Many trips in and around the city are quicker, cheaper and more convenient by bus than they are by car as you avoid traffic congestion (thanks to the city’s many bus lanes) and parking headaches.
Commuters and shoppers bus into Plymouth from Saltash in South East Cornwall or drive to the Park and Ride at Milehouse from where it’s a quick bus ride of under 10 minutes into the city centre.
The South East Cornwall town of Torpoint, just across the River Tamar from Devonport at the eastern edge of Plymouth, also has good bus links with the city centre – First buses use the Torpoint ferry which operates a round-the-clock service. First also provides the frequent Tavy Link service between the city and the charming West Devon of Tavistock – the birthplace of Sir Francis Drake and well worth a day trip if you’re staying in Plymouth.
First’s three Park and Ride services operate from Milehouse, at the northern edge of the city centre alongside Plymouth Argyle Football Club, at the George Junction (about 20 minutes’ drive north of the city) and at Coypool to the east of Plymouth (near the Marsh Mills roundabout just off the A38 Devon Expressway).
The main city centre drop off and pick up points for both Citybus and First are in Royal Parade. The bus station in Plymouth is at Bretonside at the eastern end of Royal Parade – besides being a popular hang-out for drunks, waifs and strays (slightly disconcerting but generally harmless) it’s also the local base for several bus companies including National Express which provides services to various destinations including London Victoria, Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
Buses from London to Plymouth
One of the cheapest ways to get between London and Plymouth is to take the Megabus – a popular option with students because of the price but there are definitely more comfortable ways to travel if you’re not watching the pennies.
From Bretonside you can catch a bus to popular towns, tourist resorts and visitor attractions all over Devon and Cornwall. The bus/coach journey between Exeter and Plymouth takes between one and two hours depending on the operator – it’s worth checking out First Great Western train tickets because you’ll often find it’s faster and cheaper make this trip by rail (plus you get to travel along one of the most scenic train routes in England – the gorgeous sea wall section at Dawlish Warren).
Some of the bus companies offer deals which include discounted entry to popular visitor attractions such as the Eden Project and Flambards family adventure park in Cornwall. They also lay on coach tours ranging from day trips to mini-breaks which include hotel stays, West End shows, entry to top attractions such as Alton Towers etc.
First offers private coach hire with vehicles ranging from 49-seater luxury coaches through to open top double deckers and mini buses for corporate events, school trips or private group holidays in the UK or Europe.
Get a feel for the city’s history by taking the Plymouth Discovery Tour which takes you around some of the city’s main places of interest. You’ll even get a slight taste of what it must have felt like during the Pymouth Blitz when you hear the sound of Hitler’s bombs dropping all around you!
Explore Cornwall by bus and train
A great way to spend the day exploring the countless delights of Cornwall is to buy a Ride Cornwall rover ticket which allows you to travel on any buses and trains operated by First Great Western, Cross Country Trains, First, Western Greyhound and Truronian.You can travel any time at the weekends and on Bank Holidays and after 9am on week days. Tickets are available from bus drivers, railway booking offices, train managers and conductors.
Handy links for more information about Plymouth buses
Plymouth buses in and around the city operated by Citybus
Plymouth bus timetables - Citybus
Where to catch buses in Plymouth - Citybus
Plymouth bus routes – Citybus personal travel planning service
Citybus mobile web app - search for your nearest bus stop, see what time the bus arrives, route information and more
Plymouth bus times – First Devon and Cornwall
Plymouth Park and Ride services
Cheap Megabus journeys between London and Plymouth