Where the bridge crosses the river

    Sitting on the Cornish side of the River Tamar, Saltash is the location of two of the most iconic bridges in the West Country, bringing both trains and cars into Cornwall.

    Forder, Saltash

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge, which carries the mainline railway into Cornwall, was opened by Prince Albert on 2nd May 1859. Now sitting alongside it is the Tamar Bridge, a road bridge that brings the A38 into south-east Cornwall.

    Saltash itself is bypassed by the A38 via a road tunnel and dual-carriageway to the north, but turning off into the town brings you into a bustling centre with access down a steep hill to the river where the original ferry crossing was. It was the ferry that caused Saltash to develop as early as the 12th Century.

    Today the town is overshadowed by its neighbour across the water, Plymouth, but it's still worth exploring the green fringes of the town such as Churchtown Farm Nature Reserve and Forder Creek to the south and Landulph and Cargreen just upstream on the banks of the Tamar.

    Accommodation, in and around Saltash

    View all
    Self-Catering & Resorts in Saltash

    Pentillie Castle Self Catering


    Pentillie Castle sits in the heart of a large private family-owned estate, on the Cornish Banks of the River Tamar. Ideally situated on the borders of Cornwall and Devon, Pentillie provides the perfec...

    See accommodation
    Self-Catering & Resorts in Saltash

    The Cottage Collection at St. Mellion Estate

    The Cottage Collection at St. Mellion Estate can be found nestled within the 450 acre estate. Known as St. Mellion's best kept secret, they provide the perfect holiday haven to explore the very best o...

    See accommodation

    Things to do in and around Saltash

    View all
    Food & Drink


    Opened in the spring of 2023, Brightside brings proper hospitality back to roadside dining.

    Liskeard, SaltashRead more
    Travel, Tours

    Select South West Tours

    Providing luxury guided day tours around Cornwall and Devon, and executive transfers to and from the South West from anywhere in the UK.

    Cornwall wideRead more


    Find out more about Saltash and the Tamar Valley

    View all
    • The Tamar Valley is served by its own branch line which runs out of Plymouth. Called the Tamar Valley Line it stops at Bere Ferres and Bere Alston on the Devon side, before crossing over the river to Calstock. From here it continues to its final destination, Gunnislake.

      You can also use the main line to access the station at St Germans on the Lynher River.

      Tamar Valley Line
    • Yes, and we would recommend it! In fact it's probably the best way to explore the river.

      However, be careful of tides and mudflats. The last 19 miles of the river is tidal, from just below Gunnislake down past Calstock and onwards. Make sure you check the tide timetable before heading out. You should also be aware of weather conditions, especially wind when in the wider sections heading down towards Saltash.

      Upstream from Gunnislake there are several weirs which have to be shot or avoided by carrying your kayak around. This stretch, up to Horsebridge is classed as Grade 2, meaning there may be waves and eddies caused by rocks that will need to be navigated around.

      A popular day out is from Calstock and takes you to Morwhellam Quay and back. Leave Calstock about one and a half to two hours before high tide. This should give you plenty of time to reach the historic port at Morwellham on the rising tide before returning on the ebbing tide.

    • The Tamar Valley runs between Devon and Cornwall in south west England. The Tamar River being the official boundary for all but three miles in the far north of the county.

    • The Tamar Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) straddles the border between Cornwall and Devon and covers around 75 square miles of the lower Tamar River (below Launceston) and its tributaries. Apart from a few well known areas around the villages of Calstock and Gunnislake, it is often a very quiet area.

      Visitors willing to explore country lanes and secluded footpaths will discover a different side of Cornwall than the one they are used to. Away from the beaches and attractions they will find orchards and meadows, industrial heritage and wide waterside vistas.

      Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main resorts, you will find farmhouse B&B's, up-market self-catering and village pubs oozing charm. At the same time, towns like Launceston and Tavistock offer modern shopping centres alongside local produce.

    • Sorry, but you have the wrong continent! The Tamar Valley wineries are in Tasmania, Australia. It's a mistake easily made as you will also find a Launceston in Tasmania.

      Here Launceston is a historic market town at the northern end of the Tamar Valley, and an important gateway into Cornwall.

      Whilst we may not have wineries in 'our' Tamar Valley there are plenty of places making a good drop of cider!

    Our Regions

    Discover your Cornwall

    Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.

      Explore all regions

      Stay connected

      Find us on socials and stay connected with the Cornwall you love.

      We use cookies to personalise content and ads and to analyse our traffic. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. (Privacy Policy)