The Hoe is an obvious focal point for the city, with its spectacular backdrop of Plymouth Sound, one of the world’s great natural harbours. No doubt you will know it for Sir Francis Drake’s legendary game of bowls before leaving to defeat the Spanish Armada.
With a large grassed area, sensory garden, memorials, sports activities, a range of cafes and a wide promenade there’s always something to see and do. The Hoe’s superb sites include the Royal Citadel and Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse – rebuilt from its original base 14 miles out to sea, and the four and a half million ton granite and limestone breakwater.
Down below the Hoe Road you can enjoy the walkways and undercover sitting areas all the way down to the sea, where you can swim, fish or search for marine life on the pebble beach. We’re also very proud of Tinside Lido, a restored 1935 art deco lido – a wonderful natural sea water pool open from April to September.
A famous Plymouth landmark
A centrepiece on Plymouth’s Hoe, Smeaton’s Tower has become one of the South West’s most well known landmarks.
The lighthouse was originally built on the Eddystone reef in 1759 at a cost of £40,000, but was taken down in the early 1880s when it was discovered that the sea was undermining the rock it was standing on.
Approximately two thirds of the structure was moved stone by stone to its current resting place on the Hoe.
Now standing at 72 foot high, Smeaton’s Tower offers fantastic views of Plymouth Sound and the city from its lantern room which, along with the rest of the building, has been painstakingly restored to its original glory.
The lighthouse is open to the public all year round (with the exception of Christmas and Good Friday). For details of current opening times, admission prices and access information see our visitor information page.