A Season-by-Season Guide to the Tamar Valley

Feb 25, 2019 | Activities, Calstock, Cornwall, Tamar Valley

Angharad Miller

by Angharad Miller

Thinking of visiting the Tamar Valley? Make sure you visit the best the area has to offer, no matter the season.

Tamar Valley Photographer

Enjoy the Tamar Valley, No Matter the Season 

Although the Tamar Valley AONB is one of the most beautiful places in the world, it can often be tricky in the off-season to figure out what sights to see and which activities to plan. To make things simpler for you, we’ve chosen two things each season which those travelling to the area should definitely visit!

Devon Countryside

Spring, March – May

Valley Walks

If you’re looking to visit one of the most beautiful places Cornwall or Devon has to offer, you can’t go wrong with the Tamar Valley. As a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Valley is stunning in springtime. There’s no better place to enjoy the rolling Cornish hills and their abundant wildlife than along the banks of the River Tamar. If you’re looking to visit some rural villages, we’d recommend the likes of Calstock, Tavistock and Bere Alston.

Some of the best trails can be found just minutes away: find out more here.


Springtime in the Southwest only means one thing – festivals. You can visit the Daphne du Maurier Lit Festival, Porthleven Food Festival or Royal Cornwall Show, just to name a few! Some of these festivities date back hundreds of years and even the relatively new ones have become firmly established classics in the Cornish festive calendar. You can also check with more local news to find out when the countless smaller fairs, fetes and farm shows are being held throughout the country!

Find out what’s on here.

Calstock Events

Summer, June – August

National Trust Cotehele

Nestled in the Tamar Valley, the National Trust property at Cotehele is a beautiful Tudor house with extensive gardens, orchards and a working water mill to explore. The garden and estate walks are open all year round, whilst the Barn Restaurant specialises in local, seasonal food for a well-earned break after your visit. If you’re looking to experience some of the local history, Cotehele is the perfect destination, and its gardens are stunning in the summertime.

Getting to Cotehele takes a 10 to 15 minute drive. Find out more here.


The summertime is perfect for a canoe trip up the River Tamar and makes a fantastic group activity for families and friends. Local canoe trips often double as a guided tour to the Valley and its wildlife. If you want to enjoy all of the Tamar Valley’s beautiful scenery in a new and exciting way, there’s no better way to do it!

A local canoe hire can be found just 15 minutes away the centre of the Valley. Find out more about a local canoe hire here.

Cornwall Coast

Autumn, September – November

Bike Trails at the Tamar Trails Centre

The Tamar Trails Centre has a 25km bike path which is perfect for a day spent cycling. With glorious views of the valley in all its autumnal glory, you can pick your own pace and pause to enjoy the view. Cycling is a great way for the whole family or a large group of friends to get active and have fun, all at the same time!

From Calstock, it’s a 15 minute drive to the Centre. Find out here.

Beach Trips

Going to the beach has always been seen as a summer activity, but if you want the beach all to yourself you had better visit this autumn! Although summertime is definitely warmer, autumn offers the perfect balance between the tiny waves of summer and the huge and often dangerous winter swells. If you can handle the chill, autumn is the perfect time to visit a local beach. The Tamar Valley is packed with hidden, scenic gems, so make sure to explore them in amongst all the peace and quiet!

Our reccomendations would be the small, local beaches or, if you’re up for a longer drive, Tregantle Beach.

Devon Countryside

Winter, December – February

Tavistock Pennier Market

A short drive from Calstock, the Tavistock Pennier Market can be found at the heart of the historic town of Tavistock. Although the Market can be visited all year round, during the winter it moves indoors so that you don’t have to get too chilly during your visit. The market’s theme changes every day, so make sure to plan your visit according to your interests.

Tavistock is about 20 minutes drive from the Tamar Valley. Find out more about Tavistock Pennier Market here.

Visit the National Marine Aquarium

Winter is the perfect time for a day trip to Plymouth, and the train line running through the Tamar Valley is renowned for its views of the Valley’s stunning scenery. The Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the UK and features marine animals from all over the world – its the perfect activity for groups or families who want to stay out of the cold for the day!

Make your visit to Plymouth a scenic one by catching the train down for a day – you’ll enjoy the views of the Valley for about an hour before arriving. Find out more about the Aquarium here.

Tamar Valley in Winter

Looking for somewhere to stay in the Tamar Valley?

Here are our recommendations:

Mariner’s House, Calstock

If you’re travelling to the Valley as a large group or family, we’d highly recommend the Mariner’s House in Calstock. Nestled in the heart of the Valley’s rolling hills, the Mariner’s House is a beautiful and cosy property which offers a little luxury after a long day spent adventuring. The House offers the best of best worlds as it is situated on the border between Devon and Cornwall.

Check availability

Galleon House, Calstock

Located just next door to Mariners in the centre of Calstock, this large property has everything you need to make the most out of your stay. A huge open plan kitchen/dining/living room with fireplace opens out to a large terrace for a great BBQ spot with river views.

Find out more about Galleon House.

Okel Tor Mine Cottages

If you’re travelling as a pair or even on your own, the Okel Tor Mine Cottages are perfect for your visit Cornwall. As one of the most unusual and unique places to stay in the Tamar Valley, the cottages offer the best of peace and quiet on the Devon-Cornwall border.

Stay somewhere as beautiful as the Cornish countryside.


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