Area Guide: Plymouth
Everything you need to know about living in Plymouth
Plymouth is not only renowned for its maritime history – it’s also a stunning place to live. In this Plymouth guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this Devon city, including the types of property you’ll find and how much they cost. We’ll also highlight Plymouth’s best schools, pubs and restaurants and tell you how to get around this incredible South West city.
Where is Plymouth?
Plymouth is located in Devon on the South West coast. The city is 190 miles from London and 37 miles south west of Devon’s other major city, Exeter. It’s bordered by Cornwall to the south west.
Is Plymouth a nice place to live?
Plymouth is a great place to live if you like to mix urban living, rural peace and seaside tranquillity. The city is conveniently located, with excellent transport links across Devon, Cornwall and beyond and with the stunning countryside, great beaches and historic coastline, you’ll never be short of relaxation and fresh air in Plymouth.
Places to live in Plymouth
As well as Plymouth city centre, popular suburbs of the city include Plympton, Plymstock, Peverell, Mannamead, Hartley, Stoke and Crownhill. The market town of Ivybridge is also just outside Plymouth, alongside a number of quaint villages, including Modbury, Lee Mill, Ermington, Yealmpton and Brixton.
Property for sale in Plymouth: What you’ll find
Plymouth city centre is home to more cobbled streets than anywhere else in England and this rustic heritage is part of the city’s charm. Many of those cobbled streets close to the waterfront in Millbay and Plymouth Hoe are now lined with modern developments of apartments and houses with stunning views.
Plymouth Hoe is also a great place to start if you’re looking for a period home, with rows of Victorian and Edwardian terraces lining pretty streets.
The Hoe also has some jaw-dropping Regency era properties along the waterfront, with some Georgian townhouses available in this area and in the popular suburb of Stoke.
Is it expensive to live in Plymouth?
According to data from Numbeo, Plymouth is 18% less expensive than London, with rental costs in the city 67% lower than in the capital.
Property prices in Plymouth
The average cost of a property in Plymouth is below the UK national average at £212,608, according to Dataloft Inform.
Property prices in Plymouth grew by 7.8% in the 12 months to April 2021 – compared with 8.9% growth in the South West as a whole and 7% nationally.
Average costs by property type in Plymouth:
• Detached house: £371,574
• Semi-detached house: £216,422
• Terraced house: £186,479
• Flat / apartment: £120,178
How much you’ll pay in council tax
A Band A property in Plymouth can expect to pay just over £1,300 a year* in council tax. Band C and D properties will pay between £1,750 and £1,980*, while the most expensive Band H homes will pay just under £4,000*.
*For year April 2021 to March 2022. Prices from Plymouth.gov.uk.
Property to rent in Plymouth
Homes to rent in Plymouth include a good mix of period and more modern properties.
Student rentals are also commonplace, with the University of Plymouth playing host to around 21,000 students.
The most popular area for student rentals in Plymouth is Greenbank, close to the university, while Lipson and Mutley are also home to a large number students.
Rental prices in Plymouth
The average monthly rent for a property in Plymouth is £705*, which is a 7% annual rise, and around half of rental properties in the city are flats.
*Prices from Dataloft Inform, April 2021.
Plymouth schools and education
As well as the University of Plymouth, the city is blessed with a number of highly-regarded state primary and secondary schools.
As many as 11 primary schools in the city carry Oftsed’s ‘Outstanding’ rating and these are:
• Boringdon Primary School
• Elburton Primary School
• Ernesettle Community School
• High View School
• Holy Cross Catholic Primary School
• Hyde Park Infants’ School
• Marine Academy Primary
• Mayflower Academy
• Pilgrim Primary Academy
• Prince Rock Primary School
• St Andrew’s CofE VA Primary School
Brook Green Centre for Learning and Devonport High School for Boys are the two ‘Outstanding’ secondary schools in Plymouth, with a further 13 schools rated ‘Good’, including Cann Bridge School, Devonport High School for Girls, Hele’s School, Mill Ford School and Mount Tamar School.
Transport links around Plymouth
The A38 is the main road in and out of Plymouth, both east and west. The road runs from Bodmin in Cornwall, via Bristol, all the way to Nottinghamshire. The M5 motorway is accessible via the A38 to Exeter, meaning great access to the Midlands, while the A35 from Exeter runs along the Jurassic Coast through Dorset.
Trains from Plymouth to London Paddington, meanwhile take around three hours, with direct services to Exeter St David’s and Bristol Temple Meads also available. The local rail network in Plymouth includes stations at:
• St Budeaux
Plymouth’s best restaurants and pubs
As you might expect from a coastal city, seafood plays a huge part in Plymouth’s culinary scene – in pubs and in restaurants.
Five of the best pubs
Seaside towns and cities are known for their vibrant watering holes – and Plymouth is no exception.
1. The West Hoe - A traditional English pub in Plymouth town centre, the West Hoe also has a large beer garden to go along with its warm and friendly atmosphere.
2. The Pub on the Hoe - Ideally situated on the Hoe, this pub serves cask ales, home-cooked food and also offers en-suite rooms for visiting guests.
3. Kitty O’Hanlon’s - Kitty O’Hanlon’s was Plymouth’s first Irish pub and is still going strong today. Food, live sport and plenty of Guinness are on offer in a great location.
4. Minerva Inn - Plymouth’s oldest pub, the Minerva Inn has been pulling pints since 1540 – not only that, but much of its timber frame came from the Spanish Armada fleet!
5. The Ferry House Inn - Located next to the Tamar Bridge, The Ferry House Inn offers incredible views over the River Tamar towards Saltash and Cornwall. A great place for a drink and a bite to eat.
Five of the best restaurants
Plymouth is home to several restaurants with prestigious places in the latest Michelin Guide.
1. The Fig Tree @36 - The Fig Tree @36 first opened in 2017 and has made a huge impact on the local culinary scene, serving locally sourced produce, including fish caught just yards away from local waters. It was awarded the Michelin Plate in 2019 and retained the award in 2020.
2. Barbican Kitchen - Barbican Kitchen has been part of the Plymouth food scene for more than a decade. Owned and run by TV chef James Tanner and his brother Chris, the restaurant showcases local meats and seafood and is named in the 2020 Michelin Guide.
3. Platos, Plymouth - Formerly The Greedy Goose, Platos’ home is in Plymouth’s oldest building, Prysten House and opened in 2014. As well as being named in the 2020 Michelin Guide, the eatery earned a Certificate of Excellent from TripAdvisor in 2018 as The Greedy Goose.
4. The Boathouse Café - If you’re looking for locally-caught seafood, the Boathouse Café is the place to go – it even catches what it serves on its own boat! Not only that, but you can also sit on the eatery’s large harbourside terrace, enjoying the views alongside your meal.
5. The Artillery Tower - When it comes to dramatic settings for dinner, The Artillery Tower takes some beating. Located in a 15th century tower, the restaurants exposed stone walls and wood-burning stove match its excellent menu, which includes Devon duck breast and dived scallops.
Things to do in Plymouth
Plymouth is packed full of history, so a visit to the Barbican and Sutton Harbour are musts.
Barbican is home to boutique shops, art galleries and cafes that line the cobbled streets, while Sutton Harbour showcases Plymouth’s maritime history.
For shopping, Drake Circus shopping centre is home to more than 70 top brands and if you fancy a swim during the warmer months, head to the Tinside Lido – one of the top-10 outdoor pools in Europe.
Meanwhile, Plymouth attractions include the National Marine Aquarium and Dartmoor Zoo – both of which are great places to visit with the children.
The sandy beaches of Bovisands and Wembury are a short drive from Plymouth and well worth a visit for swimming, surfing and rockpooling – or just relaxing in the sunshine.
And with the city on the doorstep of Dartmoor National Park and the Tamar Valley and South Devon Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you’ll never be short of fresh air, great views and incredible walks when you live in Plymouth.