Summer bucket list: things to do in and around Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour this summer

Summer bucket list: things to do in and around Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour this summer

Are you looking for a fun-packed summer bucket list of activities to make the most of the sunny season in Plymouth? Summer is fast approaching; the weather has already been glorious here and many are beginning to think about how they want to spend the holidays in Britain’s Ocean City.

As we’re lucky enough to have the sea right on our doorstep as well as some of the finest attractions in the UK, there is more than enough fun to fill summer 2022 for everyone.

We have pulled together some inspiration to curate a summer bucket list of things to do in and around Plymouth’s historic harbour, so you don’t have to.

Have a jaw-some time at the National Marine Aquarium

Why not head down to the National Marine Aquarium during the summer holidays?

The aquarium offers an exciting itinerary of fun activities all year round but this summer they have boat trips around the Plymouth Sound and beach exploration trips.

Ocean Discovery Rangers will accompany you on the boat trip to help spot British wildlife and get a history of Plymouth’s waterfront.

If your sea legs would rather stay grounded, join the aquarium’s Marine Biologists at the beach. They’re offering sessions to take part in rockpool rambles, beach games and see some whale’s teeth and dolphin’s skull up close.

Head to their events page for all the dates and times.

Family at the National Marine Aquarium

Enjoy a glass of vino at HonkyTonk Wine Library

For a cosy and unique atmosphere and a delicious, hand-picked glass of wine, find yourself at HonkyTonk Wine Library.

The hybrid wine deli serves delicious food, wine from across the globe and a brand-new breakfast menu that is sure to have mouths watering.

Owner, Fitz, has also created his own rum, Plantation Spiced, which can be found in store and online.

The wine bar offers monthly events including live music, comedy nights, wine tasting and chef experiences. Find your next event here.

See the world’s most exciting sail grand prix for your summer bucket list

Sail GP returns to Plymouth this July for a second year running. This thrilling race sees teams competing in multiple locations across the globe for a grand prize.

Ten nations will compete in high tech catamarans capable of reaching speeds exceeding 60mph.

You can watch the events unfold from either on the water, or one of the multiple vantage points around the waterfront.

Last year’s event was a hit amongst spectators, it’s not one to be missed.

Find out more information here.

SailGP in Britain's Ocean City

Tuck into fish and chips by the sea

You will find award-winning fish and chips located at Sutton Harbour and surrounding areas. It’s a no-brainer when you visit Plymouth that you must find some time to just sit beside the sea and take in your surroundings with some fresh, crisp fish and chips.

The new Sardine Bar & Takeaway at Rockfish offers stunning waterfront views complemented by delicious freshly caught fish and chips. Enjoy your tasty seafood on the new decking area or take a walk along the marina with your dinner in hand.

From 17 June until 15 July, Rockfish is offering a £5 Fish Friday deal every week. Enjoy 50% off award-winning Haddock and chips from 5pm every Friday until stocks last.

You can also find the Harbourside Fish and Chip shop along with many others on Southside Street, so there’s plenty to choose from.

The new Sardine Bar at Rockfish

Gaze to the sky for the British Firework Championships

One of the biggest nights of the year for the city. The much-loved British Firework Championships returns to Plymouth Sound on 17 and 18 August 2022.

The Championships are held in Britain’s Ocean City every August and are now in their 19th year. The event offers one of the country’s most spectacular fireworks displays with six leading pyrotechnics companies lighting up the sky as they go head-to-head to dazzle the audience and judges.

The fireworks can be enjoyed from spots all along the waterfront, including the harbour with many restaurants and venues hosting food and drink during the displays.

Al fresco food and drink

Summer in Plymouth isn’t complete until you enjoy a relaxing day with friends in, and outside, one of the waterfront’s many bars and restaurants. Sutton Harbour and the adjacent Barbican are home to a fantastic selection of waterside venues which boast breath-taking views of Sutton Harbour Marina.

Bar Rakuda is situated in the heart of the harbour. Here you can enjoy some al fresco dining with cocktails and live music in the outside seating area, equipped with heaters for the breezy marina evenings.

This beautiful location is an absolute must on any sunny day and proves a popular location every summer. There is an extensive list of drinks available with a delicious menu of pizzas.

Further along you can find The Ship. This stylish bar and restaurant also offer diners the chance to sit out in the sun with a great view and a lively, fun-filled vibe.

For bespoke cocktails in a modern bar, Bonne Santé offers a great selection of food on their menu. Be sure to head down to Bottomless Brunch or Bottomless Supper to kick off the weekend’s festivities.

Grab a bite along the harbourside

The world-famous Cap’n Jaspers café and takeaway restaurant is located at Sutton Harbour. A visit to this historic part of Plymouth is not complete until you’ve eaten at this spot. They will be serving their infamous footlong hot dogs and giant burgers until 11pm.

That’s not all Sutton Harbour has to offer. Louise’s Coffee and Donuts is the perfect pick me up when you want some hot coffee and a warm bag of fresh doughnuts.

Looking for something a little different? Barbican Bao serves up a variety of both sweet and savoury steamed buns packed with flavour.

Neighbours The Greek and Alfresco sit on the water’s edge. The Greek serve up authentic Greek cuisine 7 days a week so be sure to grab a bite if you’re walking past. Alfresco have a selection of coffees and sweet treats for the perfect morning pit-stop before a fun-filled day by the sea.

Summer bucket list: Louise's Coffee and Donuts serves a father and child.

Swim in Tinside Lido

Set in a stunning location, Tinside Lido overlooks Plymouth Sound at the tip of Plymouth Hoe. It is continuously voted one of the top 10 best outdoor swimming pools in Europe.

The large outdoor saltwater pool offers a unique experience for residents and tourists, feeling as though you’re out at sea but with the safety of being within a pool.

Tinside also offers a beautiful space for people to sunbathe beside the pool with sun loungers available to use.

Step back in time at the Royal Citadel

The Royal Citadel dates back to the 17th century and is a dramatic fortress built to defend the coastline from the Dutch – and it’s still in use today as a military base.

Throughout the summer you can book a tour of the Citadel on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays where you will be greeted at the Commando Monument at 2pm for your 2-hour outdoor walking tour of the grounds.

You can book your ticket through Eventbrite for £12.50.

Climb Smeaton’s Tower

Smeaton’s Tower was built by John Smeaton in 1759 on the Eddystone Rocks and is one of the world’s most famous lighthouses. The tower was moved to The Hoe in 1884 when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock beneath.

Smeaton’s Tower now stands proud as an iconic attraction for Plymouth and one of the most famed landmarks in the South West.

Climb the spiral staircase and the lantern room at the top of the tower offers stunning panoramic views of Britain’s Ocean City, especially on a clear summer’s day.

You can purchase your tickets on the door, but head to website for more information.

Tour Plymouth Gin Distillery

The oldest working distillery in England is located along this historic part of the city. Plymouth Gin Distillery offers a range of tours for all those G&T enthusiasts. Experience the Plymouth Gin Tour or the Master Distiller’s Tour where you get to create your own bottle to take home.

This is a great experience and very individual to this incredible city, and what’s better than a refreshing G&T in the summer season?

Plymouth's Gin Distillery

See the giant woolly mammoth at The Box

The Box is Plymouth’s award-winning new museum, art gallery and archive. In addition to telling the story of our wonderful maritime city, it boasts an incredible selection of natural history specimens, fossils and biodiversity – one not to be missed!

It’s a great chance to discover how the animals adapted to the environments around them.

Stand in awe of Mildred, the life-sized mammoth and uncover the rest of the creatures in the gallery. Some inhabited the South West long before modern civilisation was around.

Admission is free but be sure to check out the website for new exhibits.

Bucket list bonus: Wine and dine at the Royal William Yard

Once you’ve taken in everything that Sutton Harbour has to offer, why not head over to Royal William Yard on the ferry, which runs from the nearby Plymouth Landing Stage? Take a different view of the city and Plymouth Sound as you cruise over.

Having the Royal William Yard just a stone’s throw away is a real treat for everyone in Plymouth. A cold glass of fizz or beer on a sunny day beside the harbour could feel like you’re on holiday.

The yard has soon become a hotspot for locals and those on holiday. It’s home to some of the top restaurants and cafes but also a salon, chocolate shop and wine bar.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when you visit for a dining experience and stunning views (especially at sunset) with The Seco Lounge, Le Vignoble, Clubhouse, Wagamamas, Bistrot Pierre and The Hutong Café to name a few.

Summer bucket list

Summer 2022 is suddenly sounding very exciting, with an extensive list of fun ways to tick off your summer bucket list in Plymouth, now we begin the countdown!

Be sure to follow Sutton Harbour on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with exciting developments and news happening within the city.