City Guide: Plymouth


Plymouth is a port city with huge maritime heritage and history, with lots to do from fish markets, to museums, to night clubs. iQ Astor House is ideally located in Plymouth city centre within walking distance from the very best that Plymouth has to offer. Check out our city guide below to get a flavour of what Plymouth has to offer.



The Harbor – 7 minute walk

There is always a great deal of activity on the water, including frequent warship movements and swarms of sailing boats. Other events which take place in the port are the British Firework Championships, Armed Forces Day as well as open-air concerts such as MTV Crashes. The Fastnet Yacht Race also ends in the port.

Theatre Royal Plymouth – 5 minute walk

The Lyric is the large main auditorium, which regularly hosts large scale musicals, opera and ballet within Theatre Royal Plymouth. The venue is a fantastic space to enjoy your favorite shows, with many coming to Plymouth before they hit the West End. Booked shows include Sister Act, The wedding Singer, Grease, Hairspray, Miss Saigon and many more.

The Plymouth Pavilions – 10 minute walk

Plymouth Pavilions is a leisure, entertainment and sports venue, including a 4000 capacity arena and indoor ice rink. It is the home of the Plymouth Raiders professional basketball team who compete in the elite British Basketball League. Here you will also be able to enjoy a whole host of top comedy and music acts, which regularly choose this venue as part of their tour schedule.  

The National Marine Aquarium – 15 minutes

This is one of the larger aquariums in Britain. The National Marine Aquarium is home to a wide array of marine species including, rays, sharks, turtles and hundreds of varieties of fish. The highlight is the Atlantic Ocean tank; one of the deepest tanks in Europe.

Royal William Yard -  15 minutes walk to the waterbus

Royal William Yard is one the most important groups of historic military buildings in Britain, thriving with businesses, retailers and with wide range of arts and cultural events. Enjoy a range of outdoor plays, open air films, arts and crafts markets along with the Annual Royal William Yard Festival. If you want to grab a bite, Las Iguanas, Le Bistrot Pierre and Secco Lounge are some of the restaurants available, all with amazing views.

Walkabout - 7 minute walk

A great, with an Australian themed bar, lots of screens and great discounts to students, is the place for you if you’re into sports. Walkabout also turns into a nightclub at night, with a range of themed party nights; Wednesday is Student night.

Union Rooms - 7 minute’ walk

The Union Rooms is in the heart of Plymouth night life, serving pub food classics and drinks for great value for money; with a popular outdoor area where you can relax in the summer. The downstairs area turns into a dance floor in the evening so you can dance the night away with your friends.

Revolution - 7 minutes’ walk

Revs Plymouth is split across two floors with three bars creating an elegant and stylish atmosphere. The main bar offers a relaxed eating area during the day but transforms into a vibrant and energetic cocktail bar by night. The Club Room is open Friday to Sunday and boasts two bars. You'll find expertly mixed cocktails made from an extensive range of flavored vodkas and premium spirits.

Pryzm - 10 minute walk

Pryzm is the biggest nightclub in Plymouth, with no less than 5 bars spread across 2 nightclubs at this venue, which plays commercial music. The venue hosts events featuring the biggest DJ's and acts on the scene, with a wide range of VIP booths to book out with your friends. Plymouth’s biggest Monday Student night, ‘Bear Naked’, is also held here.

Oakley’s run a regular shuttle service to Pryzm Nightclub from Derry’s cross on Wednesdays 11pm to 12.30am, Fridays 10pm to 1.30am and Saturdays 10.30pm to 2.00am. From outside PL4 on North hill on Mondays 10.30pm to 1.30am.

Cuba – 15 minute Walk

Cuba is the most popular late night/early morning nightclub in the city, opening up to 6am Friday and Saturday nights, and 4am for the rest of the week. The lively bar serves light bites alongside burgers and pizzas and has a great choice of cocktails to enjoy. This is a great place to go if it doesn’t quite feel like home time, and it’s right opposite the university campus.


Food & Drinks

The Barbican – 5 minute walk

This is the original harbor area of Plymouth, with the streets still retaining some of the architecture of an old fishing port. Here you will find many shops, bars with live music and restaurants for all tastes. It also includes the Barbican Theatre, retail art galleries, the Mayflower steps and Plymouth’s finest export at the Plymouth Gin Distillery.

Why not pop down and enjoy fish and chips at the harbor and take in the amazing atmosphere?

The Hoe (Sea Front) – 3 minute walk

The jewel in the crown for Plymouth is The Hoe. Take a stroll along the sea front and enjoy the amazing picturesque views.

The large, open promenade overlooks Plymouth Sound, Mount Batten, Mount Edgcumbe and Drakes Island; with prominent landmarks such as Smeaton`s Tower. It has plenty of green spaces to chill, sunbathe or meet up with friends. On the main sea front, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants, to grab some tea, coffee or something stronger!



Drake Circus – 12 minute walk

The obvious choice for high street shopping in Plymouth is Drake Circus Shopping Centre, which has over 60 high street retailers including: Game, Topshop, Apple Store, New Look, Cath Kidston, Fat Face, Superdry, H&M, and Primark. There is something here for all your buying needs, with many of the shops offering great student discounts.

Supermarkets – 1 minute walk

iQ Astor House features an onsite Tesco Express for your comfort, but there are plenty of other supermarkets for you to pick from. Aldi and Lildl (in Union Street) are around a 15 mins walk, whilst Argos and Sainsbury’s are approximately 5 mins from iQ Astor House. Regardless of where you like to shop, at iQ Astor House you’ll have the full range of options on your doorstep.



  • Plymouth University and Plymouth College of Art are both within walking distance of our building:
  • Plymouth University – 12 minute walk
  • Plymouth College of Art – 12 minute walk
  • City College Plymouth – 5 minute walk to the free shuttle bus
  • Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John) – 5 minute walk to main bus route
  • Plymouth Train Station – 15 minute walk
  • Plymouth Bus Station – 8 minute walk
  • Main Bus routes to Royal Parade – 5 minute walk