Activities and places in the Tamar Valley and nearby Devon and Cornwall

Standing on the county border marked by the River Tamar, River's Reach is ideally placed for visiting both Devon and Cornwall. 

The Tamar Trails Centre, less than ten minutes' drive, offers a range of activities in the reclaimed former Devon Great Consuls mining landscape, including rambling, mountain biking, archery, tree surfing and canoeing. 

Nearby Dartmoor National Park with its wild open moorland and deep river valleys provides fantastic views with extensive rambling, cycling, canoeing, climbing, letterboxing and geocaching opportunities. 

Cholwell Riding Stables on the moor above Tavistock caters for novice to experienced horse riders and provides escorted rides directly onto Dartmoor. 

Lydford Gorge is the deepest river gorge in the south west with an imposing waterfall and Devil’s Cauldron pothole.

Renowned facilities for trout fishing and first class tuition are available to the experienced angler or keen beginner at The Arundell a country sports hotel at Lifton.

Gardening enthusiasts will enjoy the famous Garden House and innovative Wildside Nursery at nearby Buckland Monachorum.

Deeper into Cornwall you can visit the renowned Eden Project and magical Lost Gardens of Heligan with 200 acres of reclaimed delight.

A short drive leads to the nearest town – the ancient Stannary town of Tavistock- straddling the River Tavy, with its many impressive historic buildings including the remains of the former Abbey, an interesting museum of mining and local history and the lively covered Pannier Market to browse in. Two walks of interest along level ground follow the old railway line over the towering viaduct and the historic canal.

Plymouth with its stunning oceanic topography and wealth of attractions is a must for the visitor. There is so much to see including The Hoe, The Barbican, Royal William Yard, The 17th Century Royal Citadel, The Theatre Royal and The National Marine Aquarium. You can take a cruise to see the naval dockyards or further up river and ferries across to Mount Edgecumbe Park.

Plymouth is 33 minutes by car from North Hooe but only 15 minutes away by train on the picturesque Tamar Valley Line (from nearby Bere Alston or Bere Ferrers stations). In the opposite direction within minutes guests can be chugging over the impressive railway viaduct to the charming as yet un-gentrified fishing village of Calstock on the Cornish side of the Tamar.

National Trust properties within 10 miles are Buckland Abbey once a Cistercian Abbey, later home to Sir Francis Drake and Cotehele an atmospheric Tudor house with medieval roots and lovely gardens on the Cornish bank.

Further afield Saltram according to Pevsner "the most impressive country house in Devon" sits in the outskirts of Plymouth; on the Cornish bank are Antony one of the finest surviving Queen Anne buildings in the West Country which played host to Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland and Lanhydrock especially fascinating for its contrasting glimpses of Victorian life both upstairs and downstairs.

Not far into Cornwall you can visit the English Heritage administered Launceston Castle with a thousand year history and spectacular views from the summit over Launceston once the capital of Cornwall. 

The North and South coasts of both counties with their many picturesque maritime villages and sandy beaches are well within reach and provide opportunities for fishing, swimming and surfing.

To the South a short drive east of Plymouth the River Yealm with the pretty former fishing villages of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers on either side, is the site of beautiful walks and ferries to and around the headlands. If you feel like a swim a quarter of an hour’s more drive brings you to the wide open beach at Bigbury and the intriguing sea tractor crossing to Burgh Island of Agatha Christie's fame. 

To the west of Plymouth lies the beautiful Fowey estuary with its various charming villages headed up by delightful Fowey town known for its attractive houses, interesting shops and waterfront activity.  

On the north coast Bude and surrounding beaches like Widemouth Bay are excellent for swimming and surfing as are places further south like Polzeath. Villages like Padstow famous for its restaurants associated with Rick Stein and Port Isaac of "Doc Martin" television series fame, are popular following their exposure in the media and there are many quieter villages and beaches to visit that do not require too long a drive.