A guide to Plymouth and the surrounding area
With its iconic Hoe, where Sir Francis Drake played bowls while the Spanish Armada approached, Plymouth is a landmark city on the south coast of Devon, situated between the mouths of the rivers Plym, to the east, and Tamar, to the west.
The University of Plymouth, by virtue of its student numbers, is the ninth-largest university in the UK. Plymouth is famous for its waterfront with Elizabethan Barbican, Theatre Royal and superb National Marine Aquarium, as well as several prestigious marinas, hosting transatlantic yacht races, and more recently (2011) the America's Cup round. The city has many excellent restaurants and independent shops.
Plymouth is also famous for its association with the Pilgrim Fathers, who left Plymouth for the New World in 1620. Plymouth grew as a major commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, while the city's naval importance later led to it being targeted and partially destroyed during World War II, an act known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war, the city centre was completely rebuilt. Governed locally by Plymouth City Council, the city has around 250,000 residents, making it the 19th most populated city in the UK. Plymouth's economy is still strongly influenced by shipbuilding and it has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe - HMNB Devonport.