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Introducing Plymouth

Britain is historically a nation of seafarers, and nowhere is this maritime heritage more obvious than at the port of Plymouth, from where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World and Sir Francis Drake allegedly eyed up the Spanish Armada while indulging in a spot of bowls. The best place to view old Plymouth is the much-restored Barbican area, where half-timbered houses and Tudor buildings look out across a harbour filled with fishing trawlers and upmarket yachts; sadly the rest of Plymouth was practically levelled by bombing raids during WWII, and was largely rebuilt in functional concrete after the war. But the city’s slowly smartening up its act, with a new shopping development in the city centre, a growing selection of bars and restaurants around the Barbican, and the reopening of one of the city’s best-loved landmarks, the Tinside Lido, in 2003.