To commemorate the spot from which the Mayflower sailed for the New World, a white archway, erected in 1934 and capped with the flags of Great Britain and the United States, stands at the base of Plymouth's West Pier, on the Barbican. Incorporating a granite monument that was erected in 1891, the site is referred to as both the Mayflower Steps and the Memorial Gateway.
The Barbican is a mass of narrow streets, old houses, and quay-side shops selling antiques, brass work, old prints, and books. It's a perfect place for strolling and browsing through shops at your leisure.
Fishing boats still unload their catches at the wharves, and passenger-carrying ferryboats run short harbor cruises. The best way to view Plymouth, in our opinion, is to take one of the boat trips outlined below. You not only get to see Plymouth from a nautical perspective, but you get to experience an added thrill by knowing that this was the pilgrims' last view of England before departing for the New World. A trip includes views from the water of Drake's Island in the sound, the dockyards, naval vessels, and the Hoe -- a greenbelt in the center of the city that opens onto Plymouth Harbour. A cruise of Plymouth Harbour costs £8.50 for adults and £5 for children 5 to 15; children under 5 are free. Departures are April to October, with cruises leaving every half-hour from 10am to 4pm daily. These Tamar Cruising and Cremyll Ferry cruises are booked at Cremyll Quay, Torpoint (tel. 01752/822105; www.tamarcruising.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.