I travelled to Plymouth by train and trains arrive/depart from/to London (Paddington) with First Great Western Trains and other parts of the country with Cross Country Trains. First Great Western offer local services to rest of Devon, Cornwall and neighbouring counties.
I travelled with Cross Country Trains on my first trip to Plymouth (November 2011). Ticket prices can vary especially when travelling from the North of England. A standard class return ticket can cost as much as 150 gbp but you can get tickets cheaper if you book in advance. For example I paid 83 gbp for an advanced return ticket from Leeds to Plymouth (the train journey takes 5 and a half hours each way!) which is considered good value.
On my second trip (March 2011) I travelled via London with East Coast and First Great Western Trains. At the time it had worked out half the price going to Leeds-London-Plymouth-London-Leeds than if I went direct from Leeds. I cost me 66.50 gbp for a round trip to Plymouth via London as opposed to 125 gbp return if I travelled direct from Leeds! It was great to include London in my itinerary because I had opportunity to meet up with friends and enjoy the capital as well as enjoying Plymouth!
The train journey from London to Plymouth takes approximately 3.5 hours and the train travels through Reading, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary, Taunton, Tiverton Parkway, Exeter St David's, Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth. Certain trains travel onto Cornwall and terminate at Penzance.
From Leeds, the Cross Country Train Service (The service starts from Edinburgh) travels through Wakefield, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Birmingham, Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Tiverton Parkway, Exeter St David's, Newton Abbot, Totnes and terminates at Plymouth. Certain trains do travel onto Cornwall and terminate at Penzance.
Please check out the train companies' websites for further information including timetables and fares.
Plymouth Railway Station offers adequate station facilities for the travellers.
Plymouth's bus and coach station is located at Bretonside, a few minutes walk from the city centre and is serviced mainly by National Express with regular services from London and elsewhere around the country. The Bretonside Bus Station is also the hub for local services around Devon and Cornwall and is fairly well organised with easy to read timetables and information boards.
For city bus services see next tip or 2nd website.
PS Don't be put off on arrival by the homeless guys hanging around or sleeping on the benches they are usually pretty harmless!
Mountbatten ferry is great way to get in to the city, I regularly use it. Parking on Mounbatten itself is free & unlimited time.
The ferry only takes a few minutes to get from one side to the other & saves you having to drive in to the city where it can be the norm to struggle to find a parking space in one of the citys ever decreasing carparks.
The price is only 1 pound each way & 50 pence for children over 5, the service seems pretty continuous the longest I have had to wait is 10 minutes. The ferry drops you off at the Barbican area if Plymouth. From here it is only a 5 -10 minute walk in to the main shopping area itself.
If you are interested in a river or coastal cruise check out their website. Although I have not used them for this.
Cremyll Passenger ferry takes you between Stonehouse in Plymouth and Cremyll, Mount Edgecombe in Cornwall. There is a free carpark at Admirals Hard, on the Plymouth side.
The Ferry only takes 7 minutes & costs £1.00 each way.
First ferry of the day starts at 06.50, service finishes at 20.15
You get wonderful views on the revevelopement of the impressive Royal William Yard. Which used to be a navel base which is now a top notch housing developement.
Plymouth's ferry port services the Brittany Ferries boats to (and from) Roscoff and Santander. The terminal is located at Millbay docks, just off Union Street, about a 15 minute walk west from the city centre.
From the train station it is about 20 minutes walking or alternatively the First Group #4 bus stops just before the roundabout at the start of Union Street, from which it is about 5 minutes walk.
The terminal is open roughly 9 to 5 every day and an hour or so before departures.
There's only basic facilities such as a cafe, bureau de change and toilets but there are a couple of pubs, cafes and fast-food places on Union Street and the road leading down to the docks.
For foot passengers there's a short covered walkway directly onto the ferries and boarding, security and passport control are usually swift and hassle-free.
The City of Plymouth has an excellent local bus service radiating out from The Royal Parade in the city centre covering all the city and suburban areas and even tentacling out into country areas such as Wembury to the east and St Budeaux, in the shadow of the Tamar Bridge looking across the river to Cornwall, to the west.
If you are spending some time in Plymouth and want to get out and about around the city and its immediate environs then a good option is the Dayrider from City Bus which is valid from purchase until the last service that day on all City Bus services with no limit to the number of journeys (tho' note it is NOT valid on the rival Stagecoach services who offer a similar ticket but without the extensive network).
And a couple of small addendi: most of the City Buses are "Low-riders" thus allowing disabled and push-chair access too. Drivers are generally friendly and helpful and all-in-all it really is a good service :-)
Buses available at Bretonside Bus station, next to Staples in Plymouth.
Locations include Exeter, suburbs of Plymouth, Tavistock, Callington, Oakhampton.
Quite expensive adult tickets unless you buy a day saver ticket
Plymouth does have an airport but not an international one and so most travellers not driving will probably arrive by train. The main railway station is on the Paddington to Penzance line with regular daily services and the overnight Riviera Sleeper 6 nights a week. The station itself is situated a short walk from the town centre and has a local bus stop just outside. Taxis from the station are usually plentiful with reasonable fares.
The station has a couple of cafes, a convenience store and a WH Smith newsagents and booksellers and is a Cloud Wi-fi zone.
I wanted to visit Royal William Yard which is situated on the outskirts of the city centre in Stonehouse and a bus ride is required. I caught the no. 34 Plymouth City Bus from Royal Parade in the City Centre to the destination. It cost me 1.30 gbp (one way) and took me approximately 10 minutes. If you're planning to make a number of trips during your time in Plymouth it could be worth investing in either dayrider tickets and period passes.
The Plymouth City Bus company provides Plymouth's local bus service.
You can find out further information about the city's local bus services and obtaining bus timetable and maps at the city centre's travel centre. The address is: 3rd Floor Debenhams, Royal Parade, Plymouth.
If going to Lands End don't take the car they are charging £5.00 to park it, park further out and get on the bus good fun.
Why not take a bost trip out to see the seals or a fishing trip from nearly all the harbours,like Padstow , Newquay, Falmouth, St. Ives etc.
Visitors leaving Plymouth and heading into Cornwall via the A38 road will be pleased to know that the roadworks due to the widening of the road bridge over the River Tamar, have now been completed. The work was completed slightly behind schedule, at a cost of some 38 million pounds. The two new cantilever traffic lanes are open, and the main bridge decking has been replaced with steel in place of the original concrete - a massive task!
But be aware that shortly the Saltash Tunnel, just over the bridge on the Cornwall side, is to be closed for major repairs that could take two years! This will cause massive disruption to traffic both entering and leaving Cornwall via the Tamar Bridge.
Here is a really useful website that I discovered, which lists all types of travel - Train, bus and Airplane - for Europe and other parts of the World. Take a look, and keep it safe for your own use later on
Road, Air and Sea Travel Site
And Another one:
World Travellers Net
A VT member asked about 7 day bus Explorer travel cards. I am informed by the 'Western National' bus company that they are available from and WN bus driver, and cost (6 Mar 01) £UK 29.50. They will allow travel within parts of Plymouth and on WN bus routes within Cornwall.
First Western National appear not to have a website, but you can look here for ravel information: Bus Information in Devon and Cornwall Just enter your departure point in the search box, and follow the instructions.
First Western National,
Attention of TIS)
Union Street, CAMBORNE Cornwall TR14 8HS
Telephone Number: 01208 79898.
Now how did a picture of 'Buck' get on here? Haha.
We travelled to Poole by car. From Wellingborough (where I live) it took 3.5 hours. My car (pictured) can hold a remarkable amount of luggage. We fitted in the back 1 small suitcase, 1 holdall, 7 carrier bags of things and a brand new stereo (bought whilst there). The nearest airport to Poole is Bournemouth but this is not a popular airport for the airlines as it is only small. You can also get to Poole by ferry from St. Malo in France or from the Channel Islands.
The best way to get around Poole is by car. The town is quite small but to big to walk. There are regular buses around Poole and to the surrounding areas.
The River Tamar provides the natural border between the counties of Devon and Cornwall. There are several spectacular road and rail bridges which connect the two including the Calstock Viaduct and the Brunel-designed Royal Albert Bridge but for travelling from Plymouth to the Cornish South Coast the Tamar ferries make for a shorter journey.
There are two ferries running from Plymouth across the river - The Cremyll foot passenger ferry (1st website) and the vehicle and foot passenger Torpoint ferry (2nd website).
The Cremyll boat shuttles between Admiral's Hard in Plymouth's Stonehouse suburb and Mt Edgcumbe on the outskirts of the town of Cremyll. This is a cute little ferry which can carry about 30 passengers at a time and the crossings are every 15 minutes during the day with a crossing time of about 7 minutes. Local bus services on either side are timed to connect with the ferry and so you can soon be on your way to whichever destination you are headed.
The Torpoint Ferry is the UK's busiest river crossing, carrying over two million vehicles a year. This is a much more industrial operation with 3 chain-driven ferries plying the route and a peak frequency of every 10 minutes. This operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, although nightime and Christmas period frequencies are half-hourly. If travelling this route by public transport the bus actually goes across on the ferry and you can pop out to stretch your legs during the crossing.
The bus connections for both ferries are the "First" company's service #81 and the easiest route planner is that on www.travelinesw.com