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Five Train Journeys in Cornwall That Are All About the Adventure

Cornwall has long been famed for its picturesque scenery and breath-taking landscapes. From moor to coast and everything in-between, this corner of the British Isles has more than its fair share of natural beauty, and what better way to see it than by train! There are some beautiful branch train line rides and also some breath-takingly beautiful steam train rides in Cornwall to be enjoyed, and they really aren’t publicised enough. For this reason, we thought we’d put together our top 5 scenic train journeys in Cornwall for you to experience whilst staying at Trevigue. Enjoy!

St Erth to St Ives Branch Line

The scenic branch line from St Erth to St Ives follows the sweeping crescent of St Ives Bay with awe-inspiring views of the sea from the train window as you pass Carbis Bay and Hayle Towans. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes and is an easy and visually beautiful way of getting to St Ives as parking can sometimes be tricky in the town itself. You can park your car in St Erth, enjoy the short pleasant train ride, and then stroll into St Ives harbour from the station to enjoy the shops, art galleries and restaurants. You could also consider taking The St Ives Bay Line real ales tour. See the rail ale trail website for distinctive pubs serving real ales and situated within walking distance of the St Ives Bay Line.

  • Tip Sit on the right-hand side of the train when you get on at St Erth for the best views
  • Cost £4 (adult off-peak day return)
  • Journey Time 20 minutes
  • Dogs Welcome Yes
  • Booking and Ticket Info

Tamar Valley Line

Perhaps one of the most picturesque train journeys in Cornwall, this line from Gunnislake to Plymouth stops at Plymouth’s historic Royal Naval dockyard, Calstock and all the stunning coastal and riverside places along the way. This branch line follows the River Tamar as it wends its way through 14 miles of countryside and crossing the Calstock viaduct which joins Devon and Cornwall. You will also cross Brunel’s famous Tamar Bridge – a momentous feat of engineering – before travelling through areas once busy with mining activity. If you love Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and historic places of interest, this Cornwall train journey is for you.

  • Tip When the train slowly creeps down over the Calstock viaduct120 feet over the river, look closely out of the window and see the National Trust house Cotehele nestled in the woods below.
  • Cost £5.80 (adult off-peak day return)
  • Journey Time 35 minutes
  • Dogs Welcome Yes
  • Booking and Ticket Info

Atlantic Coast Line

This popular train line from Par to Newquay treats passengers to a truly Cornish train journey through the beautiful Luxulyan Valley and across Goss Moor before the great Atlantic Ocean breaks into view on arrival into surf town Newquay. This route can get very busy in summertime as despite it being only a small branch line, it is the main train route into Newquay town. Once in Newquay there is a popular aquarium (The Blue Reef), many restaurants and pubs and with 8 beaches it is a popular town for surfers, sun worshippers and families alike.

  • Tip Hop off the train in Luxulyan for stunning walks and a valley-full of a rich mining heritage waiting to be discovered.
  • Cost £4.90 (adult off-peak day return)
  • Journey Time 50 minutes
  • Dogs Welcome Yes
  • Booking and Ticket Info

Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway

If you’ve always wanted to experience the glory days of steam-powered locomotives by experiencing an authentic steam train journey in Cornwall, the Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway is for you. All through the year the heritage railway puts on events such as ‘Santa by Steam’ or the beautifully nostalgic ‘Dining by Train’ where you can enjoy dinner, or an afternoon tea surrounded by the sights and smells of the evocative steam train journey from Bodmin General Station to Bodmin Parkway. You will follow the Camel Trail and take in stunning woodland views. Trains run intermittently during off-peak seasons so do check online (or call 01208 73555) for services.

  • Tip Stop at Colesloggett Halt, a peaceful wayside station set amongst the most beautiful scenery, to enjoy a 1.5mile walk along a footpath to Cardinham Woods where there is a charming woodland café serving up the most delicious cakes!
  • Cost £13 (adult off-peak day return)
  • Journey Time 1hr 45mins
  • Dogs Welcome Yes (£1 per ticket)
  • Booking and Ticket Info

Looe Valley Line

The journey down to Looe from Liskeard is chock-full of beautiful views; heavily wooded valleys teaming with wildlife open out to glorious estuary views as the river meets the sea. Starting in a heavily wooded valley, the line soon opens out as the river nears the sea past St Keyne Wishing Well Halt and Sandplace. This is one of the most perfect train journeys in Cornwall for bird watchers, especially at low tide, because the river is full of wading birds such as egrets, grey herons, oystercatchers and curlews. Trains run regularly throughout the day. Looe is blessed with some great local independent pubs full of character, such as The Jolly Sailor which dates from 1516.

  • Tip Don’t nod off for the last two miles as the stretch between Sandplace and Looe are simply stunning!
  • Cost £4.40 (adult off-peak day return)
  • Journey Time 1 hour
  • Dogs Welcome Yes
  • Booking and Ticket Info

We can’t wait to welcome you to Trevigue and introduce you to this beautiful corner of the UK. Experiencing it by train is perhaps the most picturesque and evocative way of exploring Cornwall and makes it easy for non-drivers to be able to navigate the stretch of coastline for which Cornwall is famous. Please do get in touch to tell us about your favourite train journeys in Cornwall, and further afield too!