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Plymouth - Devon
Plymouth Hoe viewed from Mount Batten. Wikipedia photo
Only 142 miles southwest of London (trains from Paddington or A38 from Exeter by road), the great port of Plymouth was the home base of famed sea captains Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake; it was also the last embarkation point for the Pilgrim Fathers, who left here for Virginia in 1620 on the "Mayflower," but founded the New England colony instead. A shipbuilding and military base, the town was severely damaged by the Luftwaffe in World War ll. The combined estuaries of three rivers meet at Plymouth Sound, with wonderful views in every direction.
The older section of Plymouth, with its ancient warehouses and inns and the Elizabethan House, former home of a sea captain, is known as the Barbican, now known for its modern restaurants, bars and noisy nightlife . Bus tours take visitors round Sutton Harbor, the Hoe (where Drake is supposed to have played bowls before battling the Spanish fleet); and the Citadel.
Next Stop: Buckland Abbey