Tamar Valley AONB
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The Tamar Valley is an area rich in beauty and history, possessing some of the finest scenery in the West Country and the estuary is an important haven for wildlife, such as the avocet and little egret.
Explore the area by train on the scenic Tamar Valley Line, by boat on the Tamar Passenger Ferry or pleasure cruises from Plymouth, by car or on foot on the extensive network of local footpaths - there's a route to suit everyone - plus two on-road circuits for cyclists.
The valley is marked by four ancient towns: Launceston in the North - with its steam railway and Norman castle; Tavistock to the East - gateway to Dartmoor; Callington in the West - with its unusual mural trail, and Saltash - best known for Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge, now partnered by the impressive road bridge. Many of the villages also have their own guides and walking trails.
The distinctiveness of the Valley has been shaped by both time and people. Mining thrived here from medieval times, exploiting silver and tin reserves - but it was copper in the 1800's which made the greatest impact. In today's tranquillity, it is hard to imagine that at the height of the mining boom there were over 100 mines along the river. Atmospheric chimneys and ruins throughout the valley serve as a reminder of this industrial past. Morwellham grew as an inland port to serve the mines, and today has been brought back to life as a living history museum, offering you a taste of Victorian life. For more information visit www.drawntothevalley.co.uk