5th October, 2020

5 great day trips by train from Plymouth

Hop on the train from Plymouth for some fantastic days out across Devon and Cornwall. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Calstock

Calstock viaduct and train
Visit this picturesque gem on the banks of the River Tamar. Arrive by train across the impressive viaduct and explore the village. Enjoy some top pub food at the Tamar Inn and take a refreshing riverside walk.

The National Trust property Cotehele is a pleasant mile and a bit walk from Calstock (download directions). The walk includes the above fantastic view back across to the viaduct. Booking is advised for visits to Cotehele, including for National Trust members. Not all areas are open.

30min from Plymouth (or board at Devonport, Dockyard, Keyham or St Budeaux Victoria Road)
£6.30 Off-Peak Day Return (from Plymouth)

More about Calstock | Look up train times

2. Exeter

Princesshay shopping centre

Photo: Visit South Devon

Head to Exeter for great shopping including John Lewis and the Princesshay shopping centre. Then visit the historic quayside where you can have something to eat and drink or hire a bike, canoe or kayak and explore to your heart’s content.

The trip to Exeter includes the very scenic stretch of line that runs alongside the sea between Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren.

1 hour from Plymouth | £10.40 Off-Peak Day Return

More about Exeter | Look up train times

3. Paignton

Dartmouth Steam Railway
Paignton is nestled between Torquay and Brixham on the English Riviera, and boasts award-winning sandy beaches, a Victorian pier and a must-visit zoo. Right next to the station you can enjoy a steam train journey to Kingswear (and then a connecting ferry to Dartmouth) with the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

1hr 15 from Plymouth (change at Newton Abbot) | £8.30 Off-Peak Day Return

More about Paignton | Look up train times

4. Looe

Looe from above
Get some great views as the train snakes alongside the estuary to Looe. Soak up the atmosphere of the town and harbour, grab an award-winning pasty, head to the beach or take a coastal walk all the way to Polperro (buses available too).

1hr 15 from Plymouth (change at Liskeard) | £6.50 Off-Peak Day Return

More about Looe | Look up train times

5. Newquay


Photo: Newquay BID

Arrive at Newquay station right in the heart of the town. You’ll be on Great Western Beach, named after the railway, in minutes. If you visit at low tide it joins with nearby Towan Beach, home to the Blue Reef Aquarium, creating a large expanse of golden sand.

2 hours from Plymouth (change at Par) | £11.30 Off-Peak Day Return

More about Newquay | Look up train times

Taking the train

Under 5s travel free on the train, and 5-15 year-olds are half price. Dogs are allowed on board (on a lead, up to two dogs per person).

Remember to plan ahead – face coverings must be worn on public transport and in indoor spaces at stations unless you are exempt.

If you can, please buy your ticket online on the GWR app or website. Please also remember to wash your hands and use social distancing. Read more on GWR’s Coronavirus advice page.