For decades, some have dismissed Plymouth as sprawling and ugly, pointing to architectural eyesores and sometimes palpable poverty. But the arrival of two celebrity chefs (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Gary Rhodes) and on-going waterfront regeneration begs a rethink. Yes, the city (an important Royal Naval port) suffered WWII bomb damage, and today it's still sometimes more gritty than pretty, but Plymouth is also packed with possibilities. You can swim in an art deco lido, tour a gin distillery, learn to kayak, roam an aquarium, take a boat trip across the bay, then see a top-class theatre show and party till dawn. And the ace in the pack? Plymouth Hoe – a café-dotted, wide grassy headland offering captivating views of a boat-studded bay.