View Plymouth’s historic past in a new way with Plymouth Shortcuts

Plymouth Shortcuts - Tinside Pool
Screenshot of a phone displaying the Augmented Reality – the view through the phone, showing the big blobs, each of which has a film attached. You play them by tapping on the film title at the bottom of the screen. This one shows the 1930s flying boats that took off and landed in Plymouth Sound.

A fantastic new way of viewing Plymouth’s historic past is now available via Plymouth Shortcuts…

Plymouth Shortcuts is a digital system which enables people to watch snippets of South West Film and Television Archive footage at the Plymouth Waterfront, on their smartphones in the very places where the action original occurred.

It creates a trail of ten sites, so you can see 1930s seaplanes land on Plymouth Sound; watch a 1960s beauty contest at Tinside Pool; see Robert Lenkiewicz discuss painting beside his mural on The Parade; watch Sir Francis Chichester return from his record-breaking round the world voyage at West Hoe – and more….

Find out more here…


A step back in time – Plymouth’s Tinside Pool, Drakes Island & Mount Edgcumbe

A step back in time… Tinside, Drake’s Island & Mt Edgecumbe. Not sure when it was taken, but what a difference compared to 2013! Photo by kind permission of

This photo was originally posted on our Plymouth Hoe Waterfront Facebook Page where our local historian commented:

Chris Robinson said:Great image. Looks to me early 1880s, the road was cut around 1888 ish and we can see the Liner Lookout building that is late 1870s, Smeaton’s Tower appeared 1884 and you would imagine that had it been there when the photograph was taken the photographer would have attempted to include it.

historic photo tinside plymouth hoe drakes island

The new eyecatching Plymouth’s Waterfront Walkway booklet

Plymouth Hoe WaterfrontTake a peek at the online version of the new updated Plymouth Waterfront Walkway booklet and be prepared to be blown away! High quality and packed full of historic information. A handy guide to have on all trips along the Plymouth’s historic Waterfront.

Did you know Plymouth held more than 1,500 American prisoners of war during the ‘War of Independence’?

Or that people power helped build the Royal Citadel in the 1660s, with each and every person living here reputed to have carried a stone to the site to help build the fort?

Scores of facts feature in the new updated version of Plymouth’s Waterfront Walkway booklet, produced by the Council to encourage people to take a fresh look at what has been described by Natural England as ‘one of the finest urban coastal footpaths in the country’.

The 10-mile route from Admiral’s Hard in Stonehouse to Jennycliff – known as Plymouth’s Waterfront Walkway – attracts thousands of walkers every year and gives visitors and local people an insight into Plymouth’s heritage, together with dramatic coastal views that other cities rightly envy.

Cabinet Member for Transport Mark Coker said: “The South West Coast Path is incredibly popular with tourists and really well-used by both visitors and people who live here. We wanted to update the booklet to give people a chance to find out more about this gem on their doorsteps and get walking!”

The Waterfront Walkway was created by Plymouth City Council and is part of the South West Coast Path. Along the route is a range of artwork and features giving quirky facts about the city.

+ Elementary clues in the pavement along Durnford Street reveal the identity of the writer who created Sherlock Holmes. The author lived here for a while and his tale, the Hound of the Baskervilles was inspired by the nearby moors.
+ A pile of gold bullion at the entrance to Millbay Docks – where gold bars used to sit, guarded only by a single unarmed police officer before the bullion was sent to Fort Knox.
+ On the wall at the dock entrance are stars of Hollywood names who landed here in the days of the great ocean liners.
+ Forget writing on the walls – we have writing on the rails – a message you can only read by walking from one direction at Millbay.
+ A 10-tonne stone rhino representing fossilised remains discovered in Oreston Cave.
+ A nugget in the pavement detailing a very grisly death of a lighthouse keeper.
+ The Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers left for America.
+ The tale of Aircraftman Shaw at Mount Batten – better known as Lawrence of Arabia.

The revised booklet includes more information about nature as well as historical facts gathered and illustrated by Plymouth historian and artist Chris Robinson.

Plymouth Waterfront Partnership’s Chairman, Chris Arscott said: “This is a great way to encourage visitors to explore our entire Waterfront and its fascinating history and begin telling Plymouth’s many stories.

“There are also plenty of amazing distractions as well as pubs and cafes for people to stop in. Connecting Waterfront areas is crucial to supporting businesses, visitors will discover some of the city’s hidden gems and may enjoy bars, cafes and restaurants along the way.”

Chair of Destination Plymouth Duncan Currall added: “This new booklet is a great way of reminding visitors about the breath-taking views we have here in Plymouth and the astonishing stories that have come out of this city.

“Even in not-so great weather, people enjoy walking and getting to know about what they’re seeing. So this is ideal in helping us attracting more short – break visitors here.”

Copies of the booklets are available at the Plymouth Tourist Information Centre on the Barbican, the Council’s Rights of Way officer at the Civic Centre or downloaded from our South West Coast Path page and the Visit Plymouth website.

Source: Plymouth City Council

Plymouth Heritage Tours Website – The Historic City of Plymouth

plymouth heritage tours history websiteI’ve recently completed a website for local accommodation owners who have banded together to offer visitors a featured packed Plymouth Heritage Tours website. The website provides details of our local history and will help point visitors and locals to local tour guides and services around Plymouth.

The website has a large history section with contribution from historian Chris Robinson and with plans to expand it is one to keep an eye on :).

Website: Plymouth Heritage Tours
Twitter: @plymheritage
Facebook: Facebook Group

Secrets of the Plymouth Sound

Plymouth Hoe WaterfrontA major archaeological survey of the Plymouth Sound is underway led by a US marine research team.

ProMare a not-for-profit charity setup to promote marine research and exploration is looking for the hidden secrets of the historic Plymouth Sound.

“Since we began we have found evidence of up to 800 shipwrecks in Plymouth Sound alone,” said Ayse Atauz the president of ProMare who has re-located to Plymouth.

“We’ve found ancient wooden ships, ceramics and pottery and cannons to name just a few things. “We’ve found hundreds of new artifacts and targets in Plymouth Sound since we started in 2010. “It has been used since Roman times or even before then. We’ve even discovered evidence of Viking settlements in the Tamar area. “Most of these are of national and international significance. We know that Plymouth has been extremely important over the centuries as a port. “It was one of the major ports for the south of England. The history of anchorage here goes back to when people first began to go to sea.

“This is the first ever major archaeological survey of Plymouth Sound. It’s the first attempt at a systematic survey of the Sound.”

Read more about this story on the thisisplymouth website…