All you need to know about Plymouth Armed Forces Day 2022
Returning to the city for the first time since 2019, Plymouth Armed Forces Day, in association with Babcock, is back this weekend with a day packed full of family fun and an opportunity for everyone to show their support to the military community!
Where and when is it?
All the action takes place on Plymouth Hoe on Saturday 25 June.
The RAF and Allied Air Forces Memorial Service takes place at 9.10am, with the main activities running from 10am to 5pm, before the free evening concert on stage which runs until 10.30pm.
What to see and do
Meet the military
Explore the military villages, where you can chat to members of all the Armed Forces and learn more about the vehicles and equipment they use, or get careers advice. Have a go at the Navy’s ‘Hang Tough’ challenge, climb on-board the Royal Marines’ all-terrain vehicles and see the Army’s Combat Support Boat up close.
Be amazed at the arena
There’s a packed arena programme to enjoy, with demonstrations, parades and live music. Watch the Parade of Standards led by the Tavistock Stannary Brass Band at 11am or see the City of Plymouth Pipe Band perform at 1.10pm. For some thrilling action, catch the Devonport Services RFC rugby demonstration at 1.35pm or watch the Team Endeavour Punishers Wheelchair rugby match at 3.30pm. Listen to the award-winning Rock Choir at 4.10pm.
Don’t miss the Junior Field Gun tournaments taking place throughout the day too, in their dedicated arena at the Elliot Street end of Plymouth Hoe.
Commemorate Falklands 40
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War there will be a dedicated veterans’ parade, celebrating their Freedom of the City, led by the HM Royal Marine Band Plymouth.
Starting at 2pm from the Royal Citadel, the parade will march along Citadel Road, up Elliott Street and across the Hoe promenade and into the arena. Major General Thompson and the Lord Mayor of Plymouth will take the salute, followed by speeches, the blessing and playing of the National Anthem.
Visit the Veterans’ Village
In the Veterans' Village, sponsored by the Royal British Legion, over 65 local charities and organisations will showcase their work, offering information, advice and support as well as training and recruitment opportunities.
There will be lots of interactive fun for all the family too, including the Commando Force Airsoft ranges and historic military vehicles to see up close.
Listen to live music
The Plymouth Music Education Hub will host performances from local choirs on their dedicated stage throughout the day.
Then from 5pm, the main stage on Plymouth Hoe will host an amazing free evening concert, sponsored by C&G Catering.
There’s a fantastic line-up of performers and bands to enjoy:
5pm to 6.25pm: The Function Band of the HM Royal Marines Plymouth, plating a great selection of musical ensembles to get the party started
6.35pm to 7.05pm: Ocean City Sound Barbershop Chorus, performing a repertoire of popular songs
7.10pm to 8.05pm: Absolutely Elton, an outstanding tribute to Elton John
8.10pm to 9pm: Roulette, a local female duo bringing top hits from the 80s and 90s
9.15pm to 10.30pm: Neville Staple - From The Specials, the original 2 tone legend will perform ska classics and much loved hits from his 40+ year music career.
This year, there are two designated viewing areas for people with access needs, to view the main stage and arena.
Accessible toilets can be found at both ends of the Hoe. The Hoe’s new permanent public toilets also include six unisex toilets, with one additional accessible toilet and large, accessible changing room.
There will be no disabled parking on Plymouth Hoe but Ballard House car park on West Hoe Road is available for blue badge holders, plus the use of on-street parking.
The 25B bus supplied by Plymouth Citybus will then operate a shuttle service between Ballard House, Royal Parade (outside the Theatre Royal) and Hoe Road (near the Hoe ramp) at 30-minute intervals, starting at 8.35am with the last departure from Hoe Road at 6.48pm. This costs £2.40 for a single or £3.60 return, with free travel for blue badge holders. The service will be restricted between 1.45pm and 3pm for the Falklands parade.
If you need to retreat to a calmer space at any point during the weekend, we’d recommend visiting the Sensory Garden (near the Osbourne Place entrance to the Hoe), where you can soak up the atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle.
How to get to Armed Forces Day
If you’re travelling by car then there are lots of car parks within walking distance, the closest being the Theatre Royal Car Park. Find somewhere to park on the Plymouth City Council website.
If you’re travelling by bus, then services from all across the city will stop at Royal Parade which is then just a ten-minute walk to Plymouth Hoe.
Citybus and Stagecoach are offering free bus travel on Armed Forces Day to military personnel in uniform and veterans and cadets wearing their AFD badge.
If you were planning to travel by train, then please note that rail services are likely to be severely affected by the industrial action taking place this week meaning a significantly reduced temporary timetable is in place and we would suggest you look at alternative modes of transport. Check the GWR website for more details.
The following road closures will be in place on Saturday 25 June:
Hoe Road from the mound at the Citadel to the junction of Madeira Road, with suspension of parking from 7am to 10.30pm
Hoe Road from the junction of Lambhay Hill to Citadel Road, Citadel Road to the junction of Elliott Street and Elliott Street in its entirety from 1.30pm to 3pm, plus suspension of parking from 10.30am to 3pm
Citadel Road from the junction of Lockyer Street to the junction of Sussex Street from 5pm to 7pm, with suspension of parking from 7am to 9pm
Free programmes will be available on the day, or can be collected from the Tourist Information Centre on the Barbican.
If you’re a member of the armed forces or a veteran, don’t forget to check out the special discounts on offer across Plymouth too.