Visit Plymouth by Mouse
Plymouth (Web site), a historic port city on the coast in Devon, is 215 miles southwest of London and 43 miles southwest of Exeter. It gets its name from the fact that it is located at the mouth of the river Plym. Its natural harbor is not only large and beautiful, but has been an important reason why Plymouth played such a major role throughout its history, not only in England but also in the rest of the world. Indeed few places in the world can claim as many important events with implications for the fate of England and the world as Plymouth can.
Start in 1562 with its being the home port of John Hawkins who was the originator, with Queen Elizabeth I's support, of the triangle slave trade. In 1577, Sir Francis Drake set sail from here to harass the Spanish in South American and Pacific waters. He circumnavigated the globe on that voyage and charted the west coast of North America. Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from here in 1583 to claim Newfoundland for the same Queen. Not much later, Sir Francis Drake, back from his circumnavigation, finished his bowling game on the high lawn, called the Hoe, above the harbor and set sail to defeat the Spanish Armada. And, again only a little later, in 1620, the Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower from Plymouth's Barbican (a dock) to establish the Plymouth Bay Colony in what was to become the United States of America. Captain Cook's voyage of discovery sailed from there in 1768. The colonizers of New Zealand also sailed from Plymouth in 1839 , as did Charles Darwin aboard the ship Beagle. And in 1919, the American seaplane, the NC 4, completed the first ever transatlantic when it landed here. This is only a partial list. Plymouth can claim others as well.
We visited a museum overlooking the harbor that was very good in describing the history of Plymouth and of the voyages that left from there. We think it was called The Dome. But when we looked for it on the web, we learned that it is now closed. That is unfortunate for future visitors, but we will include some pictures from it on the photos page.
Because of its superb port facilities, Plymouth was heavily bombed during WWII.  It has been rebuilt, and the harbor is as beautiful today as a harbor can be.  We are not sure about the rest of the city.  But the harbor waterfront, including the Hoe and Barbican was interesting enough for us.  The views from the Hoe are spectacular, as you will be able to see from some of our photos.
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