One of our favourite family days out is to take the Tamar Valley Line train from Plymouth to Calstock. The numerous appeals of this day start with the little old train and continue with the stunning views as the train goes over the River Tamar and up the Tamar Valley. On reaching Calstock, it is a gentle walk into the river-side village where there is a great pub (Tamar Inn) with good food, an exciting playground (a huge wooden Pirate ship with lots of climbing, swinging, sliding options!) next to the village green with picnic tables. Also next to the green is Valenti’s Ice Cream Parlour (think fresh, made daily artisan delicious ice cream) which is an absolute must!
You can take a walk along the river, or even head over to Cotehele (another of our favourite places) – a great National Trust property with quayside Cotehele Mill and tea rooms. In fact Cotehele is well worth a visit by itself . Before you enter the ticketed areas there is a fab woodland play area and you can then walk down to the river quay for some boat watching, another play area, woodland walks and the tea rooms. If you do then go into Cotehele there are hilly gardens to explore, orchards to run around and the house some interesting features.
Alternatively you can head back to Bere Ferrers which is a very picturesque village where you can walk along the river (or there is a 3 mile circular walk from the station). There is a useful guide here of the walks from the Tamar Valley Line train stations. In Bere Ferrers you can stop at The Olde Plough Inn for a drink and a tasty meal.
This journey takes about 40 minutes and an adult return ticket is around £6. Trains are approximately every 2 hours at the weekend.