The rise of work from home means more of us are looking for somewhere to work from. After all, WFH doesn’t necessarily mean working from your actual ‘home’. Sometimes we need a change of scenery.
Plymouth has a small selection of co-working spaces and cafes for remote workers. Having checked out a few of them in recent months, this is my review of the top spots for working on a laptop across Plymouth.
There are also a few smaller independent co-working spaces in Plymouth that I haven’t checked out yet. This is because they either don’t appear to be open any more, or I haven’t had the chance to verify them.
So, with that out of the way, these are the top remote working spots in Plymouth.
Dedicated co-working spaces
I checked out ThinqTanq just before the second lockdown in 2020, and I found it a great place to work. With plenty of desks, a friendly mix of people, free drinks, a meeting room for when you need a space to meet clients or conduct a private call and a nice central location.
ThinqTanq is probably the only independent remote working spot in the city, and has limited spaces. It’s also quite affordable at just £140 for the whole month, or limited access starting from £14 per day.
They also offer a free week for you to check it out, subject to availability. Visit their website for more info.
Another nice touch for ThinqTanq is that they run an in-house equipment library, so if you want to borrow a GoPro camera or whatever, they have them to rent for a small fee.
There are two Regus locations in Plymouth, one in the Drakes Circus Mall, and the other at Sutton Harbour in the Foot Anstey Building. I have worked from the Sutton Harbour office, and I also did do the tour of both locations.
The Regus Drakes Circus is obviously well located for the centre of town. Hidden at the top of the mall, it’s quite a nice corporate space with a choice of private rooms and open plan working space.
Sutton Harbour definitely is the nicer location, with a view across the harbour to the Barbican. However the office is also more expensive. The actual co-working area consists of a room near the reception (with view) and an open plan area at the back of the office (no view).
I found both places perfectly adequate, if a little corporate (i.e; a bit boring). It’s worth noting that with Regus you do need to pay for all your extras including tea/coffee, printing etc. It’s also not the cheapest option in general, so I would look to some of the other genuine co-working spaces popping up around town. Check out their co-working offices in Plymouth here.
While perfect lights must be provided for most offices, depending on what business you are, they are still a great option when looking for a niche that your business can have over the competition. Check out here which of the best types of office ceiling lighting would be suited for your business or office spaces.
Based in Royal William Yard, this new coworking space offers a cool and contemporary feel, exactly what Plymouth needs. Another cool thing about Block is that is offers a number of lifestyle benefits too, such as gym membership included in the price. For this you’re looking at £295 per month for coworking space, or £795 for office space.
There is also the option of lounge membership, giving you access to the cafe and lounge area and one day per week in the coworking area.
If you’re not up for the coworking space, you can also use the cafe and bar downstairs which is open to the public, and is one of the best coffee shops in Plymouth for sure.
Ocean studios, Royal William Yard
Another co-working spot in RWY, this one is technically an artists and creative space. However they do also offer a co-working/hot desk option for members.
You can actually join for free and then purchase packages to access the coworking and hot desking, which starts from £20 for 4 days/8 half days access. The monthly package is £200 for unlimited co-working but also includes access to meeting rooms – which is nice.
They also have an excellent cafe downstairs which is open to the public and free to use.
Market Hall, Devonport
Fast becoming one of the more vibrant spaces in the city, Market Hall offers a variety of events and small business spaces plus one of the more pleasant coworking spaces in Plymouth (at the moment).
It’s also very affordable, at £200 per month, or an option of £20 for 4 full days or 8 half days per month.
In addition to this, Market Hall is often offering business networking events and other open opportunities.
Being in the far end of Devonport might not suit everyone, especially if you’re based in the north of the city. But if you’re looking for a good place to work in Plymouth for a small business or freelancer, and you don’t mind making the trip to Devonport, definitely check out Market Hall.
Barclays Bank Social Space
The Barclays Bank in the city centre of Plymouth actually has a small ‘social space’ on the first floor. This consists of a small desk for 8 people, and some booths.
Use of the social space, including wifi, is free although there are no refreshments provided and as far as I could tell there wasn’t a toilet either. You would need to leave the building and use the public loos just across the way, or go and buy a coffee and answer the call of the wild while you’re there.
If you only need to do ad-hoc remote work and you want to find somewhere in town, Barclays Social Space is very useful. It can also serve as a good place for a quiet remote meeting, with little footfall. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Social Space is also shared with Barclays banking services, so there are general Barclays activities going on too.
Public areas and co-working friendly cafes
Plymouth Central Library
Another free co-working spot, the library in Plymouth offers free wifi and a few seats on the first floor. Obviously this is a nice quiet spot, so not ideal for business meetings.
There are ample power points for your laptop, and there is actually an outside covered terrace which is nice. Not so comfy seats though, and no plug sockets.
Useful for some ad-hoc work if you want somewhere quiet to use your laptop. There are also toilets on site, but no refreshments.
The Box and Box Cafe
Inside the best (and possibly only) museum in Plymouth, you’ll find a good spot to work. The Box Cafe can be incredibly busy, but the coffee is excellent and the wifi is fast and free.
You can also sit on the top Mezzanine where there are an assortment of sofas and adjustable desks perfect for laptop workers. Both the cafe and the mezzanine can get busy and noisy, especially at lunch times, but it’s a free space with good wifi and you won’t get side eyed for taking up all the space with your laptop.
Is this the most hipster cafe in Plymouth? Quite possibly. It’s also one of the most popular places for remote workers in the city.
The coffee is great, as is the food, and the wifi is free. There are quite a few plug sockets dotted around, although it can get busy and the music can be loud. So it’s not ideal if you need to do a remote meeting – but fine if you want to do work and enjoy refreshments.
This new coffee shop cum skate shop in Bretonside is a remote working cafe in the making. There aren’t many seats though, so you might be holding up other paying customers if you’re making one cappuccino last a whole 3 hours.
They also didn’t know the wifi code when I visited so I ended up tethering to my phone. That said, they do have free wifi if you can get the code from them.
Coffee is excellent, food is also good and they have craft beers too. There are some plug sockets by the wall if you can get a seat there. A good option if Prime is full or you want somewhere a bit less obvious.
Boston Tea Party
This used to be the best spot on the Barbican to work remotely. Used to be? I’ll explain shortly. For those who don’t know, Boston Tea Party is on the corner of Vauxhall Street, next door to Annabells.
With a large indoor space, lots of tables and plug sockets, especially upstairs, and a nice menu, Boston Tea Party is a top choice for digital nomads or laptop workers in Plymouth.
The coffee is top quality and there is a good choice of sweet and savoury snacks to keep you coming back. Wifi is free too, and even though it gets busy at lunch, it’s generally a pretty laid back place to work.
The upstairs area is best for working as this is usually the quietest area to work. However, recently, not sure if its a change of manager or something, but the music selection is pretty distractingly bad and it can be quite loud. Not sure if thats an attempt to put off the remote workers. I did have an embarrassing meeting where I was doing a presentation to the sound of ABBAs greatest hits. Not cool.
Chain Coffee shops
Alright, yeah this is the old fallback for digital nomads and remote workers the world over. And if you are looking for somewhere with reliably decent wifi, refreshments and a toilet then take your pick from the many coffee shops in Plymouth city centre.
I’ve not worked in all of them, but some are definitely better than others.
- Cafe Nero: Two locations, one in the House of Fraser on the piazza by the Sundial, the other on Cornwall Street. Neither have many plug sockets, and the Cornwall Street one is quite small. The best one is in the Derry’s department store.
- Starbucks: One in the mall, opposite Primark, the other in the Cineworld Cinema.
- Costa Coffee: The largest one is opposite the sundial in the city centre, another is on Old Town Street, opposite Natwest Bank, and another in the mall. The mall Costa is very busy and has no natural light, I personally couldn’t work here longer than an hour, max. The Old Town Street one is best for natural light and people watching. My preferred Plymouth Costa Coffee for remote working is the one by the sundial as there are lots of seats and a few plug sockets on the far wall.
- Coffee #1: One branch of this small independent coffee shop chain – and the coffee is very good. They have recently installed a ‘laptop bar’ against the far wall, with stools and plug sockets. That said, I wouldn’t want to have a meeting here but would be fine to work for a few hours.
The B Bar
The Barbican Theatre is a nice hidden spot just up from the Mayflower Steps on the Barbican (obviously). As a remote working location in Plymouth, it’s actually pretty good.
There a number of tables, some with plug socket access. There is free wifi and the coffee is top notch. In terms of food, you’ve got cakes and some great Thai food too.
As there isn’t tons of foot traffic, it is actually a decent place to set up camp for a few hours. I’m not sure I’d be happy conducting a meeting here as there is some music and background noise, but at a push I’d give it a go.
Power Plant Cafe
This vegan cafe on Cornwall Street, a stones throw from the bus station, is a great spot to grab a coffee and get some wifi based work on. Their coffee is excellent, as are their selection of teas. They also have some excellent vegan cakes and a selection of sandwiches and bagels.
There are a good number of tables too, including some comfy sofas in the window if there is a group of you. The Power Plant Cafe has made it into the top tier of city centre remote working cafes for me.
Rockets and Rascals
Bike shop with coffee and snacks, plus free wifi, situated ideally on the Barbican. I find Rockets and Rascals a pleasant place to work remotely for a few hours at most. The seats are not the most comfortable, but the staff are pleasant, music is muted and food and coffee are great.
This Portuguese cafe in Frankfort gate has great coffee, delicious pastries and free wifi. All boxes ticked, right? It can be a little busy at lunch, and it seems to be a very popular meeting place for the older generation in Plymouth which is nice. Ideal for a few hours work, not ideal for a meeting though.
Places not so good for remote workers in Plymouth
I have a growing list of shame for places that are not suitable for laptop working. These include:
- The Roundabout pub – Not so bad in the day, but can be very noisy and busy later in the afternoon.
- Pier One – Great cafe/restaurant with free wifi on the Hoe. But limited plug sockets, very busy and no free wifi. You will need to tether for a connection, but it’s good if you want to work with a view.
Got your own suggestions for places to work with a laptop in Plymouth? Any co-working spaces or great remote working cafes in Plmouth that really should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll go and check them out!
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