So, today (Tuesday 10th October) I put on my little tourist hat and had a walk down towards Plymouth Barbican, where I was going to follow the Barbican Heritage Trail (albeit not in any order). I guess you could say I was just sightseeing. I started the walk all the way back in Armada Way, in the hustle and bustle of city life where everyone has a place to be, even the fruit stand seemed in a rush to close up as the owner shouted, “Pound to clear the fruit!”, I nearly ended up with a punnet of strawberries without even starting the walk. But I resisted, having a feeling I knew what was for lunch today.
The route I was following today would start on Southside Street, where sat my first stop, Plymouth Gin Distillery. Now, this is not because of my love of Gin (which I can neither confirm nor deny) but it was simply the first one on my list. Now to prevent this being a long history essay, I will put in little ‘Fun Facts’ about each place on the walk.
Fun Fact: Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working distillery of its kind in England and has been in operation since 1793, working to the same recipe all this time too.
Due to being short on time, I was only able to have a look in their gin shop, which, in my opinion, was delightful, but let’s move on. (Tours cost £7 and last nearly an hour)
Carrying on down this small street, flowered with small independent shops and art galleries, it almost feels like it isn’t a part of Plymouth at all, this small area east of Plymouth Hoe has been forgotten in time and left with its cobbled streets and low doorways. It’s refreshing and interesting to see this little street, bursting with life and still have all these unique yet thriving shops. To which the fudge shop was particularly appealing! Once again, I had to resist the temptation (which this time was ten times harder to achieve) and walked on.
I turned right onto White Lane which left me on New Street, and considerably out of breath after climbing a huge (really not that huge) hill. I was familiar with this part because I had eaten many times at the Tudor Rose Tea Rooms who made a fantastic breakfast and lovely cup of coffee, but I digress. To the right of the tea rooms lay the Elizabethan Gardens, the highlight of the trail today. The ten-foot corridor into the gardens was a tunnel through time. I felt as though I was an explorer travelling to an untouched part of Plymouth, much left behind, but no less cared for. It was beautiful. As I entered the garden this was the perfect opportunity to gather my thoughts about the first half of the day, so I sat on a small concrete bench and started to write. This has to be the most peaceful, calming area of Plymouth I had ever seen. There was no noise of the outside world, just the tweeting of the birds and the trickling of water, which I presume is past the staircase I am yet to climb.
This garden is so peaceful and all I can think to say about it is that it provides absolute tranquillity, perfect for writers or artists seeking a quiet place to sit. I will end this post with another fun fact.
Fun Fact: The Elizabethan Gardens of New Street were first mentioned in 1584, where well-off merchants would have their houses on this street and maintained well-kept gardens.
The next post will see what is atop these stairs and who I could meet on the rest of the Barbican Heritage Trail.