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At the eastern end of the Hoe you’ll find The Royal Citadel, the most impressive 17th century fortress in Britain and for many years England’s most important defence against attack from the sea. The Citadel has been in constant military occupation since it was built and today it is home to some of Plymouth’s modern heroes – the troops of 29 Commando Royal Artillery.Plymouth Hoe, referred to locally as the Hoe, is a large south-facing open public space in the English coastal city of Plymouth. The Hoe is adjacent to and above the low limestone cliffs that form the seafront and it commands views of Plymouth Sound, Drake's Island, and across the Hamoaze to Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word hoh, a sloping ridge shaped like an inverted foot and heel (a term that survives in a few other place names, notably Sutton Hoo).
There is an imposing series of Victorian terraces to the west of the naval memorial which previously continued to the Grand Hotel and, until it was destroyed by bombing, the grand clubhouse of the Royal Western Yacht Club. The club then merged with the Royal Southern and occupied that club's older premises which it had created from the regency public steam baths by the basin at West Hoe before the rejuvenated club moved in the late 1980s to Queen Anne Battery.The name ‘Hoe’ derives from Old English and appropriately enough, means ‘high ground’. Today Plymouth Hoe is an open green space overlooking the Sound and is used to host major events. The park as we see it today was largely developed in the 1870s for the Victorians to enjoy, but it has long been a place of entertainment. Bull baiting took place here until 1815 and, of course, bowls have been played here for centuries.
Keen-eyed visitors will be able to spot the current Eddystone lighthouse and the base of this one, still in position on the reef, on the horizon. The tower’s trials and tribulations did not end there though: in 1913 suffragettes campaigning for ‘Votes for Women’ targeted the lighthouse, placing a small homemade bomb in the doorway. Fortunately, the wind blew out the fuse! Smeaton’s Tower stands 72 feet high and visitors can enjoy fantastic views of Plymouth Sound from its lantern room – if they are willing to climb the 93 steps up to it! A small fee applies.With a large grassed area, sensory garden, memorials, sports activities, a range of cafes and a wide promenade there's always something to see and do. The Hoe's superb sites include the Royal Citadel and Smeaton's Tower lighthouse - rebuilt from its original base 14 miles out to sea, and the four and a half million ton granite and limestone breakwater.The Hoe acts as a venue for some great free music festivals and as a platform for the incredible British Firework Championships. We also host a range of Marine Festivals, including the annual Blue Mile to celebrate our blue environment - take part any way you want: swim or surf, kayak, stand up paddle, walk or run a mile! (Source: www.plymouth.gov.uk)