• Drake's Island

    For almost 600 years, Drake’s Island has provided protection for the city and port of Plymouth

Drake's Island

Plymouth UK History | Plymouth Tours | Plymouth Island


Drake's Island Tour 

The island off Plymouth is called Drake's Island after the famous explorer. Are you allowed on Drake's Island? Yes, you are! Originally known as St Nicholas Island, Drake's Island is one of the most unique and interesting guided tours. Learn about the history and mysteries surrounding the island. Walk the tunnels, see wildlife and see Plymouth from a new perspective with views across Devon and Cornwall. 

Drake's Island Tunnels

Legend has it that a tunnel leads from Drake's Island to Plymouth Hoe. A labyrinth of smugglers' tunnels is believed to be underneath the Barbican. Centuries ago, Plymouth's 'press gang' members reportedly used the tunnels to take unknowing drunken locals to waiting ships.

Urban explorers have been trying to find evidence of the tunnel for the last 10 years by trawling maps, documents and city blueprints and physically exploring hidden parts of the city. And it looked like evidence of the tunnel had finally been found when work on West Hoe exposed a tunnel entrance underneath the Wet Wok - but as yet, no link to the private island in Plymouth Sound has been found.

Drake's Island History

The first mention of a building, a chapel, on the island was in 1135. The island was an important strategic defensive point protecting Plymouth. King Henry VIII had cannons installed here to stick enemy ships. During the Civil War, it withstood a 4 year Royalist siege. After the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, the island was used as a state prison. The breech-loading guns defended the ports during World War One and the early part of World War Two. Upgrades were done in 1943. The military handed back the island to the Duchy of Cornwall in 1961. After that, there was an Adventure Centre on the island, which closed in 1989. Now parts of the island are open for guided tours. 

Drake's Island Ferry Prices

The boat departs from The Barbican. The guided tours last over 2 hours. The ferry prices are currently £6.50 for adults and £3.00 for a child.

Drake's Island Tour Prices

Adult - £16.50
Child (up to age 16) - £6.50

More information

Stay at Future Inn Plymouth

Future Inns has 143 rooms with everything you would expect and more for a night away. The hotel offers free parking and free WiFi to all guests. All bedrooms sleep up to four guests, so they are family-friendly and ideal for groups. Plus, under 12s stay for free, and kids eat free. Just under 4 miles north of Plymouth city centre, you are close to all of the attractions, including Plymouth Hoe, Royal William Yard and the National Marine Aquarium.

The only way to see Drake’s Island is to book one of the tours that run regularly throughout the spring and summer months. Boats depart from The Barbican, a 20-minute drive from Future Inn Plymouth. Alternatively, it would take around 34-minutes on public transport, with regular buses going from outside the hotel. Or 26-minutes by bike. Did you know we're a cycle-friendly hotel


Bedrooms at Future Inn Plymouth

Make a reservation

Book direct for the best rates guaranteed, with rooms from £67 per room per night.

Book your stay online, where we guarantee the best rate, or with our Reservations Team on 01752 701000 or email reservations.plymouth@futureinns.co.uk.

Book with confidence

We know flexibility is necessary now more than ever, so we've changed our rates to give our guests more choice. We've got you covered with super flexible hotel rates offering free cancellation and semi-flexible rates offering great value stays with plenty of options.

Future Inn Rewards

For additional benefits, you can join the Future Inns hotel loyalty program. For every £1 you spend on accommodation, you earn 1 reward point. Plus, get double points when you dine in the restaurant. Points can then be used to upgrade your bedroom to a suite or a free night's stay. You also get a complimentary drink voucher to redeem when you dine in the restaurant (you'll also get double points, too!) and a member's discount rate. It's also completely free to join!

Dishes on the menu in Fishbone Restaurant

Plymouth Restaurant

Fishbone Restaurant is ideal to fuel up before or after the event. The team serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening a-la-carte or traditional roasts on Sunday. An early-bird dining menu starts at 4pm and you can indulge on 3 courses for £25

A large selection of drinks is also available, including popular local brands. Our Devon and Cornwall drink selection includes Atlantic IPA, Offshore, Tarquins Gin and Plymouth Gin. An extensive gin and mixer menu and 2 for £15 cocktails.

Bookings can be made on 01752 701000 or fishbone@futureinns.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can book online:


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