Plymouth – What other travel guides won’t tell you
A Trashy Guide To… Plymouth – What the other travel guides won’t tell you.
Aka The Place Sorely Responsible For Discovering The USA
Location: Right at the bottom, right near Cornwall, BUT NOT PART OF CORNWALL. (Everyone will make sure you know that.)
Janner (n): Somebody from Plymouth, usually with an accent about two intensity bars down from a Bristolian.
Plymouth. Britain’s ‘Ocean City’ to some and merely the butt of numerous Frankie Boyle punchlines to others. A magical place where shouting “YER, YOU?” suffices as a legitimate answer to someone asking how you are; “Where’s this to?” is a way of asking for directions and no one ever gets stabbed, for some reason.
Only a native will ever be able to understand that feeling when you see a dated and oddly-designed Sainsbury’s supermarket when travelling home. The iconic sails atop the building nostalgically remind any Plymouthian of returning from summer trips or childhood holidays. Made by Architen Landrell, who have built and designed with the late Queen of Architecture Zaha Hadid, this is the type of landmark that always ensures 12 Janners will unanimously shout “Waheyy, sails!” as they Megabus into the city.
Bank Holidays are celebrated more furiously than almost any religious holiday, acting as an excuse to ‘get on it’ from 10am for three days in a row. Swarms of Janner’s invade The Barbican (actually a very scenic area with bars/restaurants right by the marina) and risk ankle injuries caused when teetering stilettos meet cobbled streets. Local burger vans refer to this as D-Day.
Plymouth’s finest (and only) exports include Gin, Tom Daley and Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister, or Charles Dance as his closer friends style him. However, it must be said that the city has gained great ‘exposure’ from programs such as “Too Fat To Work”.
Though not the home of the original pasty, Plymouth’s is pretty bloody close. Oggy Oggy pasty’s are a serious right of passage and Ivor Dewdney, the dirty alternative, is all you need to soak up a hangover. You can eat some of the best fish and chips in the country there, promise.
For students the place to go out is North Hill. Bac Bar offers a unique range of “Kryptonite” drinks designed to turn the strongest man into a temporary – or occasionally permanent – stroke victim, while the chilli shots are to be avoided; no one has ever had one without vomiting through both nostrils halfway through a desperate sprint to the toilet. The Skiving Scholar, an infamously dingy pub at the top of the strip, is guaranteed to always be… interesting, packed and a bit smelly. Prepare for your shoes to actually stick to the floor from decades of spilling-and-not-cleaning and watch out for any leaks downstairs, due to the toilet water leaking. A water feature to rival the Trevi Fountain as a tourist magnet
The music scene is in pretty bad shape at the moment. Gone are the glory days that the over 50’s speak of when Bowie and Queen played at a bar 5 minutes from my flat; instead we are given acid pixies Jedward prancing about at the Christmas Lights Turn-On and One Direction sporadically playing The Pavillion and, Trashy suspects, inseminating half the pubescent population. Call us conspiracists, but we at Trashy like to blame the high teenage pregnancy rate on Harry Styles.
Everyone’s first experience of binge-drinking happens aged 13 on The Hoe, a promenade, not rap-speak for a slag, or at the local park. Where once Sir Francis Drake bowled as the Spanish Armada approached, The Hoe is now a place to spot middle aged men wearing shorts as soon as April starts, and sunburnt teenagers Strongbow-ing their way to premature sunstroke. Two big WKD’s and a brief projectile vomiting session and you’ve officially earned your stripes.
Follow Ebrington Street until you get to The Bread & Roses, a shining beacon of hope with the array of live music, arts and other events that it delivers. Opposite is Trashy’s favorite kebab shop in Plymouth (maybe the world), still loved despite the baffling decision to remove their signature Lamb Shawarma order from the menu.
Once the place to be and a proud deliverer of the thriving dance scene for decades, Union Street offers a mix of pubs, bars, kebab shops and strip bars where you can definitely get a happy ending (in all of those places probably). Infamous for the hedonism seen pouring out onto the streets at any time of the day, Union Street is most closely compared to the Pleasure Island scenes in Pinocchio. Hedonism, confusion and everyone ends up going home an ass.
Seagulls are not lovely, nostalgic holiday birds. They are predators whose attempts at stealing any food eaten in public, anywhere, have a 90% success rate and basically ruin dreams.
Travel tip: If you want to go diving, go to Central. Don’t jump 30 feet off the Corinthian wall onto rocks that will scramble your brains. We’re saying this because we care. The vagabonds donning full body wetsuits AND shorts over them make these mistakes so you don’t have to.