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Plymouth

Sir Francis Drake's decision to play bowls on Plymouth Hoe as he waited for the Spanish Armada proved one thing - he had an eye for a beautiful location.

Already in possession of it's historical transatlantic connections - this is where the Pilgrim Fathers departed on the Mayflower to set up that other great Plymouth in America - the 21st century Plymouth offers everything the modern, intelligent traveller could wish for. Culture, entertainment, first class accommodation, superb surrounding countryside and a city centre which throbs with life.

The city sits between the mouths of two rivers, the Tamar and the Plym, rubbing shoulders with two fascinating neighbouring towns - Devonport and Stonehouse. There's a breezy, nautical feel here which is hardly surprising considering this area's long association with the Royal Navy.

This was Drake's base to which he returned after he'd circumnavigated the world. Captain Cook and Charles Darwin's voyages of discovery left from Plymouth. In later years this was the base for another famous circumnavigator - Sir Francis Chichester. Ancient or modern, you'll find it all in this fascinating city, set in some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.

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