An Adventure in the Tamar Valley

Last weekend we decided to head more inland as the weather wasn’t great for coastal cruising. One of our favourite places to go is up to Calstock in Cornwall on the River Tamar. 


We sent Friday night on our mooring in Saltash and left early in the morning with the tide. This particular journey normally takes us an hour and a half but on this occasion, it took 2 hours. This was partly due to the fact that we left the outboard on the dinghy which was causing some drag and also because the tide hadn’t quite turned.

Cruising from Saltash to Calstock

Boat buddies

We arrived in Calstock at around 9 am and picked up a swinging mooring off the boatyard. The first thing we did is get onto land and walk up to the village centre. The kiddies let off some steam in the park and found a rope swing, much to their delight.

Calstock park in Cornwall

Calstock in Cornwall

We planned to get some supplies from the village shop but discovered that it had closed down! This can be quite an issue when you are travelling by boat as you have no means of transport to get anywhere else.

Luckily Calstock has quite a good public transport system and we had a choice of getting a bus or the train into another town with shops. We opted for the train.

We decided to head for Bere Ferrers as we heard that the pub there was good so we planned to have lunch there and then head into Bere Alston for the shops.

Bere Ferrers

The pub in Bere Ferrers is called The Olde Plough Inn and the food and service were excellent. They also have a lovely back garden overlooking the river. We were very happy with our visit and hope to go back again soon.

The Plough Inn Berre Ferrers

We’d been meaning to go over to Bere Ferrers for a while to see if it would be possible to take the boat up there on the River Tavy. We decided that it wouldn’t. The channel is very narrow and it dries out. Which is a real shame as it would be a lovely spot to cruise up to and stop for lunch.

Bere Alston 

After lunch, we decided to walk to Bere Alston rather than get back on the train. This wasn’t one of our smartest ideas as it was a lot further than we thought. The kiddies did manage it though with lots of encouragement and as a last resort, bribery.

It was 2.6 miles uphill and took us about an hour to walk. What we hadn’t factored in was the extra walk from Bere Alston to the train station which took an extra 15 minutes. This resulted in us running to catch the train!

Walk from Bere Ferrers to Bere Alston

The Tamar Valley Train Line

The Tamar Valley train line is one of the most scenic rides we’ve ever been on. It really is stunning down there. It runs from Plymouth to Gunnislake alongside the River Tamar.

The train goes over the viaduct at Calstock which the kiddies loved! Check out our video on our Water Gypsy Facebook page.

Calstock in Cornwall


Once we got back to Calstock we were all exhausted so we headed back to the boat to relax for the afternoon. Lowenna and Phil slept and Henry and I read our books. It was a rare quiet and peaceful afternoon on the boat. We got back just in time as it started to pour with rain and didn’t stop until the morning. Luckily we had food onboard so didn’t have to go out anywhere.

The next morning we went back down the river with the dropping tide. This time it took us 1 and a half hours as the outboard wasn’t on the dingy and the tide was with us. It was a beautiful morning!

Tamar Valley the River Yealm

Boat boy and his dog

boat boys

Boat Kids

It was a lovely weekend and has definitely made us want to explore the Tamar Valley further. Next, I’d like to walk from Calstock to Cothele.

The Tamar Valley in Cornwall

Water Gypsy


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