It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… The cobbled streets surrounding Sutton Harbour are filled with festive lights and many of the shop windows in the adjacent historic Barbican quarter have been transformed into Christmassy scenes. While Christmas is set to be very different this year, now more than ever people are embracing the Christmas cheer, spreading positivity and supporting others.
As we count down to Christmas, we will be highlighting 12 places in Sutton Harbour you can visit safely during the holidays – whilst following local restrictions and social distancing rules – so you can best enjoy the festive season while also supporting local businesses along Plymouth’s historic waterfront.
1. National Marine Aquarium
Located on the eastern side of the harbour, the National Marine Aquarium is home to over 4,000 sea creatures across a range of exciting exhibits. The NMA is the UK’s largest aquarium providing a fun family day out as well as the home of ground-breaking ocean conservation.
The aquarium has introduced a range of social distancing measures from a one-way system to sanitising stations dotted around the building. Visitors are now required to book a date and time online and wear a face covering while in the aquarium, unless exempt.
The National Marine Aquarium also hosts a range of events throughout the year. While many of these have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the aquarium is able to host its Christmas Dine at the Aquarium events – offering a delicious four-course meal eaten in front of their stunning exhibits throughout December.
Find out more about the National Marine Aquarium on their website.
Neighbouring the National Marine Aquarium is seafood restaurant Rockfish. Owned by Chef Mitch Tonks, Rockfish offers a range of fresh, sustainable seafood with indoor and sheltered outdoor seating available. Rockfish has introduced a range of social distancing measures which they explain in their video.
The restaurant has recently launched Rockfish Delivered so you can enjoy their delicious dishes at home. The new seafood box is available online and offers everything you need for a three course meal for two with some extra meals for you to enjoy another day. Sauces, herbs and instructions are all included for an easy cooking experience.
You can find out more on the Rockfish website.
3. Sutton Harbour Marina
Sutton Harbour Marina is not only the most sheltered marina in Plymouth thanks to its protective double lock gates, it’s also a stunning place to sit and enjoy the spectacular view. Home to over 400 sailing and motor yachts, the marina lies in the heart of the historic harbour and provides a stunning backdrop for festive selfies and family photos. Many businesses around the harbour also enjoy having the marina right on their doorstep which proves popular with visitors who can enjoy food with a view.
The development of Sutton Harbour into a leading marina began in 1972 with 70 yacht moorings installed which were snapped up within two weeks. More and more berths were added over time to keep up with demand. Today there are over 400 berths in the 5 Gold Anchor award-winning marina.
You can find out more about Sutton Harbour Marina here.
4. HonkyTonk Wine Library
HonkyTonk Wine Library is based at North East Quay and offers a variety of wines and rums as well as a range of delicious deli foods. The wine lounge has been offering a delivery and click and collect service so you can enjoy your favourites at home.
In the lead up to Christmas, HonkyTonk is offering a range of festive treats. You can personalise a Christmas gift box choosing from a range of wine, rum, cheese, chutney and chocolates. The wine lounge also has a variety of Christmas hampers on offer – perfect for wine, rum and cheese lovers.
Find our more on the HonkyTonk website.
5. Daisy’s Tea Rooms and Coffee Shop
Next door to HonkyTonk is Daisy’s Tea Rooms and Coffee Shop – a dog-friendly café serving up homemade bakes and cakes as well as afternoon tea and Sunday roasts.
In the lead up to Christmas, the café is offering special Christmas Afternoon Teas where you can tuck into freshly roasted turkey, homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches or panini with a selection of cheese and crackers and a homemade mince pie – plus your choice of hot drink – all for £13.50.
Daisy’s is also offering gift vouchers for people to purchase for a loved one this Christmas. You can find out more and book your table via their Facebook page.
6. The Quayside
The quayside circling Sutton Harbour is the perfect place to go for a leisurely walk with stunning views. Along the historic quayside there is a range of alfresco and takeaway eateries including The Greek, Louise’s Coffee and Donuts, Cap’n Jaspers and Alfresco. Enjoy a range of hot drinks and tasty snacks from one of these venues while taking a walk around the harbour.
While strolling around the harbour, follow the Sutton Harbour Heritage Trail or hunt for the polar bears dotted across the waterfront on the Polar Bear Explorer Trail – both can be found on the Plymouth Trails app.
7. The Stable
The Stable sits right in the heart of the harbour on Vauxhall Street facing the marina and serves up an extensive variety of pizzas, sides and ciders. There’s something for everyone at The Stable with over 50 varieties of cider on offer and delicious sourdough pizzas topped with locally-sourced ingredients. There’s also a great vegan and vegetarian menu as well as desserts – why not treat yourself?
The Stable is currently offering a festive-themed pizza, as well as a special deal where you can enjoy any pizza on their menu alongside a dessert and a cider tasting board for just £20.
Find out more at The Plymouth Stable website.
8. Mayflower Museum
The Mayflower Museum is based above the Tourist Information Centre in Sutton Harbour and is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.
The museum is set over three floors and details the journey of the Mayflower ship which set sail from Plymouth in 1620 for the New World. The Mayflower Museum chronicles the legendary voyage, bringing to life the reality of the day-to-day living conditions on board.
Tickets are £3.50 for adults, £2 for children (5-16 years) and £2.50 for students and seniors. You can also purchase a family ticket for two adults and two children for £10.
9. Boston Tea Party
Offering a range of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes, Boston Tea Party is another popular spot with an extensive menu including vegan and vegetarian options. The cafes has a great range of hot and cold drinks and was the first to ban single-use cups – they offer discounts for people bringing in their own cups.
Boston Tea Party has been offering a click and collect service as well as home deliveries via Deliveroo and Uber Eats. You can browse the menu online and select the Plymouth cafe to make your order. You can choose to pick it up at an allotted time, opt for delivery or enjoy eating in if you visit the Sutton Harbour venue.
Take a look at the Boston Tea Party website to find out more.
10. Supha’s Street Food Emporium
Supha’s Street Food Emporium brings you the real taste of street food from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Their extensive menu features delicious dishes using fresh, local produce in a street food-style with strong Asian influences.
The restaurant has started offering a click and collect service so you can enjoy your favourite Supha’s dishes at home. Order via the website and pick up your dishes at your allotted time. If you’d like to dine in, the restaurant is open seven days a week from 12noon-10pm.
Supha’s is closed from Wednesday 23rd December until Sunday 27th December for Christmas.
Visit the website for more information.
11. Mayflower Steps
At the entrance of the harbour lies the Mayflower Steps Memorial commemorating the site where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America on board the Mayflower in 1620. The steps are the perfect spot to enjoy the view looking out to Plymouth Sound while on a winter walk along the harbour.
Visitors can also take a walk through history on the one-mile Harbour Heritage Trail circling Sutton Harbour where you can find out more about this historic part of Plymouth. The Mayflower Steps is just one of ten stops on the trail which can be found on the Plymouth Trails app.
12. Miller & Carter Steakhouse
Serving up 30-day aged British and Irish steaks, the Miller and Carter Steakhouse is the perfect spot for a special family dinner or a romantic table for two. The steakhouse is located at Sutton Wharf and boasts an extensive menu which includes fish, vegetarian and gluten free dishes.
You can even enjoy a complimentary glass of wine when you sign up to the Steak Club for the latest information and offers at Miller and Carter. The steakhouse is open 12noon-10pm seven days a week but it’s best to call in advance to book and check availability.
Visit the Miller & Carter website for more information.