Now that I have a full-time job and a lot less time on my hands, I prioritise way more of my life on resting and relaxing. As many people know, the lifestyle difference between uni and ‘real life working’ is STARK. However, when I do have the energy to get out and about, I always have a few key places in mind.
Whether it’s spring, summer, autumn or winter, Dartmoor is my treasured escape. It’s a place for me to stretch my legs and build my strength, and a great way to get out of the chaos of the city centre. Of course, I use the term ‘chaos’ lightly. Plymouth isn’t exactly London in terms of hustle and bustle, but when you live and work in the same 15-minute radius, it’s nice to get out of it for a change.
My favourite thing is to walk a while and absorb myself in complete silence. It’s incredibly cathartic and feels as if my anxieties are all the way back in Plymouth.
2. Pennywell Farm
Technically not in Plymouth by any stretch, but still nearby. Literally, what is better than a petting zoo? The pig race is truly an astonishing piece of entertainment, but the best bit is holding the little pigs. THEY ARE SO CUTE. LOOK AT THEM. AH.
P.S – You can also feed the goats.
3. Wembury Beach
With the sand, sea, coastal trail, and rockpools on offer, Wembury is my favourite coastal spot. I have so many memories on this beach – it really is a place of personal significance. It’s nice knowing that no matter what changes in my life, I can sit down on the beach, stare out at the same Mewstone and breathe in salty sea air. And I can also eat McDonalds on the drive home.
4. Elizabethan Gardens
If you walk along the Barbican with an explorer’s eye, you can find the ‘secret’ Elizabethan Gardens. I had no idea they existed until a couple of months ago, but it’s a beautiful area to in which to rest your legs and enjoy a cup of coffee. Take a break from the busy Barbican and let yourself be taken away by the 16th-century setting.
5. Kapadokya Restaurant
Being half Turkish, it’s really exciting to have a place dedicated to the cuisine of my half-homeland. I celebrated my graduation with a meal here, and everyone was a big fan of the food – even those who’d never tried Turkish dishes before. It’s an extremely decadent experience and always in the back of my mind when I want to treat myself to a meal out. I’ll definitely write a post all about it soon!
6. Drake’s Place
This is a beautiful garden located on the University of Plymouth campus. It’s been my go-to place ever since I first started studying here. Summer and autumn are my favourite seasons for this place; you can sunbathe on the grass in summer, and watch dogs run wild in piles of fallen leaves in the autumn.
7. Plymouth Hoe
This is a given, but considering how iconic it is, how could it not be? My first ever night out started here (classy!), I graduated here, I learned to sail (badly) in the Plymouth Sound, I visited when I was depressed and frustrated, and it was the first thing I remembered when I moved down here. It’s pretty much been the backdrop of my teenage years.
8. Barbican Theatre
This theatre hosts so many incredible up-and-coming innovators when it comes to the theatre industry – it’s my pleasure to watch their shows and write reviews for them. I have seen some of my favourite pieces of theatre at Barbican Theatre, including comedy shows hosted by Craig Campbell and Ahir Shah, and productions such as The Snow Beast by Scratchworks Theatre. These shows really don’t break the bank either!
9. Theatre Royal Plymouth
Again, it’s a theatre, so of course I love it. I really believe that theatre is an incredible form of escapism, and I have been blown away by some of the productions shown here. The Under26 ticket scheme means that I can grab last minute tickets for a fraction of the price and see incredible shows like Miss Saigon and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘Fire and Fury’. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve left this theatre completely speechless.
10. Fox Tor Café
This café, located in Princetown, is a place of creature comfort for me. My ideal weekend is probably spent walking along the South Hessary Tor route and rewarding myself with a Dartmoor Delight at the end of it. A hot chocolate with all the trimmings, a Dartmoor Delight is my favourite way to get warm after a cold walk. The café also sells all of the best things: ie, homemade jams and chutneys, fry-ups, toast, pasties, the lot.