3rd January, 2024

Your guide to visiting Cornwall and Devon in 2024

From glorious coastal walks, to moorland wilderness to historic cities, the counties of Cornwall and Devon in England’s South West are ‘must visits’ on your next trip to the UK.

It’s easy by train – just sit back and enjoy the views.

Right from the airport


London Heathrow has fast, direct trains to London Paddington station, where you can catch an onward train to Devon and Cornwall, travelling standard or First Class. Approximate journey times from Heathrow as little as:

  • Devon in 3 hours
  • Cornish beaches in 5 hours

You can also take the train from London Gatwick airport.

Scenic views

Enjoy the views of the English countryside before hugging the Devon coast as you pass the seaside town of Dawlish:

Next you will cross into Cornwall on the Royal Albert Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1859. Take in the scenery from 100ft above the River Tamar.

Destinations

ST IVES

St Ives is one of the most picturesque destinations in Cornwall. Best known for its beautiful sandy beaches, harbour and art galleries.

The train journey: The views on the 12-minute ride from St Erth to St Ives are fabulous with panoramas of the beautiful turquoise waters and sandy beaches.

THE TAMAR VALLEY

Visit one of Devon and Cornwall’s hidden gems. Take the scenic Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth to Calstock and explore this riverside village with its great pubs and woodland walk to the historic Cotehele House.

The train journey: Enjoy the rolling countryside, sleepy villages and tranquil river crossings – especially as you pass over Calstock Viaduct.

DARTMOOR

Discover Dartmoor’s rugged peaks, lush woodlands, rivers and waterfalls. Enjoy fantastic walks right from Okehampton station, or hire a bike on-site and ride the Granite Way to the village of Lydford.

The train journey: The Dartmoor Line reopened in 2021 after nearly 50 years, connecting Okehampton, at the north tip of Dartmoor National Park, with the city of Exeter.

LOOE

A beautiful seaside town in South East Cornwall, Looe is known for its narrow streets, harbour, safe beaches and scenic coastal walks.

The train journey: The 30-minute trip on the Looe Valley Line winds its way through the wooded valley until the views open out over the estuary, great for spotting local bird life.

THE JURASSIC COAST

(via bus from Honitor and Axminster stations)

Visit the charming seaside towns of the Jurassic Coast in East Devon and West Dorset. Take a fossil hunting walk from Lyme Regis Museum, built on the site of Mary Anning’s birthplace, ride the heritage Seaton Tramway, or hit the beach to admire the glorious red cliffs.

The train journey: Take the train from London Waterloo to Axminster and Honiton stations, where buses depart right outside the station to the Jurassic Coast.


Devon and Cornwall rail network overview map

Tickets

Buy tickets from the comfort of home (for long distance journeys book up to 12 weeks in advance for the best fares).

Tickets for local journeys within Devon and Cornwall can be bought on the day and are great value (such as Exeter to Okehampton, £8.40 Anytime Day Return).

Passes
If you will be travelling around the country extensively by train then it’s worth investigating a Eurail pass or Britrail pass.

Sleeper train
Another fantastic option for travel to/from London is GWR’s Night Riviera Sleeper.

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