City Centre Street Maps
Most of the city centre is a pedestrian zone with only one of its cross streets accessible by motor vehicles, including buses. In order to help people find there way around the city council has put up these useful street maps at strategic locations.
At first sight you might think the map is a sort schematic diagram (a bit like that of a railway or the London Underground) but the city centre rea\lly is laid out like this. The post-WWII planners designed the city to be pedestrian-friendly, open and easy to navigate and the map is a pretty accurate representation.
Mix History & Countryside
Nearby to Plymouth is the historical and beautiful Plymbridge woods. In the past, this area was heavily involved in the mining industry and it is dotted with the ruins of past structures. Follow the river for some time and enjoy the sights. Bring a packed lunch.
It is well signposted and these signs provide a great deal of information on the area and the history.
Particularly Good and Well Known for Cycling Expeditions.
Tinside Lido - Opulence For The Proletariat!
Plymouth is, and always has been, very much a proletarian city, its citizens siding with Cromwell during the English Civil War. In more modern times the development of Tinside as a free public access bathing and leisure area is a prime exemplar of the local council's commitment to recreation for the masses. The initial works were carried out in 1913 with the construction of a seawater bathing pool and terraced access with further improvements in the 1920's and 30's culminating in the state-of-the-art Art Deco Lido in 1935 with its seawater pumps changing the water continually and its floodlit fountains.
Even tho' surviving the war the lido fell into disrepair and in the 1980's was closed, despite becoming a Grade 2 listed building. It has however been substantially redeveloped (with public funding) and is now reopen to the public during the summer months (May to Sept) and the surrounding Tinside area open all year, although still undergoing development
The local Hoe is a large green public space loverlooking the ocean in Plymouth. It's adjacent to and above the low limestone cliffs that form the seafront and it commands awesome views of Plymouth Sound, Drake's Island, and to Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Hoe which means a sloping ridge shaped like an inverted foot and heel.
This historical area was popular for the locals dancing and dining pleasure, but was mostly destroyed during WWII and never rebuilt. The pool you see was built during the depression and remains today even though it declined in popularity and was closed in 1992. The public renovated it in1998 at a cost of ₤3.4 million and reopened it in 2005.
The Hoe also includes a long broad tarmacked promenade which serves as a military parade ground and which is often used for displays by Plymouth based Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Army garrison, as well as for fairs and open-air concerts. We also could see our cruise ship from here which was moored in the harbor.
Devon's Proletarian City
For the last 20-odd years Plymouth has been a place where I've variously changed trains, arrived by train and then gotten a bus to to places slightly further afield and sometimes had occasions where I've had to cool my heels for an odd day or two when my itinerant working life has had minor hiccups.
This is a city that I always enjoy - I even like the Brutalist concrete architecure of the post-WWII city centre - and every visit reveals something new.
Plymouth is Devon's largest city with a population of about a quarter of a million and is tucked in the county's south-western corner nestling against the border with Cornwall. Plymouth's development as a city is due to its location on its eponymous Sound, between the mouths of the rivers Plym and Tamar, which is one of Europe's largest natural harbours. Thus the city has a long maritime history and has been a naval dockyard for about 500 years.
It was from Plymouth that The Pilgrim Fathers sailed for America in 1620 and where Sir Francis Drake reputedly finished his game of bowls before sailing to defeat The Spanish Armada in 1588. Because of its importance as a naval dockyard it was targetted by The Luftwaffe during World War 2 and the city centre all but levelled during the 1941 blitz.
The modern Plymouth has therefore evolved from very much a "tabula rasa", beginning with the visionary 1943 "Plan For Plymouth" drawn up by the civic designer Sir Patrick Abercrombie and the city engineer James Paton Watson. The centre was rebuilt over a 20-year period and was designed specifically to be as pedestrianised as possible with the main boulevard of Armada Way, which runs straight through the centre from the railway station to The Hoe, being completely traffic-free. Whilst the concrete reconstruction is often derided as being stark and soul-less, this, to my mind, isn't a justified criticism in that the city is now a pleasant, relaxed, energetic space which is safe and accessible and above all functional.
Of course there is more to Plymouth than just its shopping centre. The Barbican area down by the old Sutton Harbour (from where The Pilgrim Fathers sailed) is a largely untouched "village within a city" retaining many original Elizabethan and Jacobean buildings on its cobbled streets and is now up-and-coming as the city's restaurant and nightlife district and of course has LOTS of Pubs!!
Plymouth, as a people's city, is, and always has been (its inhabitants sided with the Parliamentarians during The Civil War) very much a proletarian city with friendly down-to-earth locals but is also very much a cultured city with a strong theatre tradition, a great music scene, art galleries and museums and its university is now the 4th largest in Britain.