Did you know… Drake’s Island was once a youth training centre

It’s hard to imagine, but Drake’s Island located in the Plymouth Sound was once a youth training centre. It was opened to the public in 1964, the year that mains water was finally laid on for the first time.

Look how clean and tidy the island used to look like from one of the original flyers…

Plymouth Hoe - Drakes island adventure park flyers

Smeaton’s Tower now open Sundays – Eight Week Trial

plymouth hoe smeaton's towerPlymouth’s iconic Smeaton’s Tower will open on Sundays.

The lighthouse on the Hoe will now open to visitors hoping to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the  tower as well get a glimpse of the life of a lighthouse keeper.

Deputy leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Smith said: “I have to say it never dawned on me that the tower would be anything but open on a Sunday. As soon as I became made aware of this, we took steps to rectify this.

“We have set out our stall as Britain’s Ocean City and we need to do away with some of the more old-fashioned views and start sending the signal that we are open for business – and that includes Sundays.”

The Sunday openings will run until the end of September – the end of the peak summer season on an eight-week trial basis to see what sort of demand there is.

The new opening hours are in response to a Twitter conversation which was started by BBC Radio Devon’s Gordon Sparks or Sparksy on Sunday. By Monday, moves were afoot to ensure that the tower would open.

Councillor Smith added: “We wanted social media to be part of how we communicate with our residents and we have also pledged to be more open and responsive.

“There are often all kinds of complex issues that need to be looked at, such as staffing, costs and priorities. But this one was a no-brainer – it was a travesty that this tower, which is so important to Plymouth and to tourism, was shut on the one day most people have time.”

Smeaton’s Tower will open on Sunday from 10am until 4pm from now until 29 September.

Source: Plymouth City Council

West Hoe Park – New Treasure Island Adventure Park Opening 13th April 2013

west hoe park treasure islandOhhh ARRR! The new Treasure Island pirate themed adventure park in the West Hoe Park on the Plymouth Hoe is set to open Saturday 13th April 2013.

Our Social Media Reporter Hannah Gow has been tweeting regular photo updates during the parks construction. We’ve also been updating the Plymouth Hoe Waterfront Twitter, Facebook and Website with her photos and descriptions so many of you can follow its progress.

Lucy Rowland representing the new Adventure Park commented about our recent coverage:

Hi Scott, I was planning on contacting you this week but you beat me to it. I’d like to say thank you to you and your team for the support.

We are planning an opening day for Saturday 13th April. I have booked the St. Piran pirates to be at the park between 11-2. Should be good fun and if you could pop down to take some photos that would be great.

Thanks again Lucy.

Be sure to pop down on the Saturday 13th April and try out the new park! Both Kids and Parents will love it :).

Update: View photos from the new Treasure Island Adventure Park here…

The Wheel of Plymouth Future Is Unclear

Plymouth Hoe Waterfront Drake Wheel of PlymouthThe new owners of the Wheel of Plymouth are in the process of submitting plans to keep the popular attraction open in 2013.

The Wheel of Plymouth will be open until this Sunday 6th Jan 2013 and remain closed until permission is granted by the Plymouth City Council.

Operators hope to be able to reopen for the school half-term holiday, beginning on February 16, and stay open until September. A decision on the future of the Wheel of Plymouth will then depend on its financial viability – which, in turn, is likely to depend on the weather.

“We are operating until Sunday, then it’s closing,” said John Lowery, operations manager for new firm Wheels Entertainments, set up by the wheel’s new owner Freij World Attractions. “The plan is to put a new planning application in,” he said. “We are just in the process of advising planners.”

Read the full story here on the thisisplymouth.co.uk website…