Most people think of Plymouth in terms of its harbour and seafaring history - and for good reason. Plymouth docks have been in operation since the time of the Spanish Armada and there’s evidence everywhere of its impressive maritime history:
- Royal Navy warships can often be seen at Plymouth Sound, and Plymouth’s Royal Navy base is the largest in Europe;
- Royal William Yard is home to the largest number of Naval buildings in Europe;
- The Royal Marines are based at the Stonehouse Barracks;
- the Naval Heritage Centre offers visitors the chance to tour a submarine and learn more about the area’s naval history;
- the Royal Citadel was built to protect the city from the Dutch invaders in the 17th Century;
- War memorials abound at Plymouth Hoe.
But what’s it like to live in Plymouth? Which areas in Plymouth are the best places to live and work?
If you’re thinking of relocating to Plymouth, here are some things you might want to consider.
Living in Plymouth
You might be considering relocating to Plymouth because you’re naturally drawn to living in a coastal town, or perhaps you work in an industry that has an abundance of jobs here. Is Plymouth a good place to live? Well, with around ten miles of coastline and an abundance of employment opportunities across a wide range of industries, Plymouth offers an attractive mixture of urban amenities and natural beauty.
Housing in Plymouth
If you’re thinking of living in Plymouth, bear in mind that property is always in demand here and prices are higher than in other areas of Devon. That said, the average house prices in Plymouth is around £275,000 compared to an average across England and Wales of £343,000 - so if you were relocating to Plymouth from Central London, for instance, you’d probably be pleasantly surprised at how affordable houses are here!
Newbuilds are popping up across the city, increasing supply somewhat to offset the demand from investors and landlords, and a percentage of these are offered as ‘affordable housing’ but it’s a competitive market so you may need to shop around and be prepared to wait for your ideal home.
If you’re planning to rent, bear in mind that during term times, lots of students live in rented properties across the city and privately rented property for professionals and families might be limited.
Entertainment in Plymouth
Once you’ve found somewhere to live, though, you’ll find that Plymouth is an affordable place to live in terms of transport and entertainment costs. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy for free in Plymouth - there’s the nearby Dartmoor National Park
, Wembury Beach, Tamar AONB, The Arts Institute and Burrator Reservoir to name but a few.
Being home to so many students means that Plymouth also offers plenty of low-cost entertainment options available in the form of cinemas, pubs/bars with regular special offers, cafes and museums. There are also several National Trust properties to enjoy (such as Plymbridge Woods and Saltram Park, both within a short distance from our Plymouth store)
Schools in Plymouth
There are several Good and Outstanding non-selective primary and secondary schools in Plymouth. There are also three very good grammar schools (Devonport High Schools for Girls and Boys, and Plymouth High School for Girls), and several options for higher/further education - the Marine Academy, Plymouth University, Plymouth College of Art and City College, Plymouth.
Transport in Plymouth
Excellent transport connections to London can allow City workers to commute whilst their families can enjoy the fresh air and lifestyle that comes with living on the coast.
Plymouth is also well-connected to Exeter, Cornwall, Bodmin, Torquay, and London via road, rail and water link/park and ride, and of course to mainland Europe via ferry. If you’re a cyclist, you can take advantage of the Devon Coast-to-Coast Cycle Route 27 and stay safe on traffic-free stretches of cycleway along former railway lines.
Staying close to home, there is an abundance of shops at the Drake Circus Shopping Centre, the Barbican area, and the pedestrianised Royal William Yard
, which offer a mixture of independent boutiques and high street retailers.
In short, Plymouth has everything you could need to live a happy, healthy lifestyle and if you need to travel elsewhere then the excellent transport connections will make it easy to do so.
Working in Plymouth
The main industries in Plymouth are rather more diverse than you might think. Naturally, there are lots of jobs in the marine and tourism sectors, but manufacturing and hospitality are also major employers.
Plymouth is home to around a fifth of all marine jobs in the UK. Newly opened Oceansgate is a development across 18 acres of dockyards to provide a hub for marine-based businesses.
Excellent transport links and large numbers of students and tourists make for a prosperous city and employment prospects are good here.
Relocating to Plymouth
If you’re considering living in Plymouth, the Devonport Dockyard development is a good place to start looking for more affordable housing, whilst The Elms has plenty of larger period properties to choose from. If you’re relocating to Plymouth from London and have plenty of equity to spend, Jennycliff Lane has beautiful waterfront homes available. Other particularly nice areas in Plymouth include Mount Gold, Compton, Hartley and Millbridge.
If you’re planning to live in Plymouth, you should try to spend as much time here as you can before moving here so that you can get a feel for the different areas and find just the right property for you. Perhaps you could rent somewhere during the school/university holidays.
If you decide to move and need somewhere to store your belongings while you decorate (or to cover any gap between selling your old house and moving into your new home), we have a storage facility on the Parkway Industrial Estate
just off the Expressway where you can keep your belongings safe and sound until you need them.