We’re all looking for ways to spend less money at the moment, and luckily for us, Plymouth has some of the most beautiful parks and views in the country to enjoy for FREE. There’s also a selection of activities that can be enjoyed without putting your hand in your pocket. Here are just a few:
Open daily with free entry, this centre has been telling us all about the Tamar Estuary’s two iconic bridges since 2019. Its fantastic interactive exhibition space has the perfect location right next to the bridges, where you can sometimes join a tour to see these giants for yourself!
And if you’d like more information on what there is to learn at the centre, there are free 20 minute talks at 11am every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.
The Levinsky Gallery at Plymouth University’s Art Institute hosts contemporary art exhibitions year-round, and they’re all free and open to the public. Just stroll inside from the North Hill entrance and you can not only look around the current show, but also pick up information on the various music events, films and talks that the Art Institute provide. Some of the free events that are coming up soon include a book launch and a talk about Plymouth Library’s Special Collections.
Though technically across the water in Cornwall, this beautiful park offers everything from immaculate formal gardens to fields with sea views and rambling forest wanders. Near the house there are a variety of units offering food and gifts, as well as free access to a beautiful community arts mural and a place to learn about and sometimes watch (sleeping) bats! Further in, visitors often spot deer among the trees, and a longer walk can take you to the twin fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand.
You can reach the park by foot via the Cremyll ferry, which leaves from Admiral’s Hard at a quarter to and a quarter past the hour.
As well as its art galleries, The Box has permanent museum exhibitions covering topics including Plymouth’s history and culture, travel and natural sciences, all free to enter. There’s a multimedia lab where you can see TV icon Gus Honeybun, and there’s even a mammoth (she’s called Mildred)! They also frequently put on free and pay-as-you-feel events for adults and families alike, so it’s worth checking out their website.
Open 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holidays
Although the centre itself is currently closed for winter, there are still plenty of free beach cleaning and volunteer events to enjoy through this conservation group via their website. When the seasons change you’ll also be able to visit the centre’s interactive and informative displays. They organise school, community and private bookings year-round, so get in touch if you want to learn more as a group.
The tiniest of the galleries featured here, MIRROR is found at the front of Arts University Plymouth (formerly the College of Art) and currently hosts one of British Art Show 9’s most relaxing and enlightening pieces by Oliver Beer. However, the programme runs year-round, and there’s almost always something to be found in this space.
Beautiful, expansive and historically interesting, this park is situated in the grounds of the former Radford House. It is perfect for a morning walk to enjoy views over Hooe Lake and Radford Lake and a bountiful arboretum. However, visit in the evening and you’ll stand a good chance of catching one or more of the five species of bat that have been spotted here!
This independent gallery was formed by artists inspired by our last visit from the British Art Show. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, hosting some of the city’s most challenging and exciting exhibitions and championing diverse voices.
Normal opening days are Wednesday to Saturday.
There are so many pieces of public art littered throughout the city that sometimes we can forget that that’s what they are! From famous pieces like Antony Gormley’s Look II to a small stone sculpture in Ham Woods, why not take yourself on a tour of these artistic treasures when you next have a spare afternoon.