Plymouth, a city steeped in history and natural beauty, offers a wealth of experiences that don’t cost a penny. From its stunning waterfront to its historic sites and green spaces, there are numerous free things to do in Plymouth that cater to all ages and interests.
In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the best activities and attractions you can enjoy in Plymouth without spending a penny.
The Best Free Things To Do In Plymouth
1. Take a Stroll Along the Historic Barbican and Sutton Harbour
The Barbican and Sutton Harbour area is Plymouth’s historic heart, where cobbled streets lead you through a journey back in time. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s maritime history, view the iconic Mayflower Steps, and enjoy the picturesque marina – all for free.
Activities: Historical exploration, photography, and leisure walks.
Accessibility: The area is largely accessible, though some cobbled streets may be challenging for wheelchairs.
Best Time to Visit: Sunny afternoons or early evenings for a pleasant walk.
2. Explore the Beauty of the Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower
Plymouth Hoe offers breathtaking views of the Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours. The famous Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse stands proudly on the Hoe, offering a picturesque backdrop. While there’s a small fee to enter the lighthouse, exploring the Hoe itself is one of the best free things to do in Plymouth.
Activities: Sightseeing, picnics, and leisurely walks.
Accessibility: Well-paved paths suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.
Best Time to Visit: Daytime for views, or sunset for a spectacular panorama.
3. Visit the Royal William Yard
The Royal William Yard is a stunning example of historical military architecture, now transformed into a cultural hub. Walking around this area is free and offers a chance to admire the renovated buildings and occasional art installations.
Walk all around the yard and up the stairs to explore Devils Point, you could even jump in for a sea swim afterwards if you’re feeling particularly brave!
Activities: Architectural sightseeing, window shopping, sea swimming and enjoying public art.
Accessibility: Fully accessible with paved paths.
Best Time to Visit: Anytime, with evenings offering a lively atmosphere.
4. Enjoy the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
The Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery is a treasure trove of art, historical artifacts, and cultural exhibits. Entry is free, making it an excellent option for those interested in art and history.
Activities: Educational tours, art appreciation.
Accessibility: Accessible to wheelchair users.
Best Time to Visit: Weekdays to avoid crowds.
5. Discover the Greenery of Central Park
Central Park is Plymouth’s largest park and offers a green oasis for relaxation and recreation. It’s a perfect spot for families, sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers looking for free things to do in Plymouth.
Activities: Walking, picnicking, sports, and playgrounds for children.
Accessibility: Mostly accessible, with some natural trails that may be challenging.
Best Time to Visit: Sunny days for outdoor activities.
6. Walk the South West Coast Path
Starting Point: Various locations around Plymouth
The South West Coast Path offers some of the most spectacular coastal walks in the UK. Portions of the path around Plymouth provide stunning sea views and a chance to connect with nature without any cost.
Activities: Hiking, photography, and wildlife spotting.
Accessibility: Varies, with some rugged sections.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and summer for the best weather.
7. Visit the Elizabethan Gardens
Tucked away behind the New Street in the Barbican, the Elizabethan Gardens are a hidden gem. These small but beautifully maintained gardens offer a peaceful escape, perfect for those seeking free things to do in Plymouth.
Activities: Relaxation, photography.
Accessibility: Accessible, though small in size.
Best Time to Visit: Spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom.
8. Attend Free Events at The Hoe
Throughout the year, Plymouth Hoe hosts various free events, from music concerts to outdoor cinema screenings. These events are great for experiencing local culture and community spirit.
Activities: Entertainment and cultural experiences.
Accessibility: Generally accessible for these events.
Best Time to Visit: Check local listings for event schedules.
9. Explore Mount Edgcumbe Country Park
Just a ferry ride away (ferry not free), Mount Edgcumbe Country Park offers stunning landscapes, historic gardens, and woodland walks. The park itself is free to enter and is one of the most picturesque free things to do near Plymouth.
Activities: Walking, historical exploration, and enjoying nature.
Accessibility: Varied, with some accessible paths.
Best Time to Visit: Year-round, with each season offering a different charm.
10. The Box Plymouth
Admission is free to the box in Plymouth, a great day out for the whole family, and perfect for enjoying on rainy days too.
The Box serves as a communal hub where individuals, art, concepts, and encounters converge.
Plymouth offers an array of activities that don’t require spending money. From scenic walks along the coastline to exploring historical sites and enjoying green spaces, the city provides numerous opportunities for entertainment and education, all for free. Need help getting around? Don’t forget to pre-book your reliable, convenient and on-time transport with us today.