Grandiose maritime buildings have been transformed into one of Plymouth’s trendiest spots, now a hub of restaurants, art galleries and family activities.
Marvel at the blend of 19th- and 21st-century architecture in Royal William Yard, a cultural focal point on Plymouth’s waterfront. Here, impressive navy buildings have been transformed into a modern and atmospheric space, occupied by buzzing restaurants and welcoming art studios.
Join one of the regular historical tours for insight into the story behind the yard. Built between 1826 and 1835, the buildings here were first used as a food depot for the Royal Navy. Look for details such as the firestone gate, where cattle were brought ashore to the slaughterhouse, and the Devil’s Point, which was used in medieval times for drowning witches.
Stroll around the Ocean Studios, located in the old factory cooperage where barrels were made, to see the work of local artists. Elsewhere, the Martin Bush Fine Art Gallery and Studio showcases the work of the yard’s artist in residence. You might also be able to watch the painter at work.
After exploring the arts scene in the area, stop for lunch or dinner in the various restaurants i the yard. Order dishes such as wood-fired pizza or fresh seafood and dine outdoors surrounded by the historic buildings.
Come back to Royal William Yard on the first Sunday of every month for a farmers market in this charming setting. Sample the freshest and finest food and drink at over 30 stalls run by producers from Devon and Cornwall.
Venues across the harbor area host a number of regular events, including quiz nights, outdoor yoga sessions and handicraft workshops. Visit in May to take part in the Royal William Yard Festival, where you can enjoy gigs by local musicians, feast at pop-up food stalls and enjoy cocktails in the evenings.
Bus services from Plymouth city center run to the main gate of the yard, while on-site metered parking is available for visitors driving to the area. Alternatively, take a ferry from Cremyll in Cornwall to arrive 2 minutes’ walk away from Royal William Yard. The restaurants, cafés and galleries here are open throughout the year.