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Free things to do in Plymouth

There are lots of free things for everyone to enjoy in Plymouth. We’ve compiled a list of all the activities, events and things to do so you can have fun and make memories with your family without worrying about your budget.

Family activities

Family fun at The Box

The Box is free to visit with lots of amazing artwork and fascinating objects to explore, so there’s something for the whole family. It’s open 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and there’s no need to book.

Every Friday morning at 10.30am, The Box also runs free storytelling sessions for under 5s.

Plymouth Libraries

Libraries across Plymouth host regular activities for children, including Lego clubs, Rhymetime and storytelling sessions. Find out more about all the events and activities on offer.

Bridging the Tamar Visitor and Learning Centre

This free attraction gives you the chance to learn all about the 2 iconic bridges that link Devon and Cornwall: the Tamar Bridge and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 19th century Royal Albert Bridge. There are interactive exhibits, spotters trails, and dressing up materials.

Playgrounds

There are over 125 play areas across Plymouth where children can have fun for free, with a range of play equipment on offer. Find your nearest playground.

Outdoor activities

Parks

Plymouth is home to so many green spaces waiting to be explored, where you can enjoy spending time in nature for free. Many of them have been awarded Green Flag status which recognises that they are safe, secure, clean and well-maintained. Our parks map will help you find the nearest park to your home.

Woodland walks

There are 13 Local Nature Reserves in Plymouth which are free for everyone to visit, with a variety of woodland walks to follow. Enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature and see what kinds of wildlife you can spot.

Plymouth Hoe

With beautiful sea views and lots of space for children to play, Plymouth Hoe is a great and accessible place to visit on a sunny day.

Walking trails

Delve into the depths of Britain's Ocean City with the free Plymouth Trails App which allows you to learn and explore the streets of this historic city via themed trails. The trails stretch across the city and cover a wide range of interests as they guide you from place to place. At each stop, you can compare how Plymouth used to look with the 'Now and Then' feature. All trails come with an audio option so that you can enjoy the views whilst listening to the content.

Elizabethan Gardens

Step back into the 16th century at the Elizabethan Gardens hidden in the realms of the historic Barbican.

South West Coast Path

Plymouth’s waterfront is part of the South West Coast Path and you can follow the Waterfront Walkway which takes you from Stonehouse all the way to Jennycliff.

Wild swimming

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park offers lots of great swimming spots, with the most popular being East Tinside Beach just off Plymouth Hoe and Firestone Bay near the Royal William Yard.  If you’d like to go for a dip this summer, make sure you follow important safety advice.

Ocean City Clean-ups

Help to protect the environment and join the Ocean Conservation Trust at one of their litter picking sessions this year. All equipment is provided and you’ll also have chance to speak to their marine biologists, learning all about ocean conservation and plastic pollution.

Saltram

Situated on the outskirts of Plymouth the free parklands of Saltram provide the perfect opportunity to get outdoors with the family this summer. Go for a walk, run or cycle to enjoy the range of different habitats, including farmland, saltmarshes and meadows.

Parkrun

Get fit with free-to-attend park run events hosted every Saturday in Central Park. Beginning at 9 am, participants are encouraged to take part for their own enjoyment and can complete the 5k distance at their own pace. New entrants are advised to register before they attend. There’s also a Junior Parkrun for 4 to 14 year olds, every Sunday at 9am in Devonport Park. 

Woodland workshops

Enjoy creative, sustainable workshops every Friday afternoon from July to December, 1pm to 3pm in Tulgey Woods, Lower Compton. The sessions are run by Conscious Sisters CIC and Tulgey Woods CIC, please contact hello@theconscioussisters.com for more information.

Love Exploring App

Download the free Love Exploring app to enjoy free games and walking trails in parks and woodlands across Plymouth. Go on an adventure to find dinosaurs, planets or bugs in an augmented reality game or follow walking trails with interesting facts about wildlife, plants and history. There’s currently fun to be had in: Central Park, Devonport Park, Victoria Park, Budshead Woods, Woodland Wood and Ham Woods, with more locations coming soon.

Arts and Culture

The Box Plymouth

As well as its impressive permanent collection, The Box is home to some fascinating exhibitions this year:

John Akomfrah: Arcadia: The UK premiere of a major new multi-screen film commission by a visionary artist and filmmaker with beautiful visuals of landscapes from across the globe, stunning underwater footage and a haunting soundtrack.

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: End of Empire: A large-scale sculpture commenting on the balance of power at the outset of the First World War/

LGBTQIA+ History Month 2024: To mark this year's LGBTQIA+ History Month (February 2024), see a new series of displays that showcase Plymouth’s LGBTQIA+ community archives.

The Box also hosts free Always Welcome Wellbeing Sessions which include mindfulness, meditation and guided breathing. Booking is essential.