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Walking at Sutton Harbour Brass Rubbing on the Sutton Harbour Heritage Trail

For centuries mariners have set off from Sutton Harbour to explore the world and today, the waterfront quarter of Britain’s Ocean City is the perfect starting point for walkers, as well as a historic treat to stroll through on route.

Whether you want a short city wander or plan to embark on a trek along the stunning South West Coast Path, Plymouth has it all, and Sutton Harbour is a great place to start, or end, your walk, with a host of fabulous cafes, bars and restaurants for a refueling pit-stop.

Sutton Harbour also offers plenty of short term parking throughout the area, and long term parking is available in the Harbour Car Park behind the National Marine Aquarium.


The fabulous South West Coast Path SWCP is the longest National Trail in the UK with 630 miles of superb coastline to walk, and it passes right through Plymouth and Sutton Harbour, taking in an incredible diversity of locations. With clear waymarks, a sculpture trail passing King
Point Marina and Millbay, the glorious Plymouth Hoe, cliffs beaches and views to east and west of the city, this is a walking experience like no other.


If you don’t fancy hiking the entire South West coastline, don’t miss the waterfront sections which run through Sutton Harbour and cross over our famous lock bridge (look out for Sammy the Seal splashing in the water as you pass by). The history surrounding you is unparalleled as you follow in Drake’s footsteps through the oldest part of Plymouth, and pass the place the Pilgrim Fathers left to carve out life in the New World back in 1620.
Climb Smeaton’s Tower to enjoy the stunning views of Plymouth Sound – and don’t forget your camera.


From Sutton Harbour it’s a short journey by road – either by car or using public transport – into rural Devon and the stunning National Trust Estate at Saltram, or cross to Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park in Cornwall and picnic on the lawns of this stately home. Mount Edgcumbe is easy to reach by boat journeying across Plymouth Sound but there are also regular ferry services from Cremyl. Look up and you can see the vastness of Dartmoor beckoning – and it’s all within easy reach of Plymouth.


Sutton Harbour is the birthplace of so much British history, and the site from which many adventurers, pirates and explorers sailed. Bligh victualled the Bounty here, Napoleon awaited exile in Plymouth Sound, and of course the Mayflower left Plymouth before voyaging to America in 1620. The Armada was challenged by Sir Francis Drake and Chichester sailed alone around the globe. You can make your own circumnavigation of the harbour by following the Harbour Heritage Trail for an easy, level one-mile walk bringing the fascinating history of this city to life.


There are more cafes, pubs and restaurants around Sutton Harbour and the historic Barbican than you can shake a walking-stick at so whether you fancy trying a locally brewed beer or need a good cuppa, you won’t go thirsty. Sate appetites fueled by walking with a bacon butty or treat yourself to classy fish dish with locally caught and landed fresh fish.

Our Sutton Harbour Dog Friendly Guide can help you decide where to go if man’s best friend is at your heel.