Getting to know Plymouth

Photo of Royal William Yard

Getting better all the time

Plymouth is constantly changing and developing. Our college is in the middle of an exciting ‘cultural quarter’ and Plymouth is riding a wave of change that we hope you become part of. Check out the interactive and illustrated map of Plymouth (illustration below), highlighting just a few of our favourite gems, jaunts and hideaways... Please also check out our Discover Plymouth site for even more information

A photo of the Plymouth College of Art - an old photo


Plymouth has tales to tell of Drake, Darwin and the Pilgrim Fathers. The old port area – The Barbican – offers narrow cobbled streets and Elizabethan warehouses amongst restaurants, cafes, bars, art galleries, a gin distillery and curio museums and shops. Built in the early 1800s, the award winning Royal William Yard is a Grade I listed ex-Naval victualling yard where you will find restaurants with al-fresco dining, more cobbles, bars, galleries, shops and an eclectic range of high quality, local and national events - from monthly good food markets, theatre and outdoor cinemas through to live music and circus performances as well as hosting a thriving creative business community.

Photo of shop inside Drakes Circus shopping centre


Our College is next to the Drake Circus shopping mall but for small, independent shops, there’s a wealth of historic areas from the Barbican to the Grade 1 listed Royal William Yard. You can find antique and vintage wares, art galleries and plenty of places to stop for coffee or dinner.

Connections and travel

The train can get you to London in just over 3 hours or you can hop on a ferry straight to France via Brittany Ferries. There are reliable coach services to Exeter, Bristol and London with Exeter and Bristol (and even Newquay) also having international airports. If you want to stay closer to home there are local ferry services to Mountbatten, Calstock or Mount Edgcumbe or take a trip further into Cornwall for the Tate St Ives or The Eden Project.

Nature inspiring art

There are miles of stunning coastline and green spaces to explore. The rugged Dartmoor is close by – with perfect locations to paint, film or take photographs.

Plymouth City Council has provided more information about the City here.

Whilst we cannot offer our own accommodation we work closely with providers within the city to make your transition to the student community in Plymouth as smooth as possible. There are various Student Letting agents in the city. Visit our accommodation page to get started. Take a look at the International Student Calculator for information on typical costs in the UK and advice on how to manage your money effectively.

City Culture

Music and Comedy

Plymouth Pavilions draws big names in music and comedy, while the Thistle Park Tavern and The Junction along with other pubs and clubs hosts Plymouth’s live music scene. One Plymouth provides details of other venues for music while Plymouth Comedy Club provides details of upcoming comedy acts.

Drama and Dance

Plymouth’s artistic spirit also shines in the Plymouth Theatre Royal, the largest and best-attended regional producing theatre in the UK. The Barbican Theatre is a vibrant and independent theatre, supporting young, new and emerging artists. Plymouth Dance connects, creates and celebrates dance in the city.

Museums and galleries

Plymouth's main museum and art gallery is currently closed as Plymouth works towards the development of The Box - a major new visitor attraction adjacent to the College that will bring to life Plymouth’s rich and fascinating history. This is due to open in spring 2020 as the city gears up for the Mayflower 400 celebrations and will feature a series of large-scale galleries that highlight the city’s fine art, decorative art, natural history, human history, film, photography and archive collections.

Our friendly admissions team is here to help you prepare for your arrival and give you practical advice about living in the UK. Check out Study UK's website for tons of helpful information on studying in the UK.