Parks & Gardens
Plymouth and it's surrounding areas are well known for it's picturesque landscape, stunning coastline and spectacular national parks, and has been long deemed as an area of natural beauty.
Despite its urban centre over a third of the city is actually green with parks, open spaces, woodlands and no less than eight nature reserves to explore.
At the heart of the city the Hoe has its fair share of parks and promenades to pass the time of day in. Whilst Central Park – the city’s largest public open space – has a bowling green, pitch and putt, playgrounds, walks, trails and even a skate park. It’s the perfect place for a picnic with spectacular views across Plymouth Sound.
Not far from here on the historic Barbican, sits the Elizabethan Gardens. This delightful little garden is an oasis of tranquility. Although a popular tourist stop it is tucked away, and can be quiet and completely empty even on a hot August day.Very low box hedges contain beds of colorful flowers and fragrant herbs in the old Elizabethan manner.
If you like a house with your parks and gardens, then Plymouth is surrounded by National Trust properties and historical homes. Saltram House, on the western edge of the city, is only 10 minutes drive from the centre and as well as being a stunning Georgian property, it also has fabulous grounds, woodland, river walks and plenty of events to enjoy throughout the year.
Across Plymouth Sound on the Rame Peninsula is Mount Edgcumbe Country Park accessible by foot ferry from Stonehouse. It has beautiful gardens, tree lined avenues and the grand riverside house itself to look round. Cross the River Tamar and you’ll find Antony House, filming location for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland adaptation. Again there are formal and informal gardens to stroll round and woods to wander through.
Meanwhile, there is more costume drama available at Buckland Abbey - once the home of Plymouth’s Sir Francis Drake and before that, Cistercian monks. Why not try on a Tudor costume while you’re there?
There’s Moor to Sea..
And then there is Dartmoor. This vast expanse to the north of the city is the same size as London, but is populated with more sheep than people! With over 450 miles of public rights of way, there is an abundance of walking routes to suit all abilities. Dramatic and rugged it displays natural beauty at its best. It’s one huge wilderness to enjoy and explore, right on the city’s doorstep.
Set in 33 acres of beautiful woodland with some stunning views of the surrounding countryside, Dartmoor Zoological Park is a unique family owned zoo with a fantastic collection of animals. These include tigers, lions, jaguar, lynx and cheetah (the largest collection of big cats in the region), bears, wolves, tapir, capybara, racoons, meerkats, monkeys, a fantastic collection of bugs and reptiles and much more.