A Long Weekend Road Trip to Plymouth (UK)
It’s been a busy couple of weeks! First Aaron and I had a long weekend in Plymouth followed by an overnight stay in London. Then I celebrated my birthday with a couple of days out, and finally my sister’s hen weekend in Disneyland Paris. Needless to say my blog has taken a bit of a back seat! 😅
To get me back into the swing of things I thought I’d write a bit about all the trips I’ve been on recently. Starting with our road trip to Plymouth at the end of April – which seems so long ago now!
A long weekend road trip to Plymouth
Plymouth is a coastal city found in the South West of England, and although I’ve been there a couple of times before (to visit the university), I haven’t had the chance to do any sightseeing.
Aaron on the other hand grew up in Plymouth and his dad’s side of the family still lives there. So he’s seen it all, so to speak. But not as a tourist.
I think there’s something special about being a tourist in your home town or city and seeing it from another perspective. What about you…?
The city of Plymouth is full of history from the first stone built lighthouse (Smeatons Tower) to the lido, the iconic Beatles bum imprints, and the steps of the Mayflower (where the pilgrims first left for America).
We travelled down on the Saturday and stopped at a little road side cafe called the Hog and Hedge for lunch. As my dad had recently travelled to Cornwall for work and recommended this place to us. It did not disappoint!
The Hog and Hedge is just off the A30 and serves a range of fresh food and drink, barista coffee and offers a takeaway service too. I had a decadent dairy free (vegan) chocolate brownie. It was mouth watering and definitely “more-ish”.
Plymouth Hoe and the waterfront
Once we arrived in Plymouth we headed to our accommodation, a lovely guest house near the waterfront; the Caledonia Guest House (more on our stay there to follow). We dropped off our bags before heading out for a walk around the area, starting off at the waterfront.
We climbed the 93 steps to the top of Smeatons Tower and went out on to the balcony. It was very windy(!), but the views were worth it. I’d highly recommend it if you’re not scared of heights. But please keep in mind that most of the climb is by means of narrow ladders, which may be troublesome for some.
That evening we had a delicious home cooked Italian meal (by Aaron’s step mum), followed by a dairy free orange cake. It was so good.
The Barbican, Plymouth
Next morning we ventured down to the Barbican (harbour area) to try out Cap’n Jaspers, which was a 15 minute walk away. But ended up stopping for an ice cream instead after I saw a sign for a vegan Magnum.
The ice cream shop we stumbled upon was Bertie’s and we soon found out that a Magnum wasn’t the only vegan option! I could choose between chocolate, vanilla, raspberry ripple or a combination of all three. 😍 It tasted just like real ice cream, or how I remember it tasting anyway.
The guy running the ice cream shop was very friendly. Pointing out the various vegan options available and kindly gave Aaron the extra flakes because I couldn’t eat them. After ice cream we continued on to Cap’n Jaspers.
Man Vs. Food – Plymouth edition
Cap’n Jaspers is a food hut (popular with students and bikers) which Aaron’s dad had recommended to us. It did not disappoint! I opted for a jumbo sausage and Aaron attempted the ‘half a yard dog’; it beat him. 😉
We were due to have Sunday lunch with his family later that afternoon so walked around the harbourside a little more before leaving.
Unfortunately the weather had taken a bit of a turn from the day before, it was overcasket and raining. Which you can definitely tell in the photos I took below.
That evening we went for dinner at the Pasta Bar in the Barbicarn. Yep, more delicious food! I swear we did more on this staycation than stuff our faces, lol. 😅
The Pasta Bar is open late so it’s ideal after a day sightseeing or if you arrive in the city in the evening. I tucked into chilli con carne topped penne pasta which was spiced perfectly.
The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
We decided to have a bit of a lie-in the following day, so switched off our regular alarms the night before and woke up gradually. It felt so good not to have to get up early on a Monday for a change.
Breakfast consisted of left over cake(!), lol, and a nice cup of tea to go with it. Tea and cake for breakfast? Why not. 😊 Do you ever have different (odd) things for breakfast while you’re away?
The National Marine Aquarium is famously known as the largest in the UK, and can be found in the Barbican. My favourite part of the aquarium was the large shark tank where we were lucky enough to see them swimming overhead. Along we a sea turtle! Aaron’s favourite animal.
Afterwards we tracked down Plymouth Gin so I could snap some photos before heading into to the city centre. Neither of us drink gin so we didn’t go inside.
We walked through the main shopping centre, Drakes Circus and I couldn’t resist popping into Lush cosmetics. I picked up the train from their new Father’s Day range.
After our brief shopping trip, we headed back to the Barbican for lunch and a boat trip. But unfortunately they were closed for the day. 🙁
Tip: If you’re thinking of taking a boat trip – book it early, as many close at 3.30pm!
For lunch we ate at a little sea food restuarant by the harbourside, who also offered fishing boat trips. They’ll even cook your catch for you afterwards which is a great touch.
With a long day of travelling ahead of us, we decided to head to the cinema to watch Avengers: End Game. No spoilers but I laughed, I cried and throughougly enjoyed every minute of it.
As it was our last day, Aaron’s dad had kindly offered to show us around the historic market town of Totnes which is situated on the River Dart.
The town itself was, quirky, with a hippie vibe to it. We saw a couple of street performers playing a ukulele and many people dressed in harem pants.
Following the unique, quirky vibe of the town, every other street post was decorated with a hand knitted cactus!
Totnes is full of independent shops. So if you love getting away from the highstreet, it’s the place to be. We saw homemade fudge shops, antique shops, a toy store and vast array of cafes.
The cafe we stopped in had decorated their tables with old Nokia phone cases! Which I loved; it was a nice bit of nostalgia and I stopped some I used to own.
Have you ever been to Plymouth? What are some of your favourite places to visit? Let me know in the comments. 😊