The Millbay Docks was designed and built by Brunel in 1857 as an important rail and cargo terminal on behalf of the Great Western Line. During WW1 it was handing food, stores, ammunition and equipment for the troops, and during the 1920/30s it reached its busiest handing cargo, passengers and mail by ship and by rail. By the 1950/60s the docks declined as air travel took over from the ships and the rail link followed soon after. A revival came in the 80s with the construction of two RORo ferry terminals serving France and Spain. However the rest of the Docks was in need of urgent re-generation. As part of a £300m investment, first up was the waterfront housing and marina develpment at the Millbay Village Marina built around the outer basin, shortly followed by the King Point Marina development in the inner Basin.
The big advantage of the Millbay Marina is that with its H24 access and no lock gates it has instant access to the sea, and the marina's location provides a significant gateway to the city centre of Plymouth. This is primarily a private residential marina for the waterfront properties, but the marina is receptive to visitors with their 'chilled out' visitor rates which is a genererous £20 flat fee! Visitors must pre-book during office hours as berths can only be provided if a resident berth holder is away at the time. Berths are fully serviced and can accomodate yachts up to 14m LOA.
Plymouth, Britain's ocean city has an important maritime and naval heritage. From here Sir Francis Drake sailed the English fleet in 1588 to defeat the Spanish Armada. Since then the Royal Navy has had a strong presence in nearby Devonport. Plymouth Sound is known worldwide as an anchorage and departure point for voyages both near and far. From here the Pilgrim Fathers left aboard the Mayflower in 1620 to sail across the Atlantic and a start new life in America. Further more the view over the Sound from Plymouth Hoe is one that must be seen.
Plymouth also has many interesting bars, cafes and restaurants around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour. Many are only a short walk from the marina and offer an opportunity to relax after a hard day of sailing. The National Marine Aquarium is also close by, for those rainy days or the Theatre Royal provides great entertainment. For those who enjoy retail therapy can visit the Drake Circus which has most of the well known brand shops and should keep you busy for Hours.