Category: Students

Guest blog by Sophie James (University of Plymouth student)

Plymouth has a lively waterfront and town centre with a diverse selection of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. From a vibrant nightlife after studying for the day to a variety of activities that involve history, fitness or sightseeing. Here are the top 12 things to discover in Plymouth as a student.


Market Hall Dome

Situated in Devonport, Market Hall Dome is an incredible 15m dome where they screen a variety of immersive films and collaborate with students from a range of universities to create new work. The building is rich in history and is suitable for all ages, so you can take your family or new university friends.


Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Plymouth is the UK’s first national marine park where you can take a dip and have a swim in the water. Or take a walk along the water’s edge and take in the spectacular views. It’s also the perfect place to watch the sunset and sunrise and capture that perfect Instagram shot.


Drake Circus

Drakes Circus is the perfect place to go for a shopping spree or to have a look around with a few friends if the budget is tight. It has as a wide range of shops and department stores, including Primark, H&M, Next & Hugo Boss.


National Marine Aquarium

As a student, it’s a no-brainer to visit the Plymouth Aquarium as it’s the largest aquarium in the UK and home to over 4,000 animals. At the National Marine Aquarium, you can explore a diverse range of marine species, from bright fish, and impressive sharks to breathtaking coral reefs.

The aquarium will open your eyes and show you the beauty and fragility of our oceans. Student tickets are £17.50 and are worth fitting into your budget when considering a day out. Once you have bought your ticket it’s an unlimited annual pass, so you can pay once and visit all year. Plymouth Aquarium has also recently been on TV on the BBC channel on a show called “Secrets of the Aquarium”  


Plymouth Gin Distillery

Plymouth Gin Distillery is situated at the Barbican. It’s the oldest operating gin distillery in England and is worth the visit. They offer an immersive gin cocktail-making tour where you can choose your own botanicals and distil a bottle to take away. It's open seven days a week, so you can plan around your lectures and spare time. A standard tour is £15 but make sure you book as time slots fill up quickly. It’s a unique way to experience and understand gin.


The Box

The Box is a museum and art gallery where you can discover the history and culture of Plymouth and learn about the place you are studying in. By exploring a variety of exhibitions, collections and galleries. You can take a walk around which showcases archaeology, natural history, fine decorative arts, photography and local archives. It’s also free which is a bonus and won’t affect your budget.


The Barbican

The Barbican is full of beauty and rich in history after surviving the Second World War. For new arrivals, it’s a must to visit Plymouth. It Has something for all students from coffee shops, restaurants and bars. Looking to get your coffee fix before an assignment is due it’s the ultimate spot to go? You can choose from Monty’s café, Alfresco or ground coffee. If you fancy some food or drinks a variety of the restaurant and Pubs offer a harbour view. Or if you’re looking for a classier kind of night then BonneSante is your place.



Tenpin is a leisure complex with bowling alleys, including pool tables, food, drinks and arcade games. It’s the perfect place to go and socialize with friends. They offer a variety of deals for bowling, drinks and food. But the main attraction is that students get 50% bowling throughout the week.


Smeaton’s Tower

Smeaton’s Tower is a lighthouse that isn’t in use and is a memorial to the renowned civil engineer, John Smeaton.

Standing at 72 feet tall it offers spectacular elevated views across Plymouth. The perfect place to capture an Instagram post and show off to your family and friends where you are studying. Smeaton Tower is closed in winter. However, it's accessible throughout the rest of the year and is free of charge perfect for a student budget.


Plymouth Boat Trips

The perfect opportunity to discover the stunning coastline with Plymouth Boat Trips. Depending on your budget, they have something to offer for everyone. From sightseeing cruises, private charters and party nights to connecting ferries they cater for everyone. They offer a student budget-friendly cruise for just £16 which gives you a scenic harbour cruise for an hour the perfect chance to discover where you are living. They also have boats that go to a variety of surrounding places near Plymouth like Drake’s Island, Cawsand and Month Edgcumbe.


Plymouth Life Centre

Plymouth Life Centre offers a variety of fitness and recreational facilities. If you’re interested in swimming, they have three indoor pools you can choose from, including an Olympic-sized pool and a diver's pool. The life centre is one of the leading diving venues in the UK and has produced an Olympic-winning medallist. They offer free swimming sessions to Students at Plymouth, so this is perfect if you are looking for a free day out. They also have a fitness centre, sports hall and climbing wall as well.


Plymbridge Woods

Stuck in your Uni dorm and you fancy some fresh air, Plymbridge Woods is the place to go. It’s a short walk from Marjon’s Campus. It’s a woodland that’s managed by The National Trust. It's a circular 5.0-km trail on the outskirts of Plymouth. You can run, walk or cycle the trail with lots of wildlife and nature along the way.

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In partnership with GWR, Destination Plymouth’s lead travel partner.



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