Nature and industry entwined
- Cost: No entry fees required for attractions
Explore the shops, cafés, elegant houses and villas, public buildings and museum in the attractive, thriving market town of Tavistock—extensively re-modelled in the 19th century by the 7th Duke of Bedford, using the enormous profits made from his interests in Devon Great Consols copper mine.
Enjoy a picnic and gaze out across the magnificent panoramas from the top of Kit Hill. At 333.4m, Kit Hill is the highest point in the Tamar Valley and from the summit, by the iconic 1858 mining stack, there are stunning 360 degree views. The Hill has 150 hectares of Heathland to explore, which are strewn with industrial archaeology from a medieval stream works to 20th century granite quarries.
After lunch, take a train journey on the Tamar Valley Line – the southern section of the former East Cornwall Minerals Railway. This runs through the Tamar Valley’s breathtaking scenery, over the stunning Tavy and Calstock viaducts, and through some of the key mining sites and communities.
Travelling to Tamar Valley
By car, the A390 crosses the area, across Hingston Down and Gunnislake to Tavistock.
A good selection of ferry, bus and train services run from Plymouth through the Tamar Valley Area. Have a look at www.carfreedayout.com, www.calstockferry.com and www.tamarcruising.com. The information services www.traveline.org.uk and www.cornwallpublictransport.info also provide latest travel details.
The Tamar Valley has a good network of footpaths and trails, including the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail. Please remember to keep your dog on a lead in the wildlife reserve areas
There are car parks at Gunnislake, Tavistock, Kit Hill, Calstock and Morwellham Quay
These can be found in Gunnislake, Tavistock and Morwellham Quay
Eating & drinking
The Boot Inn at Calstock has a great menu that is a cut above your average pub grub. Cotehele has two lovely cafés, and you can also make the most of the Tamar Valley Rail Ale Trail scheme, which encourages rail travellers to visit pubs near the line, see www.railaletrail.com. Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston each have a pub on the scheme; there are two in Calstock and six in Gunnislake. Louis’ Tea Rooms, right by the entrance to Kit Hill Country Park, also offers hot food, cakes and cream teas. Tavistock has lots of good cafes and shops
On a clear sunny day, the view from Kit Hill takes some beating. There are also lots of scenic, peaceful quays along the river’s edge at places like Halton, Weir and Cotehele. For a local picnic provider, try www.prettyperfectpicnics.co.uk or http://www.purelycornish.co.uk/