If you’ve read my previous post, Plymouth’s Origins and Layout, you’ll realise that Sutton Harbour is where Plymouth was born.
In around 700AD Anglo Saxon mariners settled and created a small fishing community which they called Sutton (South Town).
From these humble beginnings Sutton Harbour has grown into one of the three largest fishing ports in England (the other two being Brixham and Newlyn).
The old fish quay on The Barbican has now relocated to more modern facilities on the eastern side of the harbour, but there’s more to the harbour than fishing.
This is the harbour where Sir Francis Drake organised his fleet to attack the Spanish Armada, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America, and where Sir Francis Chichester landed after completing his epic solo voyage around the world.
You may not be a Francis Drake, Francis Chichester, or even a ‘Pilgrim Pete’ , but if you fancy checking out the local coastline and waterways, there are any number of ferries and boat trips that leave from near the Mayflower Steps.
If, on the other hand, you prefer to keep your feet on Terra Firma, you can still enjoy what the sea has to offer in the National Marine Aquarium.
To reach it from the Barbican side of the harbour you just need to walk along West Pier and cross the footbridge.
Incidentally, on West Pier you can’t fail to notice the ‘Leviathan’, or as Plymothians prefer to call it – ‘The Prawn’.
There’s always plenty of activity on the water in Sutton Harbour, but there’s also plenty of activity on land around The Barbican – especially on weekend nights.