If you’re looking for a day out with a difference, then why not leave the car behind and explore the beautiful Tamar Valley by train?

The Tamar Valley branch line is one of the most scenic in the country. The 14 mile railway travels along the edge of the magnificent River Tamar and its estuary before crossing the Calstock viaduct, which joins Devon and Cornwall.

IMG_3061-300x225

It’s a little like stepping back into the past; some of the villages you’ll come across have changed little over the years (take away the cars and you could easily be in the 19th century).

Some of the stations still have charming old-style signs, which enhances the feeling. Life seems to move at a slower pace here, and it’s not long before long the Tamar Valley begins to work its magic on you…

There are several ‘Trails from the Track’ walks which range from 3-6 miles, atmospheric country pubs offering excellent food. Ale fans will be in heaven, as this is also one of the ‘Rail Ale Trails

IMG_3049-300x225

A visit to Calstock is highly recommended. Stop off at the Tamar Inn for lunch or a drink, then check out the gallery before heading off towards Cotehele (National Trust). If you have time, the house, gardens and mill are worth a visit. The walk to Cotehele follows the banks of the river, through leafy woods with impressive views.

We also loved the Olde Plough Inn at Bere Ferrers, dates back to the 16th century.

It’s warm and friendly, and has a range of excellent food on offer, including a variety of daily specials (and a few fine ales to wash it down with).

IMG_3065-300x225

Don’t miss the Tamar Belle at Bere Ferrers – she looks like she’s straight out of one of the Thomas the Tank Engine stories!

Getting there and away

A Ride Cornwall ticket costs just £10 (family ticket £20) and includes travel on all trains and buses in Cornwall, including the Tamar Valley Line. From Bosinver, catch the train from St Austell to Plymouth, then get on the branch line to Gunnislake. You can hop on and off as many times as you like during the day.