a station-by-station guide for tourist attractions


National Rail | station code PLY

Devon Offers & Links

Promoted as 'Britain's Ocean City', Plymouth has been a maritime city for centuries due to the natural harbour formed by the rivers Plym, Tavy, Tamar and Lynher. The Mayflower Steps on the Barbican mark the site where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for North America in 1620. Armada Way leads south to the Hoe (1 mile from station), an open grassed area with fine views across Plymouth Sound. A statue of Sir Francis Drake stands on the Hoe close to where he famously finished his game before heading out to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588. Royal Parade is ½ mile and the Bus Station ¾ mile from the Rail Station. There are frequent buses from the Rail Station to the City Centre (Royal Parade and Bus Station). Plymouth PlusBus tickets are valid within the Plymouth urban area and to some attractions (see below).

TI Plymouth Mayflower Exhibition, 3-5 The Barbican. Tel. 01752 306330. | |

Devon Devon National Trust Holidays

The Box Museum & Art Gallery ½ mile

Fine and decorative art, human history, natural history, world cultures, ancient Egypt, archaeology, maritime and local history. Exhibition programme. Café. Admission free.
Open TWThFSSu 1000-1700.

Merchant's House ¾ mile

An historic townhouse, the former home of the Elizabethan privateer, Captain William Parker, a friend of Sir Francis Drake. Features include a Victorian schoolroom, a large doll's house and a room covering Plymouth in the blitz.
Open closed for conservation work.

Plymouth Mayflower Exhibition 1 mile

An interactive exhibition telling the stories of merchant families, the fishing industry, the military harbour and emigration to the New World including the voyage of the Pilgrim Fathers aboard the Mayflower in 1620.
Open Apr-Oct, M-S 0900-1700, Sun 1000-1600. Nov-Mar, M-S 1000-1600.

Plymouth Gin Distillery 1 mile

The oldest working gin distillery in England and the home of Plymouth Gin since 1793. Guided tours explain the history and distillation process. Café.
Open see website for tour times.

Elizabethan House 1 mile

An historic house with period furniture, showing how a merchant or sea captain lived in the 1600s. Restored kitchen and garden.
Open Apr-Sep, TWThFSSu 1000-1700. Oct-Mar, SSu 1000-1700.

Royal Citadel EH 1 mile

A dramatic 17th century fortress built to defend the coastline from the Dutch and keep watch on a recently rebellious town. It remains an operational military establishment today and it is open only for guided tours (a charge is made for everyone including EH members).
Open please see website for details of guided tours.

Smeaton's Tower 1 mile

A landmark lighthouse on Plymouth's Hoe, Smeaton's Tower originally stood on the Eddystone reef. It was moved to the Hoe in the 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining its rock foundation.
Open Apr-Sep, TWThFSSu 1000-1700. Oct-Mar, SSu 1000-1700. Subject to closure for civil ceremonies, please check website.

National Marine Aquarium 1¼ miles

The UK's largest aquarium with a wide variety of marine life from the shores of Plymouth to the coral reefs of the tropics. Café.
Open Daily 1000-1700.

Plymouth attractions map

Plym Valley Railway by bus then ¼ mile

A restored railway line running 1½ miles from Marsh Mills to Plym Bridge. Buffet.
Open please see website for train operating days and times.
Bus 21/21A from Royal Parade (½ mile from Rail Station) to McDonalds, immediately after the Marsh Mills roundabout, then ¼ mile walk. About 15 minutes journey, M-S every 10 minutes, Sun every 15 minutes. Plymouth PlusBus tickets are valid for this journey. Operated by Plymouth Citybus.

Saltram NT by bus then 1 mile

Saltram and its surrounding landscape park overlooks the River Plym on the outskirts of Plymouth. It was home to the Parker family from 1743 and is magnificently decorated. Highlights include Chinese wallpapers and paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The garden is mostly 19th century with an 18th century Orangery, follies, shrubberies and specimen trees. Café.
Open Mar-Oct, Daily 1100-1600. Park and Garden open daily all year, Garden from 1000.
Bus 21/21A from Royal Parade (½ mile from Rail Station) to Great Woodford Drive, the second stop after McDonald's, then 1 mile walk via Cot Hill and Merafield Road. About 15 minutes journey, M-S every 10 minutes, Sun every 15 minutes. Plymouth PlusBus tickets are valid for this journey. Operated by Plymouth Citybus.

Saltram map
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays
National Trust Holidays

Antony House & Garden NT by bus then 1¼ miles

An early 18th century house with fine collections of paintings, furniture and textiles. The landscape garden has sweeping views and it includes topiary, sculptures and a knot garden. The Woodland Garden is not National Trust but members are admitted free when the house is open. Tearoom.
Open Apr-Oct, TWTh & BH (also Sun Jun-Aug) 1200-1700.
Bus 70/70A/70B from Rail Station to Torpoint Trevol Road (then 1¼ mile walk), some buses continue to Trevithick Avenue (only ¾ mile walk). About 45 minutes journey, M-S ½-hourly, Sun & BH hourly. Buses cross to Torpoint by ferry, reaching Trevol Road a few minutes later. Plymouth PlusBus tickets are valid for this journey. Operated by Plymouth Citybus.
Please be aware that the village of Antony is on the A374 about 2 miles west of Antony House. Some buses continue to the village but it is better to alight in Torpoint as explained above. If you ask for directions explain that you want Antony House, not the village.

Antony map

Buckland Abbey NT by bus then 2 miles (or another bus)

The Abbey founded by Cistercian monks was converted into a house and was the home of Sir Francis Drake. Museum galleries cover Drake's seafaring adventures. Furnished rooms. Medieval Great Barn. Gardens. Woodland walks on the estate. Restaurant.
Open Mar-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. Limited opening in winter, see website.
Bus 1 from North Road East near Rail Station (operating via Royal Parade before heading out of Plymouth) to Golf Club turning, then 2 miles walk. About 50 minutes outward journey via Royal Parade but only 30 minutes return direct to North Road East. M-S every 15 minutes, Sun & BH hourly. Operated by Stagecoach. The bus enters the Dartmoor National Park after Roborough roundabout, then watch for a sign to the Moorland Garden Hotel, the Golf Club turning is the next stop.
The 2 miles walk can be avoided by remaining on bus 1 to Yelverton roundabout, from that stop bus 55 operates infrequently to opposite Buckland Abbey entrance, see Plymouth Citybus for times.

Buckland Abbey map

Explorer Map 108 Lower Tamar Valley & Plymouth

Explorer Map OL20 South Devon

Explorer Map OL28 Dartmoor

South West Coast Path Guide, Falmouth to Exmouth

Britain's Heritage Railways

Houses of the National Trust

Just Go Holidays
Just Go Holidays
Just Go Holidays