Plymouth is a famous maritime city in Devon, and is the largest city in South West England.
It stands on a wonderful site on the English Channel, between the estuaries of the River Tamar and the River Plym.
The earliest settlement in these parts was Plympton, but Plymouth itself came to pre-eminence from the 14th century, starting at the harbour originally known as Sutton.
Plymouth Sound and Drake's Island are overlooked by Plymouth Hoe, famously where Sir Francis Drake finished his game of bowls before going off to defeat the Spanish Armada.
There is a statue of Drake on the Hoe, as well as Smeaton's Tower, formerly the Eddystone Lighthouse constructed in 1759.
The Citadel, founded by Charles II in 1666, is a vast barracks.
The Barbican is the historic harbour area, frequented by Elizabethan seafarers such as Drake, Raleigh and Hawkins. Catherine of Aragon arrived here in 1501, the "Mayflower" set off from here in 1620, the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic arrived here in 1919, and Sir Francis Chichester arrived here at the end of his solo voyage around the world in 1967.
There is a long standing fish market at the Barbican, and the nearby National Marine Aquarium is superb.
William III made the decision in 1689 to built the Royal Dockyard at Devonport.
Plymouth has a Catholic cathedral, designed by Joseph Aloysius Hansom.
The Royal Albert Bridge, constructed by Isambard Kingdon Brunel in 1859, carries the railway into Cornwall.
The three branches of the Methodist movement were reunited as a result of a meeting held at Plymouth in 1932,
Plymouth suffered badly from bombing in the Second World War, and much of the shopping and commercial centre has been rebuilt. The Civic Centre, with its tall tower, is most impressive.
Famous people born in Plymouth include William Bligh, Admiral and navigator; Beryl Cook, artist; Michael Foot, politician; Richard Greene, actor; Robert Stephen Hawker, poet; John Hawkins, seafarer; David Owen, politician; Donald Sinden, actor; and Wayne Sleep, dancer.