Plymouth has been the starting point for many great voyages of discovery. But few of these are better known, or have provided such a lasting international legacy, as the sailing of the Mayflower almost 400 years ago.
When the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from the city on 16 September 1620, arriving some 66 days later on the US East Coast, they could never have imagined that their journey would spark constitutional reform and a special relationship between the UK and the USA which endures to this day.
Landing on 21 November, the first winter saw more than half of the colonists die from malnutrition, disease and the harsh weather. An English-speaking Native American named Samoset helped the colonists, forming an alliance with members of the local Wampanoag tribe and teaching them to hunt animals, gather fish and grow crops.