Plymouth, England – Day One

When we told people that we had booked a short break to Plymouth the typical reaction was “Why?” The reason was that we wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before and we could reach by direct train from Reading. Plymouth ticked both those boxes. However, as we walked the short distance from the station to the hotel I too began to ask “Why?”

If I was being charitable I would say that Plymouth is in need of some regeneration. The city centre is run down with a lot of derelict buildings. It’s like the land that time forgot – it even still has a House of Fraser!

In Search of Interest

Dumping our stuff at the hotel we headed back out into the grey afternoon and set off away from the city centre towards the coast where there was a hope that there might be more of interest. We started at the lighthouse but it was too overcast to bother going up and so we’ll do that another day.

Next we looked over onto the lido but once again the curse of the scaffolding got us. Fortunately, the man at the entrance took pity on us and allowed us in to take a look. It is undergoing restoration at the moment but even so you could see that it had once been a marvellous building. The pool was also beautiful and even on a cloudy day when it couldn’t have looked less inviting there were people in the water.

We then walked on to the area called The Barbican. This wasn’t quite what we had imagined but was certainly more attractive than the city centre. It included the Mayflower Steps, a memorial to the Tolpuddle Martyrs and lots of fish & chip and ice cream shops.

You Can’t Park There Mate!

The highlight of the day, however, was seeing a BMW 3 series park on double yellow lines on a bend blocking the road. Under normal circumstances this would have been illegal but the presence of a disability blue badge in the window changed matters. As a blue badge holder you are legally allowed to park on yellow lines for up to three hours. What it does not do, however, is allow you to divorce yourself from common sense.

I suspect that if it had just been cars on the road all would have been fine but a coach and a bus were never going to get past so a queue developed as did the number of both onlookers and officials in fluorescent jackets.

An hour later the car was still there along with a number of frustrated drivers. Then a tow truck arrived positioning itself in front of the car and, as if by magic, the owner suddenly appeared coming at a sprint to be greeted by cheers, jeers and some very fruity language. The guy then drove off at haste only to be met by an oncoming police car which stopped him for a little chat.

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