Great Escapes: Cornwall’s Scenic Railways

Published: Thursday 30th Jan 2020

A magical way to discover the county together, the stunning branch lines of Cornwall offer some of the most incredible views the UK has to offer. From thickly wooded valleys to sweeping, heather-tufted moorland to white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear seas, each of these journeys provides plenty to capture your attention and further fuel your love for Cornwall – and each other.  

Starting with our very own St Ives Bay Line, take a look at our list of the most scenic rail journeys in Cornwall and get ready to glide past jaw-dropping countryside and coast with your one and only this Valentine’s Day:

The St Ives Bay Line

Not that we’re biased, but the St Erth to St Ives Bay Line has to be one of the most beautiful railway journeys in not only Cornwall, but the world. With every moment one to be enjoyed, the line showcases the beauty of West Cornwall, affording amazing views of Hayle Towans, Carbis Bay and St Ives’ beaches. Tempting though it may be to spend the day going backwards and forwards on the train, St Ives is a fantastic destination and provides all sorts to see and do, from romantic beach strolls, to fine dining, to gallery viewing to cocktails by the shore. Speaking of, make sure you give Silco Searoom a visit for their dribble-worthy cocktails before wending your way back to your luxury accommodation.

The Looe Valley Line

Joining the ancient market town of Liskeard and the quaint fishing port of Looe, the Looe Valley Line invites voyagers to take in impossibly beautiful views of wooded valleys, wildlife along the Looe River and the gaping estuary as it meets the sea. Covering nearly 9 miles, once your journey is over you can step off and explore Looe, where loved-up duos are encouraged to tuck into the catch of the day at one of the many popular local restaurants, such as the Ancient Mariner Bistro, before cuddling up in the Jolly Sailor pub for a drink, or two!

The Atlantic Coast Line

Live out your very own Great Escape with the Atlantic Coast Line. Heading south to north from Par to Newquay, this fabulous journey of around an hour enjoys a unique blend of Cornish landscapes, from thick woodland to windswept moor to open coast. Arrive in Newquay thoroughly starry-eyed and waste no time in getting stuck in; there is all sorts available to make sure your Valentine’s Day is one to remember. Grab a blanket and explore some of the area’s many beaches or hunker down over a candlelit dinner in one of the 5-star establishments nearby, including The Fish House, Lusty Glaze and the Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.

The Maritime Line

The perfect mix for urbanites looking for a splash of glamour this Valentine’s Day, the Maritime Line juxtaposes the irresistible charm of Cornwall’s capital, Truro, with the artistic vein of its maritime neighbour, Falmouth. Only 25 minutes apart by train, this bucket-list railway journey will satiate your every whim and fancy, from coast-path, castle and café hopping in Falmouth to boutiques, bars and bijou boltholes in Truro.

The Tamar Valley Line

Navigating the border between Devon and Cornwall, the Tamar Valley Line invites you to move away from the bright lights of Plymouth and escape into Cornwall through fields of green. A real journey highlight, you are invited to wriggle a closer to your beloved as the train slinks along the top of Calstock Viaduct, 120ft above the river below. Soak up the views of the Tamar Valley before arriving at Gunnislake, where the Rising Sun Inn and the Queens Head are but two of the local pubs waiting to welcome you for a tipple by the fire.

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