Walk - Plymouth Waterfront Walkway

8.7 miles (14.1 km)

Admirals Hard, Stonehouse - PL1 3RJ Jennycliff - PL9 9SW

Moderate - This is a gentle walk, and being mainly on pavement, the areas around the Hoe, the Barbican and the Mount Batten breakwater are suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. However, the Mountbatten Ferry is not able to accommodate wheelchairs, and the section between Laira Bridge and Mount Batten has steps and is quite steep in places.  

A great family walk along a unique section of the South West Coast Path, the Waterfront Walkway is an entertaining and enlightening journey where art is used to highlight the city's history and heritage.

To check that this walk is suitable for you click here where you can find additional mapping and photographs showing gradients, path surfaces, and other detailed information.

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Route Description

A great family walk along a unique section of the South West Coast Path, the Waterfront Walkway is an entertaining and enlightening journey where art is used to highlight the city's history and heritage.

The Plymouth Waterfront Walkway was developed by the City Council in 2002 as a unique part of the South West Coast Path National Trail. It links the Cremyll Ferry landing stage on the shores of the Tamar with Jennycliff on the eastern side of Plymouth Sound. Along the way you’ll come across larger than life characters such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robinson Crusoe and Lawrence of Arabia. Then there’s the wall of stars, a golden scallop, a ten ton rhino and so much more. The features were created by the artists of Why Not Associates, and bring to life many of the stories that make Plymouth special.

Start at the ferry slip at Admiral’s Hard. The route immediately launches into a celebration of Plymouth’s history and heritage, from the vinegar works to views of the docks. It is well-worth a short detour to explore the historic and Royal William Yard with its stunning architecture and range of great places to eat, including a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage canteen. The walk then takes you along Durnford Street, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once worked as a doctor. Quotations from Sherlock Holmes set into the pavement give you just a first taste of the poetic treats. Keep your eyes peeled for the optical illusion in the railings atop the wall overlooking Millbay Docks and the Wall of Stars commemorating famous figures who sailed from Plymouth. Enjoy the passage along Rusty Anchor Seawall, and its display of models of navy vessels.

Short diversions reveal classic features of the city, such as Smeaton’s Tower on The Hoe. The Barbican takes you back in time with its historic buildings and Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrom Fathers set off for the New World. Just before the Mayflower Steps you can take the water taxi across to Mount Batten if you want to shorten the walk. Otherwise follow the Waterfront Walkway past the National Marine Aquarium to eventually cross the River Plym and proceed along the opposite bank to Mount Batten.

Return here for the water taxi back to the Barbican at the end of your walk. To continue the walk, simply follow the route taking you up Jennycliff. Here you can enjoy impressive views out over the Sound, and stop for refreshments in the friendly Jennycliff Café.

A souvenir Waterfront Walkway guide book is available from the Tourist Information Centre in Plymouth, Tel: 01752 304849, or can be purchased online from the South West Coast Path Association webshop for £3.00 inc p&p. To see the booklet click here. As the document is 3.4MB, it may take a while to load on slower internet connections.

Nearby refreshments

Dotted all along the Path. Look out for the famous knitted breakfast plaques marking the cafes and Eddystone pub plaques marking the pubs.

Public transport

For timetable information, zoom in on the interactive map and click on the bus stops, visit Traveline or phone 0871 200 22 33.



Admirals Hard (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL1 3RJ). Jennycliff (Postcode for Sat Navs: PL9 9SW).

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