The Mayflower Steps mark the approximate final UK departure point of the Pilgrim Fathers – the band of settlers who founded New England's first permanent colony at Plymouth (Massachusetts) in 1620. Having left Southampton and been forced into Dartmouth because of an unseaworthy ship, they finally left Plymouth (England) on board the Mayflower. The rest, in this case the founding of America, is history.
The steps themselves are small and, although they look old, they aren't the original ones (you have to expect a bit of a rebuild over the last 400 years). The surrounding plaques help you navigate Plymouth's past: they mark the departure of the first emigrant ships to New Zealand, Captain Cook's voyages of discovery, the arrival of the first ever transatlantic flight in 1916 and, five decades later, the first solo circumnavigation of the globe by boat.