With the 400 year celebrations taking place in Plymouth, England (and in the U.S) in 2020 to celebrate the departure of the Mayflower boat from Plymouth, England, to its namesake in Massachusetts, USA, the route to Plymouth, Devon, is likely to be well travelled in the coming years. So let us look at the best ways to get to the city.
Plymouth sits on the main London to Penzance route and connects directly with cities such as Exeter, Bristol and Reading. Trains going through Plymouth use the Great Western Network and trains to London Paddington take between 3 hours and 4 hours (depending on what service you book on). Fares can range greatly but off-peak you can normally expect to pay between £40 and £50 for standard class. You can reach most of the British mainland by train from Plymouth, most routes connecting through Bristol. (BOOK TRAIN TICKETS HERE!)
The main train station in Plymouth is based on the edge of the City Centre on North Road, a 15 minute walk from Central Park and from the Hoe. There are always plenty of taxis outside the train station if you need a cab and the station is on the main line between London and Penzance. If you want a comfortable and direct to cities including Bristol, Exeter, London and Reading, train travel from Plymouth is a very good option.
The unfortunate news and something which is hard to fathom out is why Plymouth City Airport closed down. You can no longer fly into the city, as used to be possible from cities such as London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Dublin and Paris. So no flights and airport any more but at least know you know There are no plans from the city council or by the owners of the land on which the airport used to sit, to bring back the airport. You can use air to get to Plymouth though and the closest airport is Exeter, which is 1 hour’s drive. If you American, then a one hour drive might actually seem quite close! Exeter Airport is a fairly small regional airport with flights mostly within the UK or Europe. Bristol airport is 2 hours drive from Plymouth and offers a much greater range of international flight options. The problem in using Bristol airport is that there is no direct coach connection between Plymouth and the 2 aforementioned airports.
Megabus – The two main coach companies in the British Isles do serve Plymouth. Megabus offer their standard and their Gold service into and from Plymouth and fares with Megabus are the cheapest way you can get between Plymouth and cities such as Penzance, Bristol, London, Newcastle, Birmingham and Leeds.
National Express – National Express‘ is the more costly and more uncomfortably second option if you cannot get a seat on Megabus. The benefit of Nat. Express is that they have an extensive UK route map and so getting to most parts of the UK is possible with them.
Coaches into the city normally use Bretonside bus and coach station. Bretonside is on the edge of the city centre thus it is a great location, and you can get to most places by foot or by using one of the taxis which are usually say waiting.
One of the great things about the city of Plymouth is its coastal location and it is a city steeped in maritime history and culture, in this respect. If you have a yacht or sail boat you can potential sail into the city. A boatyard I can recommend if you also need storage for your boat is Blagdon’s Boatyard. The Royal Western Yacht Club is based in Plymouth and can advise you further if you wish to come to the city by sea.
In terms of ferries, Brittany Ferries offer routes between the Port of Plymouth and:
There is no motorway going down to Plymouth because the M5 only goes down to Exeter (also in Devon and 1 hour North of Plymouth). From Plymouth you take the A38 to Exeter if you wish to go to London or north to cities such as Bristol, Manchester or Birmingham. The A38 is a 2 lane road in parts and traffic can sometimes get jammed but the route is generally fine to drive.
For those of you looking to cycle to Plymouth, the Sustrans Route 2 is the main network which will enable you to bicycle it down through Devon to the Plymouth coastline. Several of the routes take you around the edge of Dartmoor National Park.
Jury’s Inn Hotel Plymouth
Exeter Street, Plymouth Centre.
A great location on the edge of the centre and within walking distance of the Hoe, Barbican and theatre. Perfect if you wish to be able to walk to everything including restaurants and bars.
St Elizabeth’s House
A highly rated Georgian style hotel which will give you a real unique experience and which sits on the outskirts of the city. This is an option suited to those of you who are driving and prefer to stay outside of the centre.
Boringdon Hall Hotel
Colebrook, Plympton, Plymouth.
A wonderul way to stay and experience a wonderful hotel on the edge of the national park and within 10 minutes drive of Plymouth. The hotel has a good restaurant and is perfect if you also wish to spend some time to see Dartmoor National Park.
The easiest way for car rental is in Plymouth City Centre from where the choices for car rental agencies is much greater. Car hire and Rental agencies including the main ones such as Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise are all represented – in addition to a few more local companies.