Tourist Information in Dartmoor and South West Devon
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Plymouth Town Information

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The centre of this important seaport had to be rebuilt after it was devastated by the Luftwaffe in World War II, but the area as a whole recalls great moments in history. Sir Francis Drake sailed from here to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588. Thirty-two years later Plymouth waved farewell to the Pilgrim Fathers as they set sail for America. All three of Captain Cook’s world tours started here – as did the voyages of ships carrying criminals to Australia in the 19th century.

Smeaton's Lighthouse - Photo © Sheila Tarleton
Smeaton's Lighthouse - Photo: Sheila Tarleton CCL

The Italian Garden and Orangery at Mount Edgcumbe - Photo © Tony Atkin
The Italian Garden and Orangery at Mount Edgcumbe
Photo: Tony Atkin CCL
Drake lived at Buckland House on the fringes of Dartmoor in an old abbey that had been converted into a house by the privateer Richard Grenville.

Drake famously played bowls on Plymouth Hoe, which has stunning views across Plymouth Sound and is now home to his statue and a lighthouse originally built in 1759 by John Smeaton on the nearby Eddystone Rocks.

William Bligh, later Captain Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame, was born in Plymouth and baptised at 15th century St Andrew’s Church. Captain Scott, the Antarctic explorer, was born at Devonport, part of Plymouth’s network of dockyards.

Major attractions here include Saltram House, which possesses paintings by the local artist Joshua Reynolds; Elizabethan House, the former home of a sea captain; and Mount Edgcumbe, a Tudor house with landscaped gardens. The Royal Citadel fortress was built during the Civil War.

Saltram House - Photo © Derek Harper
Saltram House - Photo: Derek Harper CCL