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Yacht Haven Quay, Plymouth
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Take a water taxi ride across to the Barbican and enjoy Plymouth's spectacular waterfront!

The Local Area

Nicknamed Britain's Ocean City, Plymouth has a long standing maritime history. While Plymouth Dockyard in Devonport remains a significant feature within the city, tourism has become Plymouth's number one selling point with tourists flocking to the city's ancient cobbled streets, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and stunning views over the Atlantic.

Sailing in Plymouth

Eddystone PursuitBasing your boat in Plymouth allows you explore various day sailing locations around the Plym, Tamar and Lynher Rivers. Furthermore, Plymouth is perfectly located to explore west to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, or east to Salcombe and Dartmouth.

Find out more about day sailing in Plymouth

Find out more about sailing to the east of Plymouth

Find out more about sailing to the west of Plymouth

Activities Ashore

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If the weather doesn't lend itself to sailing, then Plymouth offers plenty of activities ashore to keep you amused and entertained. From the National Maritime Aquarium to the oldest working gin distillery in the world, Plymouth has something for everyone.

Read our guide to activities in Plymouth

VIDEO: See Plymouth from a different perspective

A quick guide to Plymouth's history

Plymouth lies between Dartmoor and the sea, at the southern border of Devon and Cornwall and is surrounded by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Plymouth has been a significant English port for almost a thousand years, and by the 16th century had a reputation as a centre for voyage and discovery. Sir Francis Drake embarked from here on journeys into the Pacific and around the globe, and back in Plymouth defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 - allegedly playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe as the Armada sailed up the English Channel. In 1620, the Pilgrims left Plymouth on board the Mayflower, heading for the New World. In the 18th century Capt James Cook led three voyages from Plymouth to the southern ocean and the Pacific, and in 1831 Charles Darwin departed Plymouth for the Galapagos Islands, where he formulated his theories of evolution. More recently, in 1967 Sir Francis Chichester started and finished at Plymouth the first ever solo circumnavigation of the globe on board his yacht Gypsy Moth IV.

Plymouth has also long been known for its military importance. The Citadel which still stands today was built in 1670 on the highest point above the town, the Hoe, meaning high ground. The Royal Dockyard first opened in 1690 and continued to develop throughout the 18th century. The British Navy's role in the war against Napoleon was pivotal, and Plymouth's breakwater was built in 1812 to protect the fleet - a project so important to Britain at the time that it was known as "The Great National Undertaking".

Because of its military importance, Plymouth was heavily bombed during the Second World War, and much of the city centre and Devonport areas were destroyed, but today the city is flourishing, with a population of almost 250,000. While the Dockyard is still important, Plymouth is now a popular tourist destination, attracting large numbers of visitors who are drawn to the medieval Barbican district with its ancient cobbled streets and great restaurants, the stunning views of Plymouth Sound from the Hoe, the array of summer festival events which include the British Firework Championships, and the easy access to explore the beautiful coastline and countryside of Devon and Cornwall.

Turnchapel Wharf

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At the eastern end of Plymouth Yacht Haven lies Turnchapel Wharf, the former home to the 539 Royal Marines Assault Squadron. As part of military streamlining, the squadron left the site in 2014 and repositioned on the shores of the River Tamar. Turnchapel Wharf is now home to a new waterfront commercial business site having developed the historic site into a modern, state-of-the-art busines location.

Find out more about Turnchapel Wharf