This time of year is traditionally characterised by tinsel-decorated trees; mince pies; present-giving; a turkey dinner (or two) and of course carols.
This year you can once again delight in the sounds of a fabulous selection of sing along classics at the Dementia Friendly Carol Service; it’s being held on Wednesday 11th December.
You can listen to your favourite carols and hear some lovely readings from some very special guests.
St Pauls Church in Stonehouse will be the host of this very special concert. Although everyone is welcome, it’s also perfect for people living with, or caring for those with Dementia.
The event starts at 3pm, and just as the songs used to bring people together many hundreds of years ago, the magic will be clear to see when you attend this amazing service.
Singing carols at Christmas with those that you love, brings families and friends together over Christmas time. But for some with Dementia, the music makes them feel connected to a time period or a memory that they can associate with that song. This then creates a magic with every note.
To find out more you can email: transformingplymouthtogether.org.uk or call: 07710096210
As a city, Plymouth has proudly played a key role in many historic moments. With the 28th November 1919 one of those moments in history. It was a monumental day for both Plymouth and Women. The day marks Nancy Astor being elected to represent Plymouth Sutton in Parliament. Nancy Astor won her Plymouth seat in 1919. She was still then the only female MP in the Commons for two years after.
The 28th November 2019 will now also go into the history books. It was a truly emotional day, even the weather couldn’t rain on the cities parade. A statue honouring the first female MP, Lady Nancy Astor, was unveiled. Just moments away from Strathmore House Apartments on Elliot Terrace, a century after she was voted in.
In honour of the pioneering MP, former prime minister Theresa May unveiled a bronze statue near Lady Astor’s former family home.
On the same day, Lady Astor was also commemorated with a Great Western Railway. A train was named after her and travelled from London Paddington to Plymouth. Plymouth City Bus also now has a bus which not only celebrates her in it’s fine art work on the outside; but inside celebrates all the great women in and around our city thereafter.
Mrs May told the hundreds-strong crowd that she was “honoured” to be unveiling the statue. She also said she was “especially pleased to do so, as our country’s second female prime minister”.
The statue was sculpted by artist Hayley Gibbs after £125,000 was raised through crowdfunding by the Nancy Astor Statue Appeal. Practically in the ‘back-yard’ of Strathmore House Apartments it is a truly magnificent work of art; but also telling a truly gripping tale. Well worth a see!
Plymouth in January is beautiful. It’s rugged, romantic and occasionally stormy; making it perfectly matched with our homely apartments, where you can snuggle in after a blowy walk along the ocean.
The Barbican and its cobbles are lined with cafes serving warming hot chocolate. There are bars for a glass of red wine and Plymouth Gin offering amazing tours of their distillery. The shopping district is full of high street brands as well as cute boutiques, with exceptional January sales. Restaurants serve seasonal dishes and it’s a relaxed time of year to enjoy every mouthful. Plymouth in January has a sense of calm and new beginnings in the air as an exciting New Year starts.
Contrary to what many people believe about Plymouth in winter, there is so much beauty this time of year not to be missed, fuse this with our lowest rates of the year and you have the perfect break away!
Here are just two of our favourite things about Plymouth in January:
On The Sea
Plymouth is a city which although in Devon, is just a stones throw from Cornwall. January is the perfect month to explore and enjoy both counties, using the sea!
The Torpoint Ferry connects Plymouth with Cornwall, a service that has stood the test of time! Smaller boats used to ferry people and goods across from Cornwall to England and although the ferry shares no resemblance to the old ones; the journey is like going back in time.
The toll aboard the Torpoint Ferry is payable one way, on the trip from Torpoint (Cornwall) to Plymouth (Devon) except for motorcycles which are tolled from Plymouth (Devon) to Torpoint (Cornwall). There is no charge for pedestrians or pedal cyclists. For anyone exploring this part of the county by car, it is well worth a visit to the nearby Kingsand and Cawsand Bay, with many other breathtaking stops along the way.
Take a trip on the historic foot ferry from Stonehouse to The Rame Peninsula, known as, Cornwall’s forgotten corner. Loved for centuries by all who have travelled on her, the Cremyll Ferry is one of Plymouth’s true gems and provides a gateway to discover this beautiful part of the South West.
Our eight minute ferry journey crosses the River Tamar, against the spectacular backdrop of Royal William Yard and Plymouth Sound. (The winter timetable runs from October-March)
Mount Batten Ferry
The Mount Batten Ferry operates between the Barbican and Mount Batten all year round. Operating every 30 mins, departing from the Barbican quarter past and quarter to the hour, Mount Batten on the hour and half hour.
Whilst in Mount Batten you could visit the Mount Batten Watersports & Activity Centre. It is one of the foremost Outdoor Education centres in the South West. The Centre commands stunning views looking out towards Plymouth’s historic Barbican area, the Hoe and across to Mount Edgcumbe. It is perfectly situated on the tidal estuary of The Sound, making it an ideal, and safe, location for the thousands of people, of all ages, that use the Centre each year – whether for recreational or professional use.
(Re-opens after the Christmas Break on the 2nd January)
Coastal walks and sunsets
There’s something about sunsets.They are romantic, inspiring and utterly Instagram-able! So why don’t we make more time to watch them? Make that time this January and witness the calming, beautiful moments here in Plymouth. As a city by the sea, we are so fortunate to be able to watch the changing colours in the sky, all with the sea as its very own personal mirror.
Restaurants with decks, balconies and floor to ceiling windows allow those who are not so up for braving the elements, to view in the warmth but still not moss a thing.
You will be overcome with those moments where you think to yourself ‘the best things in life really are free’. Every city gets them, yet each one is unique in its own way. Plymouth is by far our favourite city by the sea to enjoy walks and sunsets a plenty! So, pack your walking boots and a camera, you don’t want to miss out on these natural beauties!
Ships’ figureheads have a long history embodying religion, symbolism and superstition…
These amazing objects were mounted on the bows of sailing ships for thousands of years. They were believed to embody the spirit of the vessel they were on. Figureheads offered crew protection from harsh seas and safety on their journeys home.
The Egyptians mounted figures of holy birds to provide protection and vision. The Phoenicians featured horse heads symbolising swiftness. The Romans and Greeks carved wolf or boar heads representing ferocity. All often mounted on, or carved directly onto, the most forward part of the ship’s bow.
Naval galleons, whose figureheads were often carved animals or heraldic devices, were the basis of England’s rise as a great maritime power…
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the lion was the standard figurehead for lower-ranking Royal Navy warships. It symbolised power, speed and aggression. There are just two British ones that have survived. One is at the National Maritime Museum in London.
Lion figureheads went out of fashion towards the end of the 18th century. They were replaced by full-length human forms. As many sailors couldn’t read, the ships’ figureheads often represented the name of the ship.
Although ship design eventually made figureheads redundant, there are still around 200 from the Royal Navy that have survived since their sea-service retirement. They are admired by all that see them.
Nip & Tuck…
The superstitions of seamen meant that figureheads held great significance to those on board and they would go to great lengths to protect it. Fourteen figureheads have, over the last two years, had a new ‘crew’ of protectors. Three specialist conservation teams in London, Devon and Cornwall, led by Orbis Conservation, have painstakingly been loving and restoring 14 wooden figureheads to their former glory. These figureheads are now officially out of retirement! They had been rescued from the Royal Navy’s ships before they were scrapped.
Led by Plymouth City Council, the figurehead conservation project is the most significant of its kind in a generation. It not only secures the future of the Devonport figureheads, but identifies The Box as a centre of excellence and innovation for the preservation and display of maritime heritage, with one of the largest collections of figureheads in the UK.
Now rescued and back in Plymouth, we hear that one of the most badly damaged of the figureheads was HMS Topaz. A three-quarter-length female bust carved in 1858. Her ship was responsible for removing two of the Easter Island statues that are now in the British Museum’s collection.
This wasn’t a small restoration for any of the figureheads and the talented conservation teams were dealing with vast objects! The largest of the 14 wooden figureheads to be rescued was HMS Royal William. “King Billy” is a carving of William IV which was completed in 1833. It stands at 13ft tall and in total weighs two–tonne!
After years of water damage, there was an abundance of rot and decay throughout the 14. The figureheads had to undergo some rather complex analysis and restoration; it was no mean feat. Artists and restorers have scraped away layers of paint, dug out rot and make-shift repairs.
The display will see the figureheads being airborne! This obviously required teams of conservators and structural engineers collaborating. They had to develop innovative solutions in pursuit of the fabulous end goal. They have come up with complex but elegant structural mounts, and each figurehead will be secured in place with just three cables. This will create the effect of a fleet of carvings, simply and elegantly floating above visitors.
It’s true to say that they had many challenges to overcome. Yet The Box is a pioneer for conservation and innovation and they soon became a new ‘safe home’. Not only for the figureheads, but for Plymouth’s important national collections and archives.
The ‘heads’ are in safe ‘hands’!
The Box certainly won’t only be home to these maritime gems! It will be a space for new galleries, a striking elevated archive with learning facilities. Hence the excitement within the city.
Although the Plymouth City Museum was probably one of the most loved buildings by generations; it was closed in 2016. However, this was not without good reason. As a result of the closure there was a number of pop up, touring displays around the city. This kept the cities history offer in place in preparation for The Box.
The Box is a £40 million complex. It completely transforms, extends and combines the original City Museum and Library buildings and St. Luke’s Church.
As a result, this new building will form the largest museum and art gallery space in the South West of England. It opens it’s doors in Spring 2020 to form part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.
Incredibly, these figureheads weigh over 20 tonnes collectively! These substantial retired icons form part of Britain’s maritime history, and now have a new home. These amazing figureheads will be on public display from Spring 2020. Suspended within the main atrium; in a huge sweep that appears to sail across the glazed façade.
This will be a brand new museum. It will have innovation and preservation at the core; for these sensational maritime oldies and so much more!
Sometimes, one of the hardest questions you have to answer is that big annual one:
‘… so, what do YOU want for Christmas?’
We of course all answer ‘Oh nothing, just good health and happiness for my family’. Perhaps then followed by: ‘and the children to stop fighting!’ Yet here at Strathmore House Apartments we think we have come up with the perfect gift, that keeps on giving!
Travel Size Gift Sets!
There really is nothing quite like the treat of opening the perfect makeup gift set, face masks or serums to perfect your holiday! It may be a family week in the sun, or a romantic weekend for two at Strathmore House Apartments. Opening up a brand new little cosmetic treat is the perfect addition to any break away.
This time of year is perfect for them too. Beauty brands bring together their best products – and occasionally some limited edition versions, too.
Whether it’s a friend, family member – or you just fancy treating yourself; Travel Size Treats are perfect to pop away and bring out when you’re packing your overnight bag or suitcase.
So, we suggest that you add your favourite brand to your Christmas list this year, pronto! Get some Travel Gift Sets and then get travelling!
We have just been told that the month of November is ‘Togetherness’ month!
A month that’s all about putting aside some quality time to be together. It could be together with a lover, with friends or with family. It’s about making time to spend with your tribe!
No matter who you are or what your relationship status, togetherness is a hugely important aspect in all of our lives. It unites us, gives us security, support and a sense of belonging. Being with people that care about you encourages, empowers and enables you to be happy, happy in the moment.
Life is so busy. You wake up on a Monday and before you know it, it’s Friday! Your habit of saying ‘I’ll just do this first‘ before you text back worsens and, before you know it, you’re living a hermit’s existence with the Saturday night TV guide and a frozen pizza!
Even if you are good at keeping in touch; sending the odd message in a WhatsApp group chat or liking a Facebook post, when you really think about it, when was the last time you truly connected with the people you love the most?
Strathmore House Apartments…
Here at Strathmore House Apartments we know how important time together is. Our Four Bedroom apartments are most popular with friends and family coming together. Hanging out in big open plan spaces, with your own private space for when you want to escape or have a nap!
kitchens that can easily accommodate all the chefs, prepping the feasts whilst being part of the conversations. Whether you want a couples retreat, so you can all regroup, a friends weekend away to bond and gossip or a family break to connect again. Strathmore House Apartments are the biggest advocates for togetherness.
So, don’t ‘just do that first‘, open an App and start a group-chat! Work out what month will be YOUR together month. Have fun planning, make time chatting and then come together at Strathmore and make memories with your tribe. Officially November may be ‘Togetherness Month’ but as long as you come together, it doesn’t matter what month you do it! Just do it!
Did you know that one of the highest abandonment rates for online bookings is for travel, that includes accommodation…
The last figures shared by Statista in September 2019 showed us that over 80% of online shopping orders within the Travel & Hospitality sector were abandoned. That’s a whopping eight out of ten people start the booking process, get distracted and then abandon their experience.
For some of us that could be because the pizza person is at the door, interrupting our purchase! Perhaps that much needed romantic break away is postponed because your partner filled their glass and not yours!
All very plausible! Yet for the majority of us, the booking is abandoned for fear that there could be a better deal elsewhere!
Peace Of Mind…
That’s where we come in! Here at Strathmore House Apartments we are independently owned. We have just one person who sets all of our rates – on all of our platforms. This means they make certain that our website offers the best possible rate at the time of purchase when you book direct.
We all get distracted! By the pop-up notifications, crying babies, over-flowing baths and the empty wine glasses; let’s not get distracted by the fear you could get a better rate. Just head straight to strathmorehouse.co.uk and book now. With all the distractions in our everyday, you deserve a special day to look forward to (even if you leave the baby and partner at home!)!
A one bedroom apartment that sleeps two starts from just £70 a night in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City – a city that will distract you but by its extraordinary beauty!
We all know that no Christmas is complete without a trip to the pantomime for a helping of high camp festive cheer! So, when the Theatre Royal Plymouth announced a sensational Musical would be donning The Lyric stage in November, our winter Cockles started warming instantly!
Tuesday 26th – 30th November 2019…
There is nothing quite like an evening at the theatre. Weather it’s a small 100 seated auditorium or in one of the 1,300-seats in The Lyric. An evening of entertainment and escapism is what we all crave’ and that’s just what’s on offer!
This November there really is the perfect treat. From just £16 a ticket you can be sure of a night of laughs with Nativity! The Musical.
A Very Special cast…
This is not just a show on the stage, this is now part of Plymouth too!
Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity. And, following hugely successful open auditions, children from Plymouth will star as the students of ‘Oakmoor School’.
It’s not just us that sings the Musical praises of this amazing show. This highly acclaimed show wouldn’t be here for a third year if it wasn’t a smash-hit show!
The show is also bringing Dani Dyer to Plymouth! The actress, author, TV personality, designer and everyone’s favourite girl next door will play ‘Polly Parker’. At just 23 years old, Dani Dyer has already established herself as one of the UK’s brightest young stars, and this will be the perfect opportunity for her to shine even more brightly as Polly!
There are Matinee Performances, Access Performances and all will be Terrific Performances! So if you are in Plymouth for the last week of November go and check availability NOW!
You will not regret purchasing a ticket to share in the wonder of this sensational story on a stage at the Premier Arts Organisation in the South West.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas…In Plymouth!
Plymouth is a remarkable city, so it’s unsurprising that Christmas in Plymouth is extra special.
With just EIGHT Friday’s left before Christmas, we are all getting excited, especially the little ones! To make things even MORE exciting this Festive season is full of family fun in Plymouth’s city centre.
Stay with us here in Plymouth this Christmas 2019 and see the return of three sensational family-friendly events from Plymouth City Centre Company…
Christmas Lights Switch-on, Thursday 14 November
The Christmas Lights Switch-on marks the start of the festive season. This year, the evening will be hosted by Radio Plymouth.There will be performers and groups, including local schools, choirs and Plymouth Party Princesses. The stage on the Piazza will be full of Christmas cheer!
The lights will be switched on at 6.30pm by Santa himself! The Mayflower 400 Town Crier will also be there to assist! Once the city centre is illuminated, there will be a local four-piece indie, rock and pop band, The Sound. They will be performing popular tracks from bands such as The Killers, Kings of Leon and Oasis!
Thursday 14 November also marks the start of late-night shopping in the city centre. Many of the shops open later on Thursday evenings in the run-up to Christmas.
Plymouth Christmas Market, Thursday 28 November to Thursday 19 December
From Thursday 28 November, Plymouth Christmas Market will return to the city centre for three weeks (until Thursday 19 December). More than 50 traditional wooden cabins will fill the Piazza, with stallholders from across the South West. Here you can find a great range of products from handmade jewellery and homewares to artwork and clothing.
Some of the region’s favourite food and drink producers will also be in attendance too. Including the English Spirit Distillery, South Devon Chilli Farm, Roly’s Fudge Pantry, Retro Shotz, Ventons Devon Cyder and Loco About Cocoa.
What’s more the Bavarian Bar will return! There will also be a number of street food stands offering delicious treats such as traditional hotdogs and melting cheese raclette. The giant illuminated bauble will also be located at the entrance to the market, acting as the perfect background prop for festive photos.
Every Thursday to Sunday, there will be entertainment to enjoy in the heart of the market too, including local choirs and bands.
Penguins: A LEGO® brick trail, Saturday 30 November to Sunday 5 January
Back by popular demand, Penguins: A LEGO brick trail is returning to the city centre this Christmas. The trail will run from 30 November to 5 January, with 19 Rockhopper penguins and one Emperor penguin! They are all life size and made out of LEGO bricks!! The penguins will be hiding all over the city, and if you find all the penguins you can be in with the chance to win incredible prizes! These prizes include a weekend family trip to LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort courtesy of Plymouth Citycoach, or a penguin feeding experience at Living Coasts in Torquay for four people.
Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Plymouth City Centre Company, said:
“There is so much for everyone to enjoy in the city centre this festive season. Not only is there brilliant shopping, with everything from big brand names to unique independents in the West End and Plymouth Market, but there’s so much to keep the entire family entertained.
“Enjoy one of our brilliant festive events, hunt for LEGO brick penguins, take in a show at the Theatre Royal Plymouth or head to Drake Circus The Barcode to enjoy the new restaurants, adventure golf and cinema.”
For more information about Christmas in Plymouth, including full event details and travel information, keep an eye on our News, Views & Reviews Page or head to Visit Plymouth for more information!
Having a dream is one thing; making it happen is another…
There are people that inspire millions through their bravery, curiosity and life’s work. Individuals that’s difference, is what makes the difference.
They might be artists; CEO’s; authors; scientists; community leaders; athletes … basically, an inspirational person is that someone who challenges the status quo. That someone who thrusts through said limits of human capacities. That someone who evokes wonderment in our hopes, dreams and imaginations.
Someone that has captures our hearts…
One of those people for us is someone who significantly and triumphantly changed Plymouth, Politics and Perceptions forever. She made people, especially women, feel that the possibilities were endless. That any limits which had been put upon them could be surmounted.
In December 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons. One seat alongside 706 men. A turning point towards equality and the beginning of a story, a story we are still writing, but a light that sparked possibility for everyone.
This is not only a terrific tale about a women who marched through barriers and who was triumphant in changing the landscape of Politics. This was a women of strength, curiosity, bravery and vision in so many other ways too.
A woman who came from America to the UK after a divorce; who went on to re-marry and have five children. Who supported and empowered her husband to shine. A woman who fell in love with Plymouth and who was proud of the many riches; yet could see even more possibility and potential. A women who swallowed the fear and used her voice, even though at the time it was a voice sharing a very bold message.
Actions speak louder than words…
There are many amazing people that have added to Plymouth’s patchwork; Lady Nancy Astor was one of them.
On November 28th from 12:30pm, there will be a great celebration of the passion and purpose that ran through the veins of this remarkable lady. After a large Crowdfunding campaign, Lady Astor Statue Appeal has unlocked the funding (and the hearts of all) and have built a statue a Lady Astor which will be unveiled on the 28th November.
This will not only commemorate this momentous event where Lady Astor is back in Plymouth, but also celebrate 100 years since the first woman walked the corridors of power, representing the men, women and children of Plymouth.
There will be an AMAZING VIP to unveil the first statue of the first woman in Parliament. There will be so much happening, combined with a truly sensational atmosphere whereby everyone there will be celebrating a century of increased equality, democracy and freedom and a change that the people of Plymouth made happen.
EVERYONE is welcome to see a dream come true on The Hoe, on 28th November, from 12:30pm.