|< Cremyll to Portwrinkle||Plymouth to Warren Point >|
|Distance : 3 miles||Grading : +||OS Sheet : 108|
This is an urban walk through the coast of Plymouth. Starting from the Hoe the walk heads west through West Hoe and on to Milbay, where the ferries operate to France and Spain. Continuing west the walk reaches Stonehouse and the Royal William Yard development to end at the Cremyll ferry where you can cross into Cornwall. Despite the urban nature of the walk there is much of interest.
This walk begins from Plymouth, which is easily reached from the A38 Devon Expressway. If coming from the east join the A374 and follow this into the city centre where there are many car parks. If coming from the west take the A386 into the city centre. Alternatively there are several park and ride sites which are well signed from the A38 and A386 which is a cheaper option.
If you are coming by public transport Plymouth is well served, as you would expect. Plymouth has a railway station, a short distance to the north of the city centre which has frequent trains from London Paddington via Reading, Taunton and Exeter, with the fastest trains taking a little over 3 hours from London. These trains run a little less than hourly and are operated by Great Western Railway. Cross Country Trains also run broadly hourly services from Birmingham, Bristol and Exeter to Plymouth. There are also long distance and local trains from Penzance via Truro and St Austell and from Exeter. There are also local trains from Gunnislake to Plymouth. Local trains are operated by Great Western Railway. There are also frequent bus services from places including Tavistock, Dartmouth, Paignton and Kingsbridge to Plymouth. Local bus services in Plymouth are operated by Plymouth City Bus, whilst longer distance services are primarily operated by First Devon and Cornwall.
There is an extensive range of hotels and bed and breakfasts in Plymouth. However you won't find much in the way of self catering in the city and most camping and caravan sites are located outside the city. Visit Plymouth - Hotels has a list of hotels in the city.
Plymouth is an ancient maritime city and the largest city in Devon. It has a fascinating history, perhaps best known as the location of the Mayflower steps where the Pilgrim Fathers finally departed for America. It is also a naval town, with a large Royal Navy presence in the city as well as commercial ferry services to France and Spain. Due to it's naval connections the city was heavily bombed during World War II with the result that the city was greatly rebuilt during the 1960s and 1970s and as a result has some rather unappealing buildings, but there are also some lovely historic buildings around the Barbican area and other areas we pass through on this walk.
From the city centre follow signs for the Hoe. Continue following these signs past the old Civic Centre and Holiday Inn, crossing several roads in the process down to the Hoe, a large grassy area with the war memorial and the flags around it. Beyond it is Smeatons Tower the former Eddystone Rocks lighthouse, which was moved here. Pass Smeatons Tower and continue south, passing the former Plymouth Dome (now a restaurant) onto the road opposite Tinside Lido. Here turn right along the pavement on the south side of this road. Below is the rocky shore of Plymouth, with various platforms below you can get down to. Keep on this road to the mini roundabout. Here keep ahead, ignoring the lower road down to The Waterfront restaurant.
You are now entering the West Hoe area of Plymouth, with the road now lined with fine town houses. Continue along Grand Parade and just before the first of the houses on the left, take the path to the left of the houses behind them. At the end of this return to the road and turn left, now Great Western Road. To your left you can now see the ferry port and to the left is a modern private estate of flats. At the end of Great Western Road turn left into West Hoe Road and follow this past Millbay Park on the right. Continue on the pavement beside the road to a roundabout with the impress Duke of Cornwall Hotel and here turn left along Millbay Road with a car park to the right. At the next roundabout ahead, go straight on (second exit) ignorning the road to the left which leads into the port only, and is a dead-end. Continue on this road, Millbay Road, with the port area down below to your left. The port has commercial ferries to Roscoff in France and Santander in Spain, operated by Britanny Ferries. Continue as the road becomes Caroline Place passing an army barracks on the left behind the wall. At the end of the road, turn left into Durnford Street, now with the barracks on your left.
The walk now becomes mostly residential along Durnford Street. As the road bends round to the right, take the road on the left, still Durnford Street. Follow this road around passing a little park and then emerging at the coast at Firestone Bay. There is a shingle beach and tidal swimming pool here. Follow the road to the car park at the end and continue through the old Western King Battery. Follow the path through this to Devils Point where you have a fine view over Plymouth Sound and the Tamar ahead, with the coast of Cornwall now ahead. Just past Devils Point you should see the steps down into Royal William Yard. This was an old Victualling yard (where naval boats were supplied with food and drink which was stored here) and has now been converted to a mixture of offices, flats, shops and restaurants whilst retaining and refurbishing the beautiful exterior. Follow the coast in front of the buildings until you reach the small harbour. Assuming the lock gate is open, you'll need to go around this past more grand buildings. Once past the harbour turn left now rounding the far side of the dock and continue along the coast to eventually exit the complex onto the road leading to a roundabout.
Go straight on here and follow Cremyll Street. Continue along this road to pass a small childrens park on the left and take the path immediately beyond it into Strand Street. Turn right here and you should soon reach Admirals Hard from where the Cremyll ferry departs for Cremyll in Cornwall. You might choose to take this or end the walk here.
From the Cremyll Ferry at the end of the walk follow Admirals Hard ignoring Strand Street and continue uphill and turn right into Cremyll Street where there is a bus stop on the right. From here Plymouth City Bus routes 34 and 34A run 4 times an hour, seven days a week, back to the city centre.