A short trip into Plymouth
A quck pedal around the harbour
(Photos/words © urban75, May 2007)
Boasting a population of nearly a quarter of million inhabitants, Plymouth sits at the mouth of the rivers Plym and Tamar and at the head of one of the world's largest natural harbours, Plymouth Sound.
The city has a long maritime history, and was the departure point for the Pilgrims heading to the New World in 1620.
The city was once one of the most important Royal Navy bases in the UK which made it a prime target for the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, who flattened most of the town centre and docks in 1941.
After the war, Plymouth was rebuilt under the guidance of architect Patrick Abercrombie and retains one of the few surviving naval dockyards in the UK and is the largest naval base in Western Europe.
Fact! People born in Plymouth are known as Plymothians or less formally as Janners.
The bike ride into Plymouth from the west is horrible, but if you look to your left and try to ignore the thunder of the A374 traffic you get a pretty view over the River Plym.
During WW2, nearly every civic building in Plymouth was destroyed along with the two main shopping centres, 20 schools and 40 churches.
As a result, the city centre looks like it's come straight off a 1960s architect's board, full of brave ideas and wide sweeping spaces.
The confident lines of Pearl Assurance House.
The equally impressive Dingles department store sits opposite.
The Plymouth city centre sundial (the 'Armada Dial') sits in front of Dingles department store.
There's loads of big open spaces along the Royal Parade.
60s-tastic scribbly thing on the front of the Crown and County Courts.
The hefty tower of Plymouth Guildhall on Royal Parade.
The building was originally opened by the Prince of Wales in 1874 but was gutted during the blitz in 1941. It was re-opened by Field Marshall Montgomery in 1959 and now serves as a venue for large scale concerts, community and civic events.
An amble through Plymouth's Ye Olde Streets.
New and old architecture by the harbour.
Swishy marina bordered by the inevitable upmarket 'lifestyle' apartments.
Three Crowns boozer by the riverfront.
Old fella hanging out
Old railway notice.
Old and new architecture by the harbour.
More marina action.
Cab office close to the station - time for us to head home!
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