Plymouth Sound is the most beautiful natural harbour and yet I rarely visit, I suppose because it's not on my doorstep. However it's not far away, and a group of us set off one surprisingly sunny November Sunday for what turned out to be a fascinating walk and couple of swims into the city's naval (and other) history. We set off from Jennycliff, and the first stop was Batten Bay, a gorgeous little beach with numerous rocky channels and inlets and great views over to Drake's Island. The water was clear and still and blue. A vast warehouse looms up behind the beach, but only adds to the unusual maritime/urban setting. We then walked on around the Mountbatten Peninsula which is like a little island protruding into the Sound. We walked past the foot ferry, and through boatyards, looking across to Tinside, home of the famous pool, on the other side. We walked through the old village of Turnchapel, and past the old Royal Marines base. We ended up at Hooe Lake, a tidal inlet where we had another peaceful swim out to a couple of boats moored in the middle.