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Top Rated Attractions in Plymouth

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Overbeck's

Taking its name from scientist Otto Overbeck, who lived here between 1928 and 1937, this elegant Edwardian house is now a museum containing Overbeck's eclectic collections of shells, photographs, drawings, model boats, toys, curios, and displays on local maritime history and wildlife. There is a secret room just for children, with dolls, tin soldiers, and other toys, plus a ghost hunt. Outside you'll find a lovely subtropical garden with many rare plants, trees and shrubs. There are spectacular views over the estuary creeks and beaches to Salcombe, which looks quite picturesque in the distance. The garden is not wheelchair accessible, but the ground floor of the museum, shop, and tea-room, are. Braille guides for the museum are available, as well as a Braille ghost hunt.

Cotehele

One of the least altered medieval houses in England, Cotehele was owned by the Edgcumbe family for 600 years. They moved on to Mount Edgcumbe House in Tudor times, using Cotehele for family getaways and to show off to visitors, who marveled at this medieval gem, just as we do today. The ancient granite walls house a fine collection of textiles, tapestries and early oak furniture, while the chapel contains the oldest working domestic clock in England. Warning - Cotehele weaves a magic spell, so that once you've been there you want to go back again and again. The open times of the house and the restaurant vary greatly every week.

Buckland Abbey

Bearing inextricable ties with Sir Richard Grenville the Younger and Sir Francis Drake, the antiquated Buckland Abbey is a stirring relic of England's Cisetrcian past. The abbey was built in 1278 as a Cistercian monastery, however, in the wake of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey, too underwent a restoration and today stands strong as a charming house burrowed in dense woods, with a stirring history to tell. Inside, the Treasures gallery boasts the iconic Drake's Drum, while the glorious self portrait of Rembrandt and Georgian-style rooms make the house more atmospheric. Accentuated by a lovely Elizabethan garden, and a monastic barn, Buckland Abbey regularly hosts craft workshops, events, and insightful country trails which unveil the hidden histories of the abbey and its early inhabitants. Complete with myriad mementos and exhibits that chronicle Drake's legacy, Buckland Abbey is shrouded in equal parts history and heritage.

Plymouth Hoe

This green plateau is an excellent place to watch the ships in Plymouth Sound. There are many interesting landmarks on the Hoe, including three war memorials and a large statue of Francis Drake, whose game of bowls there is legendary. Also re-erected here is the spectacular Smeaton's Tower, Plymouth's famous lighthouse. On the east side of the Hoe is the vast Citadel, built by King Charles II to defend the port. A later edition, Plymouth Dome, is a high tech time capsule of Plymouth through the ages. There is no sand below Plymouth Hoe, just a pebbly beach at the very far end.

Plymouth City Centre

The Plymouth City Centre is a pedestrianized area at the very heart of the city. As a shopping destination, the Plymouth City Centre could easily rival some of Devon and Cornwall's most cherished offerings. From independent boutiques and specialty stores offering one-of-a-kind pieces, to high street brands, designer boutiques and shopping centers like the Drake Circus, the Plymouth City Centre has something to suit every taste and budget. As you stroll down the streets of this iconic neighborhood, you will find yourself in the midst of some excellent examples of post-war architecture, including several buildings that are considered local historic landmarks. A walking architectural tour of the Plymouth City Centre can be found online. With its dazzling big screen, the Piazza is the Plymouth City Centre's crown jewel and is often the venue for festivals and outdoor events. With so many cafes, restaurants, boutiques and historic sites to explore, the Plymouth City Centre is an attraction that is much-loved by locals and tourists alike.

Smeaton's Tower

An august commemoration of its maker, John Smeaton, the iconic Smeaton's Tower commands over the lush and vibrant landscape beneath. A striking engineering marvel in its own right, this charming candy-striped tower is riddled with winding staircases, ladders and the famed lantern room which affords some of the most astounding views of Devon and Plymouth Sound. Originally built using an amalgam of granite and Portland stone, this picture-perfect lighthouse has its roots in a long-standing engineering history. The lighthouse was first built on Eddystone Reef, and was later moved to its current standing on Plymouth Hoe. Although it is no longer in use, Smeaton's Tower has long established itself as one of the most arresting landmarks of the city, and has been an emblematic torchbearer in the avenue of English lighthouse design.

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