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News and events from Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City

January 8, 2019 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

Visit Plymouth for fabulous family breaks this spring

Sleep with the sharks when you visit the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

February half term entertainment with first class theatre experiences

Where to stay in Britain’s Ocean City: Glamping- shepherds hut style!

Experience the UK’s largest aquarium and have a family sleepover with the sharks!

The National Marine Aquarium on Plymouth’s waterfront is the UK’s largest and home to over 4,000 animals including sharks, stingrays and Friday the Green Turtle. This fascinating underwater world is the perfect rainy day venue for all the family. The Aquarium has several areas designed specifically for children, plus daily shows, including rockpool feeds, coral shows and shark talks are also available for those keen to delve in further!

On six dates during 2019, with the first on Saturday 23 February the National Marine Aquarium is inviting the public for a very special sleepover. Sleeping with the Sharks is experience you’ll never forget when you stay overnight in the UK’s largest Aquarium. With twilight exploration of the Aquarium and its animals, fun & games around the building and a midnight movie in front of its giant Eddystone Reef this unforgettable adventure is a perfect treat for the family. Sleeping with the sharks is an exciting opportunity to see what happens in the underwater world around us.

This Half Term the National Marine Aquarium is celebrating the local Ocean & Shore! Meet the amazing animals as well as local Ocean heroes & organisations all working to champion our beautiful coastal waters. Join scientists, conservationists and animal experts to take part in family activities, games and adventures this. All day tickets come with a free return ticket to go back as much as you like for 12 months. Ocean and Shore runs from 16-24 February. For more details visit

Matilda the Musical and Horrible Histories come to Theatre Royal Plymouth

Plymouth’s Theatre Royal has an impressive programme of family theatre on offer this spring, with Matilda the Musical and Horrible Histories: Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors amongst the shows set to delight the whole family.  Matilda the Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl and with original songs by Tim Minchin. The show runs from Tue 15 Jan-Sat 16 Feb.

Horrible Histories, Awful Egyptians and Terrible Tudors runs from Tue 19-Sat 23 Feb (book shows separately). Horrible Histories is two amazing live shows using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips.

You can also arrange a backstage tour of the theatre’s TR2 building from Tue 19 Feb-Tue 14 May. Take a tour of the production and learning centre where you can see the teams build sets, make costumes and props and where companies come to rehearse.  These tours normally take place on Tuesday afternoon and last approximately 75 minutes.  For more details please visit:

Where to stay: Shepherds Huts and WagonsMount Edgcumbe Country Park

Looking for a stay with a difference? These beautifully crafted English Oak shepherds’ huts and wagons are suited to family glamping holidays for four with a view…and what a view!  Situated within historic Mount Edgcumbe Country Park on the Rame Peninsular in Cornwall and a short distance from Plymouth, these handsome huts sit on a hilltop overlooking the city of Plymouth. Lynher and Tamar Huts overlook Plymouth Sound, presenting guests with one of the best views in Britain.

This glamping location is spectacular – guests will have so many activities to choose from at this 18th-century, 865-acre country park, which sits snugly around the red stone Tudor stately home. These huts sit confidently in their surroundings, allowing you and your family to enjoy a memory-making staycation in Cornwall’s best kept glamping secret

Outside, you have chairs at the foot of the hut for your morning coffee, as well as a larger bench and fire pit area for evenings under the stars. A movable kitchen pod provides everything you would need for cooking a hearty breakfast, or, if self-catering is not your style, then there are two café restaurants on site that provide breakfast and dinner – the park give you a voucher for a cream tea when you arrive, which is the perfect opportunity to check them out.

Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is in south-east Cornwall, around a 50-minute drive from Plymouth harbour.  However, thanks to the pedestrian Cremyll Ferry, guests can easily access downtown Plymouth in just under ten minutes from the Shepherds Huts, crossing the border from Cornwall to Devon.

For more details visit:

What’s On in Plymouth for 2019:

Plymouth boasts an ocean of events year-round. Here’s an overview of some of the impressive events taking place in Britain’s Ocean City in 2019:

11-12 May – Pirates Weekend Plymouth

Plymouth’s waterfront offers swashbuckling fun on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. This award-winning family event promises to give you a great adventure-filled day out filled with pirates, shanty bands, children’s activities and more.

19 May – Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon

Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon offers a challenging and scenic 13.1 mile course taking in Plymouth’s famous landmarks. For full details of the Corporate and Services Challenge and to book your spot visit

31 May – 2 June – Flavour Fest

Plymouth plays hosts some to some of the best food & drink events in the country including Flavour Fest. Every year more than 100 regional food and drink producers transform the city centre into a bustling continental-style market, with plenty of tempting treats to try and buy.

29 June – Armed Forces Day

A spectacular and exciting day of entertainment, with air displays, parades, demonstrations, displays, competitions and activities for the whole family.​ During the event the Royal Navy, Army, RAF, Royal Marines and veteran’s organisations, charities and the emergency services will showcase their services in a variety of ‘villages’ set out across Plymouth’s Hoe,

8 July – 15 Sep – Elmer’s Big Parade

For 10 weeks in the summer of 2019, a parade of 40 fabulously colourful and unique elephants will take you on a trail around the beautiful city of Plymouth and surrounding areas. St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is working in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press to bring this mass participation, family friendly, art trail to life; featuring the much beloved children’s character of Elmer, by Devon born artist and author David McKee

6-8 August – Fastnet Race Finish

Plymouth will host the finish of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet race. The first yachts are expected to arrive in Plymouth in the early hours of Monday 5 August. The Plymouth race village will be located at Yacht Haven at Mount Batten and will be open to the public from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August, with live music, family friendly activities and opportunities for local people to try their hand at on-water activities like sailing, kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding.

9-11 August – Ocean City Blues ‘n Jazz Festival

The Rolex Fastnet will be followed by the free Britain’s Ocean City Blues n Jazz Festival located at Plymouth’s Barbican area, from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August, rounding off a week of celebration. More details to be announced.

14-15 August – British Firework Championship

The world famous British Firework Championships is set to return to Plymouth’s waterfront on 14 and 15 August 2019. It is one of the biggest firework displays in the country and has for the last 20 years delivered a burst of lights and creativity for all the family to enjoy. Families return year after year for this spectacular annual event, hoping for a warm summer’s evening and an incredible display as firework companies from across the UK compete to be crowned the best. Offering two nights of breath-taking pyrotechnics that are completely free to enjoy – this is an event not to be missed.

14-15 September – Seafood Festival

Plymouth Seafood Festival is a two day celebration of the city’s enduring relationship with the sea and its traditional fishing industry, as well as its growing reputation as a food lover’s haven. With plenty to buy and see the festival will showcase Plymouth’s fantastic quality local seafood alongside demonstrations by local chefs; teaching you how to create mouth-watering dishes using catch fresh off the boats.

6 October – Plymouth 10k

Plymouth 10k is the largest road race in Devon and Cornwall. The race attracts in the region of 3,000 competitors and is suitable for runners of all abilities. The course is a fast, relatively flat, traffic-free road race that takes an out and back route through Plymouth’s historic city centre landmarks and the nearby scenic River Plym.

November 2019 to December 2020 – Mayflower 400 Programme begins

2020 will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship’s pioneering voyage from Plymouth UK to Plymouth USA. Plymouth’s Mayflower400 programme will be an exceptional year of over 400 moments including art, music, theatre, exhibitions, immersive storytelling, digital innovation, literature, crafts, sports, festivals, debates, business activity and more. Highlights will include the Mayflower Muster in Plymouth and light based festival Illuminate. For more detail on the Mayflower400 Plymouth Programme visit:


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