beautiful house and grounds that you should put on your Plymouth bucket list. Just a short bus ride away, it’s perfect for a relaxing day out of the city.
Arts and Culture
- Explore the fascinating past of Plymouth at the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery while you can! Soon it will be closing to make way for a new historic and cultural centre opening in 2020.
- Peninsular Arts is a great little gallery that produces excellent exhibitions all year round – and it’s right on campus!
- For something a little more modern, Plymouth Arts Centre is a nationally renowned centre for contemporary art and had a great independent cinema inside. As well as this, Radiant is a new contemporary gallery in the city centre with a huge range of art.
- Plymouth has two big theatres; the Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Barbican. The foremost is the biggest and offers all the popular touring shows. The Barbican on the otherhand generally shows some more local shows.
- If you’re hoping to catch the new Star Wars film, or the latest Marvel hit, Plymouth has two options for you to choose from! Choose comfort and style at the enormous Vue cinema, with gigantic screens and luxurious seating, or, save a fortune and go instead to the Reel Cinema – what it lacks in looks it makes up for in cheap prices.
Music & Nightlife
Plymouth is full of places to let off a bit of steam.
- North Hill is essentially a long stretch of road that is lined with bars and clubs, one after the other. The best include Cuba, Mousetrap, Roundabout and the Skiving Scholar, all offer cheap drinks and a dancing mass of fellow students every night.
- Visit Fresher and Professor, however, and you will be forced to try their legendary “Terminator” concoction, a horrendous mix of god knows what that will have you stumbling and on the floor within the hour.
- In the Barbican area, H20 and Pryzm (formally Oceana) are the biggest jaunts with big crowds on Wednesday nights.
- For cocktails head to the Dairy, an old Co-op dairy where you can get cocktails in pint sized bottles. There’s two for one before 8pm and live music on Thursdays.
- Alternatively After 8 is a place with good vibes and great cocktails.
Places to Eat
- No one can say they’re living in Plymouth without visiting Goodboy’s. It’s cheap food, sticky tables and loud noises – plus they’re open 24 hours a day! Their potions are notoriously huge and you can expect to get a milkshake the size of a large baby.
- If you’re planning a date, or want a bit of a blow-out try Chloe’s, a French restaurant with an a la carte menu. It’s not the cheapest place to eat, but if you go at lunch you can generally catch a good deal.
- If you’re looking for seafood, head across to the Barbican where you’ll find the Boathouse Café – a lovely little restaurant which catches fresh fish from their own boats. Alternatively, Rockfish Seafood and Chips is a winner for the British classic.
- Seco lounge is a great café at the Royal William Yard development, where you get sandwiches and Paninis to die for, as well as a great brunch.