Exploring Cornwall By Train: A Guide To The Region's Best Stops
Exploring Cornwall by train is a great way to get the most out of your holiday.
With some wonderful places to explore and some amazing scenery to enjoy on the way, the journey will be sure to delight you as much as the destination.
What’s more, with no worries about getting lost or finding a parking spot when you get there, you can simply relax and enjoy some of Cornwall’s most popular attractions.
Bodmin Parkway is our nearest train station and has ample parking. Dogs are allowed on the trains and there’s a lovely riverside walk from the train station through the Lanhydrock Estate, so they can run off a bit of steam before boarding.
Read on for tips about the best destinations to check out in Cornwall by train and what to do once there!
Cornwall’s only city is just a 30 minute train ride away.
Dominated by the impressive cathedral with its distinctive three spires, Truro’s cobbled Georgian streets are a great place to indulge in a little retail therapy and contain a mix of national chains and independent retailers.
The scenic train journey of just under an hour to the pretty seaside town of Looe winds through a wooded valley before opening out to follow the estuary. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers, egrets and oystercatchers. Once in Looe, grab an award-winning pasty from Sarah’s Pasty Shop in town before heading to the beach and banjo pier. Looe Island can be reached by ferry or enjoy a walk along the coast to Hannafore.
Falmouth’s bustling harbour, shops and art galleries are all just a 5 minute walk from the train station.
Visit the National Maritime Museum, take a ferry to the pretty fishing village of St. Mawes or visit Pendennis Castle, just a 10 minute walk from Falmouth Docks.
The train from Bodmin takes just over an hour.
Just over the border in Devon, head for Plymouth Hoe, where Sir Francis Drake first spotted the Spanish Armada whilst playing bowls, and climb the iconic Smeaton’s Tower for an amazing view from the lantern room. Wander around the Barbican, with its cobbled streets, picturesque harbour and independent shops, art galleries and cafes. Or for some serious retail therapy head for the main shopping centre of Drake’s Circus. Just 40 minutes from Bodmin.
The hour and a half train journey to St. Ives is one of the most scenic in the UK, as it passes golden sands and stunning turquoise waters. try and bag a seat on the right hand side if you can. Parking is a bit of a nightmare in St. Ives so this really is this best way to arrive. Once there, explore the narrow streets jam-packed with art galleries, gift shops and cafes or head to beautiful Porthminster beach. The Tate Gallery is a must-see too.
Pack your swimsuit for this one – Penzance’s famous Jubilee Pool is Britain’s largest lido and the ultimate infinity pool. Enjoy a 2.5 mile scenic walk along the bay to Marazion and the iconic St. Michael’s Mount. Back in Penzance there’s plenty to see and do, with a range of shops and restaurants to visit, gardens to wander around and a Friday Farmer’s Market. 1 hour 10 minutes from Bodmin.
All aboard the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway, which puffs its way through the stunning Cornish countryside for 13 glorious miles. Stop off on the Camel Trail to visit the award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard, or take a spooky tour of Bodmin Jail. Hop on a special cream tea or fine dining train, try a Murder Mystery evening or be a train driver for a day. Park at Bodmin General Station for the steam trains, rather than Bodmin Parkway.