Plymouth hosts a variety of watersports events, from dinghy sailing championships to powerboat grand prixâ€™s. It is a popular location for yacht and dinghy sailing, canoeing and enjoying the scenery on a personal watercraft. The Plymouth Breakwater, just over two miles out from Plymouth Hoe was built in 1812 and has made a huge difference to the range of watersports activities available in the huge area of protected ocean. Plymouth Hoe is the natural heart of Plymouth with breathtaking views across Plymouth Sound, one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world.
Standing tall on the luscious green-lawned expanse of the Hoe is the iconic Smeatonâ€™s Tower lighthouse. Open to the public year-round, Smeaton’s Tower offers a wonderful vantage point from its lantern room. Gaze down at the shoreline and youâ€™ll see the glorious Art Deco Tinside Lido, open to the public for bathing during the summer months. Sir Francis Drake, intrepid explorer and local hero, is immortalised in a statue on the Hoe, situated just a few metres from the green where he finished his game before heading out to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588.
At the eastern end of the Hoe youâ€™ll find The Royal Citadel, the most impressive 17th century fortress in Britain and for many years Englandâ€™s most important defence against attack from the sea. The Citadel has been in constant military occupation since it was built and today it is home to some of Plymouthâ€™s modern heroes â€“ the troops of 29 Commando Royal Artillery. English Heritage offers tours of the Royal Citadel on Tuesdays and Thursdays from May to September.