Dry Ski Slope - John Nike Leisure
A dry ski slope , actually three, in the middle of Plymouth. They have equipment for hire, and the instructors are good for a laugh as well as being very professional and friendly.
A private teaching session will set you back about 25GBP, though a group tutor will cost you about 10GBP each lesson.
Also, if you are already competent, they have open session nights, where you can come along and just go... Approx 8-10GBP a night of about four hours, depending on if you are bringing your own equipment. Ski & Snowboarding & Snowblading & Tobogganing is all on offer. If you have your own equipment, bring it. If not, their rates are reasonable.
Bring a pair of full finger gloves as they will not let you on the slopes without them.
Wrap up warm, they are on a very exposed slope, with a great view of the Plym Valley and river, so also bring a camera.
The Merchant's House is a Jacobean town built in 1608 for William Parker who was Lord Mayor of Plymouth & close friend of Sir Francis Drake.
Today it is a fascinating museum telling parts of British history through time, each of the 4 floors have a different era and topic such as Isambard Kindom Brunel, the inadequacy’s in the British social and class system, and the history of Chemistry on the 4th floor.
Open from April to September, I can not remember the cost, but it was minimal.
The picture is...
The picture is of Holne Bridge, over the East Dart River, at Holne Chase which is on the road to Ashburton. The picturesque village of Holne lies just a short distance from the Chase.
Slowly giving up the Ho(e)
Of all British cities Plymouth has perhaps been the most violated by wars. Not so very long ago it was at once quaint and vibrant. It had a respectable boat building and other viable industries of which all that really remains is the gin distillery. Beautiful architecture has been lost to both bombers and criminally short sighted city planners. A slow economy has meant that cosmetic upgrades have been over-looked and what has resulted is a once enviable community that is now over-burdened with grotesque cement edifices - blind windowed and singularly un-lovely.
However, in the last couple of years this has begun to change.
The Barbican in particular which not so very long ago was abandoned to drunkards and their colourful pools of sick is now almost completely regenerated with cracking little restaurants and some elegant new blocks of flats giving it the genteel air of the south of France (minus the weather). In what was perceived to be a bleak puddle boats now bob jauntily coloured flags snapping smartly in the rarefied air. The change of the nature is reflected in the names of the boats - or more precisely their places of origin.
I could quite happily live here.
It is in the Barbican one can find the Distillery. I urge you to pop in for a wee snifter or two and then stagger/saunter/sway (depending upon your constitution) up the cobble streets into an area that can only be referred to a Anhk-Morpork-esqe. Abutting the wholeheartedly hideous Court House you'll find some quite wonderful architecture dating back from the 16 and 17 centuries.
There is also of course the main drag of Cornwall Street. This is where the shops are. You could be anywhere really - it's a regular UK High Street. It does, however, occasionally sport French and German markets. The Council invites traders over from their native turf to sell regional goodies. In the run up to Christmas it's a great place to pick up traditional German decorations and biscuits and the like.
The Union Street with its whores and bar brawls remains resolutely the same. It was like it in my parents' day - it'll be like it when my children are grown. Of that I have no doubt.
The Merchant's House Museum.
"A historic building tucked away down one of the city's oldest streets - the Merchant's House is Plymouth’s largest and finest surviving example of a 16th/17th century residence. During the 17th century it was home to three Plymouth mayors including privateer William Parker, a friend of Sir Francis Drake.
Climb the winding stairs and you will find the Merchant's House packed with Plymouth's history, a variety of old curiosities and everyday items.
Highlights include a 17th century Trelawney mantlepiece, genuine gold painted 19th century shop front signs, a huge doll's house that dates from the 1870s, a ducking stool, local truncheons and manacles, a Victorian school room and an entire local chemist's shop run by the Park Pharmacy Trust."
Couldn't have put it better myself so I'm not even going to try.
This is the rebuilt Victorian Guildhall - and an illustration of the dog's mess that is most of Plymouth's architecture.
Right next to the rather nifty gothic Guildhall is the vulgarity that is the Civic Centre and that is rather bafflingly honoured with the status of grade 2 listing by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This leaves the Council with a building that it doesn't like, is falling down and will cost a rather astounding £40 million to fix. The Council, of course, must find the money with no help from those who have decided its fate.
Prysten House, Finewell Street. c. 1498
This is part of Prysten House which was built in 1498: this particular bit is the front door of Tanners, a restaurant.
Spire of St Andrew's Church, Royal Parade.
Pretty much totalled during the war this is one of Plymouth's most successful rebuilds. A church has stood on this spot since the 11th century.
Building in front is The Merchant's House Museum.