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New app that lets you walk in the footsteps of Plymouth’s past

Are you looking for something to do during the school holidays? A brand new app with self-guided walking trails across Plymouth is now available for download. Visitors and locals alike have the opportunity to see the city through new eyes and learn about its complex history – and some of the trails bring you right to our door here at the National Marine Aquarium. The perfect outdoor activity to take part in on your way to us this summer. It’s an opportunity to see and experience Britain’s Ocean City like you’ve never done before.

The Plymouth Trails interactive app, which is free to download, includes three new bespoke trails:

  • Mayflower Trail: Follow a circular route around the Barbican, see the buildings and meet the people who shaped the city in 1620 when the Mayflower ship and its passengers sailed to America
  • City Center Trail: Discover a different side of the imposing post-war architecture in the city center and learn more about how the city was rebuilt after the Blitz during World War II
  • Plymouth Hoe Trail: Enjoy a stroll along the coast as you immerse yourself in Plymouth’s maritime history and admire key landmarks like Tinside Lido and Smeaton’s Tower.

Using new technology, the app allows users to overlay videos and images with the landscape in front of them to get a snapshot of the city.

Accompanying activity guides for children can also be downloaded to help motivate younger visitors. From September school activity packs will be available for teachers that can also be used for groups of children.

The Mayflower Trail, created as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations that will now continue through 2021, will be the star of the show and will have a physical presence in the form of bronze monoliths along the route to guide and provide more information for visitors .

Work is underway to ensure that the core trails are accessible to all, according to Plymouth City Council. This was assessed using the Plymouth Area Disability Action Network. A number of improvements have already been made, including the addition of curbs, seating and better facilities along the routes.

The new avenues were made possible thanks to financial support from Plymouth City Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Great Western Railway, the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Mayflower 400, and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

The app also offers partner trails that participants can follow for free, including the Plymouth Tree Partnership’s American Tree Trail, which runs from Drake Reservoir through the city center to the Barbican, stopping at trees and locations with an American association. App users can also follow the Sutton Harbor Heritage Trail, a loop around the historic Harborside area, or the Waterfront Walkway, Plymouth’s section of the South West Coast Path, which takes users on a nine-mile walk from the Cremyll Ferry to Jennycliff. More additional trails will be added to the app in the future.

You can now download the app on Android or iOS. The app and the core paths are available in French, Spanish and German as well as in English.

For a preview of the Mayflower Trail, you can watch the latest video in the Mayflower Virtual Voyages series on the Mayflower400uk.org website, which also provides a look at what happened around the memorial.

More information is available on the Visit Plymouth website.

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