Route Highlight


The biggest city on the SW660 sits in a world-class location between Dartmoor and the islands and inlets of Plymouth Sound, with the lush twists of the Tamar Valley alongside.

You’ll be greeted by breath-taking panoramic waterfront views and a city steeped in maritime heritage including Europe’s largest collection of Grade 1 listed military buildings at Royal William Yard, now a lively hub of trendy restaurants, shops and events.

The monumental view out to sea from the Hoe – where Drake played bowls as the Armada approached – is one of the must-see panoramas of the southwest. And the cobbled lanes, overhanging Tudor homes, naval citadel and restored warehouses of the harbourside Barbican will get you closer to the nautical heritage of the old Tudor seadogs than anywhere on this whole drive.

As it’s a big city expect a wide range of places to eat, drink and stay, and plenty of shopping and culture too. Highlights include stroking the fish at the innovative National Marine Aquarium (the UK’s largest), tasting produce at Plymouth gin distillery (the UK’s oldest) or jumping in the restored period waterfront lido (also one of our oldest).

During your trip

Other Route Highlights


Probably the biggest tourist lure in the South Hams, Salcombe is not really a beach resort at all. The narrow steep streets of this small fishing village first turned into a boating haven, then have become an overall up-market seaside holiday centre.

Burgh Island

This 26-acre lump of grassy rock houses an old whitewashed smugglers pub and a natural seawater bathing pool – but what makes it famous is the landmark art deco hotel. In its 1930s heyday aristocracy and wealthy celebrities danced the Charleston to big bands playing on floating pontoons.

Slapton Sands

It’s easy to see this wonderful geographical oddity by driving between Slapton and Torcross. The A379 runs right along the three-mile narrow pebble bar separating the sea and a long freshwater lake called ‘The Ley’.

Around Plymouth

Outside the city various leafy inlets of the Sound and River Tamar are worth exploring for the views and for a huge collection of stately homes and gardens. They include Mount Edgcumbe, Saltram House, Antony House, Buckland Abbey and Cotehele.

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