Calling all adventurers and parents seeking excitement this half term—head to Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour for laughter, exploration, and memorable moments. Whether the kids are older or younger, get ready to embark on a fun-filled week in the South West for all the family. We’ve compiled a list of some of the activities and hotspots you should check out this February.
Places to go
Sutton Harbour is home to the largest aquarium in the UK with over 4,000 inhabitants living there. The National Marine Aquarium celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023 and it also became the star of the TV show ‘Secrets of the Aquarium’.
A great day out for all of the family, they also host frequent events throughout the year which allow visitors to get behind-the-scenes. You can go snorkelling with the sharks, feed the turtle or visit one of their ‘quiet’ sessions for children with additional or sensory needs. Visit their events page to find out more or book tickets here.
If your kids are interested in history, then the area of Sutton Harbour and the Barbican has plenty of maritime heritage to explore. From the Mayflower Steps to the Mayflower Museum with four centuries over four floors to explore, it’s a great chance to learn about the history of the area.
Just around the corner from the museum, you will find the Elizabethan House which was built around the 1500s. Having survived the slum clearances of the early 1900s and the Blitz of World War Two, now it provides a visitor experience for guests. Learn about the history of this impressive building and its residents over the last 400 years.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Sutton Harbour without a trip on the water! Plymouth Boat Trips are running a Scenic Harbour Cruise this half term for all of the family. This hour-long excursion promises an enjoyable and informative way to see Plymouth from the water.
Sail across the Sound taking in all of the spectacular views of Drake’s Island, Mount Edgcumbe, Royal William Yard and the River Tamar. To find out more information, visit the Plymouth Boat Trips website.
Looking to get creative and flex your artistic muscles this half term? On the Barbican’s Southside Street, you will find ClayArt. Here you can choose from a huge range of ceramics to paint and make your own. Your creations will then be fired and made ready to be picked up or can be posted to you. It’s a great chance to spend some quality time with your family and to each have something to commemorate your trip to Sutton Harbour.
Just a 15-minute walk from Sutton Harbour you will find The Box Museum and Art Gallery. Free to enter, there is plenty to see and do with new exhibitions being installed all the time. A permanent resident, Mildred the Mammoth, is a site to see as she towers over an interesting array of Plymouth’s history.
If you’re inspired by the exhibitions and looking to get creative, The Box also host creative workshops. This half term it’s ‘Family Fun: Dream Big’ inspired by the current John Akomfrah exhibition. Families are invited to marble paper to make dream books to capture the dreams or amazing daydreams they’ve had. There will also be a storyteller, Abimbola Alao, sharing real-life stories of Plymouth’s past residents from the 18th century.
Places to eat
A huge part of what makes Sutton Harbour and the neighbouring Barbican so great is the food. In just this one area of Plymouth, you can sample different cuisines from all over the world. From fresh fish caught that morning in Plymouth’s waters to authentic Greek street food, you’ll find it here.
Popular seafood restaurant, Rockfish, sits on Sutton Harbour with fantastic views out to Plymouth Sound. The fish is brought in fresh each day with diners sitting just feet from Plymouth Fish Market. It doesn’t get much fresher than watching the fishing boats land while you tuck into your tasty fish dish.
Got a packed itinerary for the day and not much time to stop? Along the harbour’s edge, you’ll find The Greek serving authentic Grecian street food. Whether you’re after salad, a hearty wrap or artisan ice cream, this popular alfresco eatery is a firm favourite among the harbour’s visitors.
On the east side of Sutton Harbour, you will find Supha’s Asian-inspired street food. This restaurant has both inside and outdoor seating making the most of the spectacular view across the harbour. There are many dishes that are naturally gluten-free, and there are vegetarian or vegan alternatives for most of the meat and fish dishes too. If you’re looking to try something different and incredibly tasty, pop round to Supha’s.
If you’re a family of varied tastes and preferences and looking for somewhere with a more all-rounder menu, be sure to check out Boston Tea Party and the new Armado Lounge. Both national operators, you’re sure to be familiar with their menus. Whether it’s brunch, burgers, curry, or something lighter, you can find it at either two of these places.
Half term at Sutton Harbour
Experience a great day out with fun for all the family at Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour. History can be seen around every corner of this area of the city but it’s far from being outdated. Get the best of both worlds as you explore both old and new and indulge in the area’s great food and drink selection.
We can’t wait to see you!