The summer holidays may have come to an end and it’s time to go back to school, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Why not encourage the kids to embrace the new school term by learning something new as a family while having fun along Plymouth’s historic harbour on the weekends?
Sutton Harbour offers many educational days out to engage the whole family in a fun day of learning. Go back in time and discover more about Plymouth and its fascinating history, or find out more about the underwater world and the creatures who live there.
Here is a round-up of the top educational places in Sutton Harbour to get back into the swing of learning.
Take a tour of the Mayflower Museum
Over 400 years ago, the legendary Mayflower ship set sail from Sutton Harbour for America. While you can visit the Mayflower Steps Memorial at the entrance of the harbour, you can also take a trip through history at the Mayflower Museum.
The museum is set across three floors, located in the Tourist Information Centre opposite the Mayflower Steps, and explores the story of the Mayflower and its legendary voyage to the New World. Discover what life was like on board and the challenges passengers faced along the way as well as exploring the Mayflower Pilgrims Remembered Gallery and the Mayflower Pilgrims, Plymouth and Beyond Gallery, which includes a model of the vessel. Find out more here.
Walk back in time on the Harbour Heritage Trail
On those sunnier September days, a walk could turn into a fun learning experience. Take the whole family on a walk through history on the Harbour Heritage Trail, a one-mile circular route around Sutton Harbour.
By walking the trail with the Plymouth Trails app, you will learn more about Plymouth’s maritime history and visit some of its most famous waterfront landmarks including the Old Fish Market and the Mayflower Steps Memorial. Watch the harbour change before your eyes with archive images showing a glimpse of the past with many traces still visible along the harbour today.
Discover more at the National Marine Aquarium
If history isn’t for you, why not explore the underwater world at the National Marine Aquarium? Here you’ll find some of the ocean’s greatest creatures across a range of exciting exhibits including sharks, octopuses and sea turtles. The aquarium is the biggest in the UK and holds the deepest tank in Britain which is filled with a staggering 2.5 million litres of water.
The aquarium also hosts a range of events, displays and workshops to help get all the family involved whilst teaching us more about the importance of underwater conservation.
Don’t worry if you don’t get to see all 4,000 sea creatures in one trip – you’ll be given a complimentary pass on arrival so you can revisit free of charge for 12 months.
Enjoy a break along the harbour
After a full day taking in some of the city’s most educational attractions, take a seat and relax at one of the many restaurants and bars that Sutton Harbour has to offer. The harbour is the perfect spot to enjoy stunning views of the marina and Plymouth Sound over a meal, snack, drink or even an ice cream, and there are plenty of venues to pick from.