5 Things To Do In Plymouth With A Tight Budget

Note from Editors: In view of the current situation, please avoid all unnecessary travel and try to stay home. Don’t worry, like all things, it will end at some point and you’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, check out what you can do while staying at home.

Plymouth sits on the sunny south coast of England. With an interesting maritime heritage, beautiful nearby beaches and many family attractions, it is the perfect holiday destination.

Plymouth in 24 hours

You can take a ferry over the River Tamar to the beautiful grounds of Mount Edgcumbe, or explore under the sea at the National Marine Aquarium.

Kids and adults alike will love Dartmoor Zoo.

There are also many impressive country houses and historical landmarks. One of the most magnificent buildings in the region is Saltram House.

Now a National Trust property, the current mansion dates back to 1743 and was designed by the famous architect Robert Adam, though it stands on the grounds of a much earlier residence.

Beautifully decorated with opulent interiors and original paintings and furnishings, it also has lovely landscaped grounds to discover, with an 18th century orangery and several fashionable follies.

Plymouth Hoe
Plymouth Hoe. Photo credit: Lloyd Hunt.

There are many places where you can learn more about the city’s rich historical legacy.

Check out the City Museum and Art Gallery and the Mayflower Museum, which charts the history of Plymouth’s harbor. 

For fun and relaxation, there are plenty of nearby beaches, or you could head to the waterfront Tinside Lido, with its fountains and sun terraces. Kartworld, Pitch and Putt at Central Park and Tree Surfers offer the chance for more active adventures.

5 things to do in Plymouth on the cheap

#1 Visit Jennycliff Beach.

Jennycliff beach is a very small and cozy pebble beach with rock pools. Above the beach there is a pleasant grass area suitable for picnics and games and there are fine views to enjoy across Plymouth Sound. If you feel like chilling out with friends, family or on your own, you should definitely head. It’s free of charge and you can have a nice picnic there.

Price: Free.

Jennycliff beach
Jennycliff beach. Photo credit: Matthew Hutchinson.

Additional info: The yellow ferry goes from beside the Mayflower Steps across to the Mount Batten Peninsula every 30 minutes. The journey lasts 10 minutes. Once you get off the boat, walk to rocky Jennycliff beach which takes about 15 minutes. 

#2 Create your very own unique bottle of gin.

The Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working distillery in England. They’ve been making gin here since 1793, making it the world’s oldest producer. The distillery offers a range of unique tours for food and drink enthusiasts, tailored to suit all tastes, throughout the year. You can easily book a 40-minute tour to overview of the history of the Distillery as well as an introduction to how Plymouth Gin is made. At the end of every tour, visitors can buy souvenirs and choose between a free miniature of Plymouth Gin or enjoy a Plymouth Gin & Tonic in the Distillery’s bar.

Price: £7.00.

More info: Visit the Plymouth Gin Distillery website to book your tour or read more about its history.

#3 Have some fish and chips on the Barbican.

The Barbican is on the old part of Plymouth right next to the sea. Cobbled streets with old buildings. Walking along the cobbled stones makes one wonder about those who walked before us. You will certainly love the quirkiness of the old small buildings and the small cobbled streets that spin off like roots of a tree.

Fish and chips
Fish and chips. Photo credit: Fizz Wizzle.

The shops are small and friendly and sell many types of souvenirs. There are pubs and restaurants and fish and chip shops, benches are available to sit on to watch the boats coming into dock.

Price: £3.50 for fish and chips and £3.00 for a pint of beer.

Barbican
Incredible view of Barbican. Photo credit: Baz Richardson.

#4 Take a second look at Smeaton’s red and white Tower. 

The tower is 72-foot tall and you can soak up panoramic views from the top of Smeaton’s Tower. It was originally constructed in 1759 and awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013.

Ticket entrance: Adults £3.00, family (up to 5 members) £5.

Smeaton's Tower
Smeaton’s Tower. Photo credit: Lloyd Hunt.

#5 Explore National Marine Aquarium.

The National Marine Aquarium is Britain’s biggest aquarium with Europe’s deepest tank and is a self funded charity.The top floor is dedicated to native marine life. There is also a brand new jellyfish exhibit, the largest in Britain, and a replica WWII Walrus plane wreck which has recently been added to the largest shark tank. Plenty to see and lots of interesting facts to read and the giant turtle is fantastic too.

Price: Adults  £12.38, family pack  £36.90.

Additional info: It’s a great spot to visit on rainy days. One bonus from your ticket is you can return as many times as you want for the year when gift aiding, would highly recommend this place If you have children awesome gifts shop, huge play are for children and a lovely cafe although that is slightly pricey. You can find more info on National Marine Aquarium website.

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The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Photo credit: John.

Plymouth has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and dining out. It’s a very affordable place with various activities on the cheap. There are many places where you can learn more about the city’s rich historical legacy, try some British traditional dishes, chill out at the beach or go for a walk across the Barbican. You will not get bored even without spending much money.

Have you ever visited Plymouth? If so, what was your favorite budget spot?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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46 thoughts on “5 Things To Do In Plymouth With A Tight Budget”

  1. santafetraveler

    I’ve always wanted to visit that area of the UK. Now I have a few bargain things to do when I get there.

  2. I’ve never really heard much about Plymouth, but it seems like a nice place to check out. And I think the gin distillery would make it a very unique visit!

      1. Plymouth is the largest city on the South coast of England, so not small (population 260,000). Glad you enjoyed your visit (and nice website).

      2. Agness Walewinder

        Thank you Pat for stopping by. Yes Plymouth is beautiful and interesting to explore.

  3. My university city! It’s been a couple of years since I made the trip down – think I need to visit again :)

  4. As someone who lives in the UK I must admit to never having gone to Plymouth. The pictures to compliment this article are very enticing though. The Barbican looks beautiful.

    As for British tradition, ah yes Fish, Chips and a pint will do very nicely for me :-)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      HAHAHA! I knew you would like the idea of having a plate of beloved fish and chips washed down with a pint of larger!

  5. Didn’t stumble across Cap’n Jaspers then? Big nosh for little dosh. Great location. Not so sure the Aquarium is great value.

  6. We offer accommodation in Plymouth, located in the central area if you ever want to come and need a place to stay visit our page Facebook.com/ImperialPlymouth

  7. Having travelled all over the world, I have found that ‘If the locals like it follow their lead’ As a Plymouthian I agree Cap’n Jaspers is a must http://www.capn-jaspers.co.uk/menu. As for fish and chips for £3.50 I would like to know where?? on my last visit to the Barbican I paid almost £7 for 1 cod and chips.

  8. Hey, great feature on the city I live in I’m bias but the city has so much too offer visitors ! Plan your trip to plymouth in August and enjoy for free the national fireworks championships from plymouth hoe :-)

    Newest fan !

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hey! Great to hear that. We’re your new fans as well :). Great to keep in touch. Enjoy your stay and if you have some questions, let us know!! We’re always happy to help!

  9. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    It all looks great, but is it bad that all I can think of now is that fish and chips…. YUMMYY!!!

  10. Tim | UrbanDuniya

    Plymouth looks really nice! I had no idea there was so much to see and do there! And that shot of the Barbican looks like an oil painting! Looks like a trip to the UK will be on the cards for me :)

  11. I haven’t been to Plymouth before, but it looks like a nice place to visit. I think I’d like visiting the gin factory the most!

  12. I maybe biased as I’m from the UK but it’s great to read a post about Plymouth! Very underrated place :-)

  13. I’ve always wanted to visit Plymouth. Love the inspiring photos of sea and sky. Also love that tasty pic of fish n chips. So many reasons to love England!

  14. Wow! This reminds me so much of the East Coast of the United States – the Barbican truly looks like it’s out of another time. Excuse me while I change into my cableknit sweater and grab my pipe. Great post and looks like a great town!

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