All Aboard For Great Fun
Devon Life|Summer 2020
In Devon you are never more than 50 miles from the coast or there are plenty of rivers to discover. Su Carroll explores opportunities to take to the water
Su Carroll

For Ben Squire, a love of the life aquatic started at an early age. “My dad was in the Navy and I heard the call of the sea when I was young,” he says. “But it was fishing that brought me to the table. No-one was doing short fishing trips and so I started running them in 1998 with a little six-seater boat, then a 12seater, then a 28-seater.”

From these simple beginnings, and aided by the Prince’s Trust, Ben has built Plymouth Boat Trips. His fleet of boats include the Cremyll Ferry, which shuttles between Stonehouse in Devon and Cremyll in Cornwall, and the Cawsand Ferry which takes passengers from Plymouth Barbican direct to Cawsand beach. And a new service links the Barbican, historic Royal William Yard and the Mount Edgcumbe Estate.

As well as the regular ferry services, Ben still runs the popular fishing trips and a programme of cruises. “This year we have launched a Mayflower Heritage trip for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth,” he says. “You leave the Barbican and sail across Plymouth Sound, past the Hoe and along the River Tamar. There’s Drake’s Island, the Citadel, Mount Edgcumbe, Penlee, Rame...I often think that it is still very much like it would have been when the Pilgrims left in 1620.

“Everyone enjoys being on the water, even on the little eight-minute Cremyll trip. You know you’re on the water crossing the Tamar, but you might not know that you’re on the oldest established ferry service in the UK. It’s at the heart and soul of what we do. Going from the Barbican to Cawsand, or the Royal William Yard, it can be an amazing trip. You can still spot wildlife – birds, dolphins, sunfish – and it’s not just about getting from A to B.”

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