• Mayflower 400

    One ship that links four nations, spans 400 years of history and connects millions of people

Mayflower 400 Celebrations

An inspiring year of commemoration across 12 destinations


Plymouth is a melting bot of historical sites, memorials and museums - alongside a vibrant cultural scene, stunning places to eat and some of England's finest beaches.  Sightseeing in Plymouth is easily done on foot; you can explore The Barbican, Sutton Harbour, Royal William Yard and The Hoe.  

The Mayflower 400 Story

Plymouth has a reputation as a centre for voyage, discovery and military importance.  For more than a thousand years the spectacular waterfront has been a port of call or point of departure for adventurers, emigrants, merchant traders, soldiers and sailors.

On 16 September 1620, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth UK with just 102 passengers and 30 crew on board with what William Bradford, an English Separatist who became the American Plymouth Colony Governor, called “a prosperous wind.” You can read their story by clicking here.

The city of Plymouth and those communities with historic connections to the Mayflower journey will commemorate the 400 year anniversary in 2020. It will provide a platform for a national and international celebration.

The Mayflower Steps

You can visit the world-famous Mayflower Steps, the spot close to the site on The Barbican from which it is believed the Pilgrims set sail for North America in 1620. The Mayflower Steps are flanked by the British and American flags and mark the final English departure point of the Mayflower. The actual steps the pilgrims left from no longer exist. A granite block bearing the ship’s name marks the approximate site, while a tablet commemorating the voyage was erected alongside in 1891.

The Mayflower Museum

Set over three floors, the Mayflower Museum uses interactive graphic panels to let you explore tales of merchant families, the fishing industry, the military harbour and emigration to the New World. Start your journey by stepping onto the top floor balcony to enjoy fantastic views across Sutton Harbour. You will travel through time from the early beginnings of Sutton Harbour, then a rocky natural harbour, through to the thriving tourist destination we see today.

The Box

In spring 2020 The Box will open as a flagship museum and cultural centre for Plymouth.  The Box will house archives and a dedicated Mayflower exhibition.  

In October 2019 it was announced that a flotilla of fabulous figureheads will return to Plymouth to be displayed in The Box, after being restored in a hugely ambitious conservation project.  The 14 Royal Navy figureheads, weighing more than 20 tonnes, will start arriving on Monday 21 October and will take two weeks to be delivered and installed in their new home.

The Mayflower Trail

Explore Plymouth and The Mayflower Trail taking in some of the landmarks and buildings the crew and passengers visited.  Sites include the Old Customs House, Blackfriars Plymouth Gin Distillery, St Andrew's Minster Church and The Prysten House.  See the promotional video:


Mayflower Events

Plymouth is developing a world-class culture and heritage programme for Mayflower 400 in 2020.  There will be over 100 moments to mark 400 years of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth, with a packed calendar with city-wide events and exhibitions ranging from art, music and theatre to installations and festivals. Highlights include:

28th November 2019 - Illuminate

Illuminate Plymouth is a spectacular light-based festival that will help launch the Mayflower 400 anniversary year from the maritime city's historic waterfront on 28th November 2019. A series of dazzling installations and projections will make Plymouth shine ahead of the official commemorations, forming part of the opening ceremony with other Illuminate events across the Mayflower destinations.

March 2020 - Mayflower Sports Week

More information coming soon, watch this space...

1st April 2020 - The Box Opens

The Box is a major new cultural and heritage attraction which is set to open in Plymouth in spring 2020.  The Box will transform the City Museum and Art Gallery, former Central Library and St Luke’s Church building. In its place will be a venue and visitor experience fit for generations to come. With an unforgettable programme of activity that will be a highlight of the Mayflower 400 commemoration.

1st April 2020 - The Mayflower Trail Opens

The Mayflower Trail will provide an iconic route through Plymouth's historic Barbican - home to the Mayflower Steps - incorporating new signs, artwork and interpretation. Two further trails, covering Plymouth’s post-war rebuild and the Sound, will be created through digital and printed content.

3rd - 5th April 2020 - Plymouth Special Olympics

In April 2020 as part of Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 celebrations, Special Olympics Plymouth and District (SOPD) are hosting the first ever International Special Olympics Games.

1st May 2020 - The Mayflower History Festival

The Mayflower History Festival will be a city-wide programme of activity, including talks, tours, reenactments and exhibitions run by local people and organisations in Plymouth. The annual History Festival will be rebranded in 2020 to incorporate Mayflower-related activities and celebrate Plymouth’s wider history.

4th - 10th May 2020 - The Mayflower Ocean Festival

The Mayflower Ocean Festival will celebrate Plymouth’s status as Britain’s Ocean City, bringing together the world-class OSTAR and TWOSTAR races with city’s existing Pirates Weekend and a host of new activities that will get people on the water.

8th - 10th May 2020 - Plymouth Pirates Weekend

The most swashbuckling of days out imaginable, Plymouth Pirates Weekend will return to the city's historic waterfront for a weekend of family fun in May 2020. This award-winning family event promises an adventure-filled day out with tall ships, a packed programme of children's activities and plenty of music and entertainment to get everyone involved.

17th May 2020 - Ocean City Half Marathon

A challenging, yet scenic 13.1 mile course taking in Plymouth's famous landmarks. England’s south coast plays host to one of the most celebrated running events in the entire UK. The Plymouth Half Marathon takes runners along a path that features great coastal views, the National Trust grounds of Saltram Park, and the Plymouth Hoe.

1st June 2020 - Elizabethan House Opening

Visit Plymouth's newest visitor attraction, situated a stone's throw from the Mayflower Steps. Set on the Barbican's cobbled New Street, the Elizabethan House will provide a unique, immersive experience that will take you back to the time of the Pilgrims and their epic journey. The House is located in the vicinity of the Elizabethan Gardens, a hidden treasure that provides a great place to take a break from exploring the Barbican, and a great range of pubs and places to eat.

25th July 2020 - Street Factory Mass Hip Hop Dance

People across the city will take part in a mass street dance reaching from the Barbican to the Hoe in a bold and contemporary interpretation of the Mayflower story.

More information coming soon, watch this space...

3rd - 9th August 2020 - Plymouth Pride

The colourful, loud and proud Pride Festival returns to Plymouth, celebrating and promoting the diversity that exists within the LGBTQ communities. All are welcome to join us to show your support and acceptance of our diverse people and talent

17th - 23rd August 2020 - An exciting new event

More information coming soon, watch this space...

16th September 2020 - The Mayflower Ceremony

On 16th September 2020, a four-nation civic ceremony commemorating the Mayflower’s journey and legacy on the day of the Mayflower departure, attended by representatives from the UK, US, Netherlands and Wampanoag. The Mayflower Ceremony will be schools and mass participation elements, making sure that Plymouth’s residents are at the heart of this special day.

17th September 2020 - Veteran's Triathlon 

More information coming soon, watch this space...

19th - 20th September 2020 - The Mayflower Muster

On 19th and 20th September 2020, we will celebrate Plymouth's heritage as one of the world's foremost Naval bases - with a heritage dating back to 1691. In partnership with the US and Dutch Armed Forces, The Mayflower Muster, a spectacular festival including live displays, interactive demonstrations and a host of other activity will take place over two days, signalling the end of Mayflower Week.

Stay at Future Inn Plymouth

The Barbican is a 19-minute drive from Future Inn Plymouth.  Alternatively, it would take around 34-minutes on public transport or 26-minutes by bike.  It would take approximately 1 hour and 21 minutes to walk from the hotel.  

Future Inn Plymouth is an ideal base for the night offering various sized rooms including ones that can sleep up to four adults or a family.  Perks include free car parking, free wifi and a complimentary robe and slippers. Book direct for the best available rates on our website or by contacting the Reservations Team on 01752 701000 or reservations.plymouth@futureinns.co.uk.

Pre or Post Event Dining

Fishbone Restaurant is ideal to fuel up before or after the event. Every day the team serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening a-la-carte or traditional roasts on Sunday.  A large selection of drinks is also available including cocktails all of which are £7. Under 5's eat for free with a paying adult, and the offer is extended to under 12's during the school holidays. Bookings can be made on 01752 701000 or fishbone@futureinns.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can book online:

Future Inns Plymouth

Need Assistance?

Call Now

Send an Enquiry

Sign Up to Our Newsletter