Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 2nd October 2013

routes to ride plymouth factsIn honour of another popular stop along one of our Routes To Ride, we’re proud to tell you everything you ever needed to know – and a few things you didn’t – about Plymouth.

It’s hard to defend…

…just ask King Charles II, who during war in the 1660s decided that he’d need to build a fortified structure in order to hold Plymouth; vital as it was to seafaring trade and transport. It needed to envelop the fort which was already there – which is why The Royal Citadel which stands there to this day has rather an odd shape about it.

It held up the Spanish Armada…

…as one of its important leaders was too busy playing bowls to signal the fleet’s advance! Legend has it that, on the verge of driving away the Spanish from our seas, Sir Francis Drake was too caught up in some lawn bowl action on Plymouth Hoe, delaying his command for battle to commence until he’d got in a few rounds. Drake’s Island still sits out in Plymouth Sound; in commemoration of the point from where Drake sailed on his round-the-world expedition in 1577.

We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock…

…but the Pilgrims who sailed there from Plymouth did! In 1620, settlers from Britain who landed on the east coast of what is now the United States set sail on the Mayflower from Plymouth port; religious outsiders who sought a new home where they could live free of persecution.

They’re good swimmers!

Having hopefully not had a lot of practice out in Plymouth Sound, famous Plymothians – or Janners, as people from Devon are more informally known – include Tom Daley and Rūta Meilutytė, who moved there from Lithuania at the age of 13; she won gold in the 100m breaststroke at the London Games and is the current World Champion in the same event.

It’s on one of our Routes To Ride!

Plymouth is part of one of the many Routes To Ride which you can take up if you feel like checking out the sights and discovering more of its inspiring local history.