Where is Calstock?
If you’re travelling as a large group or family, Calstock is the perfect destination for you. A small and friendly village nestled in the Tamar Valley, Calstock offers its visitors many fun and exciting group activities.
Roughly twelve miles north of Plymouth, Calstock is a great location from which to explore the surrounding countryside of Devon and Cornwall. For these reasons and many more, Calstock has always been a popular destination for walkers, beachgoers and families. Calstock is situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers many beautiful and cosy options for your accomodation.
We’ve put together a list of our top ten choices for your group holiday, from more family-oriented options to activities which are great for visitors of all ages.
1. Beach Trips and Surfing
Calstock is a brilliant location for family trips to the beach. Saunton Sands, Westward Ho!, Polzeath and Fistral Beach are some of the best known and most popular destinations, but there are many quieter local alternatives worth visiting. Cornwall’s beaches are renowned as some of the best surfing beaches in the world – they’re also famous for their beauty, so make the most of all the options available!
Our recommendation would be the small, local beaches you can find just minutes away from Calstock. If you’re up for a longer drive, Tregantle Beach is another brilliant option.
2. National Trust’s Cotehele
It’s a short drive from Calstock to the National Trust property in Cotehele, a beautiful Tudor house with extensive gardens, orchards and a working water mill to explore. At Cotehele, the gardens and estate walks are open daily all year found, whilst Cotehele Gallery is open daily mid-February to December. If you’re feeling hungry after a day of exploring Cotehele, the Barn Restaurant specialises in local, seasonal food. From hearty soup to a selection of cakes, dining at the Barn Restaurant allows you to contribute to Cotehele’s conservation work and treat yourself, all at the same time.
The drive to Cotehele from Calstock takes about 12 minutes. Find out more about Cotehele here.
3. Boating and Canoeing
Canoeing up the River Tamar is a fantastic group activity for the entire family or a large group of friends – canoe trips cover the length of the river from Cotehele Quay up to Rumleigh Farm and often double as a guided tour to the river and its surroundings. If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife that Tamar Valley has to offer, there’s no better way to do it!
Tamar Trails is a great place to start if you’re looking for daily canoe trips; from Calstock, it takes about 15 minutes to drive to the centre.
4. Trips to Plymouth or Bath
Calstock is perfectly situated for local trips to Plymouth, Dartmouth and Bath. The Tamar Valley train line is well-known for its beautiful scenery and allows you to see all the attractions of the valley from the comfort of its carriages. Walks, talks and boat trips can all be organised for large groups up and down the valley – if you want the beauty of the countryside with all the attractions of a major city, Calstock is the destination for you!
5. Biking on Bodmin Moors
Roughly half an hours’ drive from Calstock is one of the most popular day cycling routes that Cornwall has to offer. Bodmin Moor is dominated by the huge granite tors which tower over the sweeping expanses of beautiful moor, a landscape which has inspired poets, writers and artists for generations. There are plenty of local places to hire bikes at reasonable prices if you can’t bring your own, so don’t miss the chance to adventure across some of the most dramatic scenery Cornwall has to offer!
It takes about 40 minutes to drive to the Moors, so this activity is best for families with older children or large groups of friends.
The Tamar Valley offers three excellent rivers for fishing: the Tamar, the Tavy and the Lynher. Salmon fishing runs from the middle to the lower reaches of the Tamar from March through to mid-October and is a great activity for a large group or family. The rivers and lakes throughout the Tamar Valley are very quiet and peaceful, offering you the chance to explore some hidden scenic gems.
7. National Marine Aquarium
If you’re visiting Plymouth whilst in the area, the National Marine Aquarium can be a wonderful destination for a day visit. The Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the UK and features marine animals from all over the world. Fun for visitors of all ages, the aquarium is an excellent place to spend a rainy day. The train to Plymouth gives you beautiful views of the Valley for about an hour before arrival.
Find out more about it here.
8. Tavistock Pennier Market
Only a twenty-minute drive from Calstock, the Tavistock Pennier Market is situated in the heart of the historic town of Tavistock. A wide range of stalls and services are available all year round and the market is a fantastic tourist destination for groups both large and small. On cold days the market moves indoors and each day the market’s theme changes.
Tavistock is about 20 minutes drive from Calstock: find out more about the Market here.
9. Tree Surfers
A short drive from Calstock is Tamar Trails Tree Surfers, a park which offers families an exciting day out up amongst the trees. With rope bridges, zip lines and walkways throughout, Tree Surfers promises adventure. You can also book an archery session, hire a bike or explore many of the trails within the park amongst the natural beauty of the Tamar Valley.
Tree Surfers is about 15 minutes drive from Calstock; find out more about it here.
10. Tamar Valley Donkey Park
The Tamar Valley Donkey Park is a great destination for groups staying in Calstock – only a short drive away, the Park features donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits and guinea-pigs. It also offers an outdoor adventure park and indoor play-barn with a soft play area, so that families can enjoy themselves no matter the weather.
The Donkey Park is a 10 minute drive from Calstock, you can find out more about it here.
Looking for somewhere to stay in the Tamar Valley?
Here are our recommendations:
Mariner’s House, Calstock
If you’re travelling to the Valley as a large group or family, we’d highly recommend the Mariner’s House in Calstock. Nestled in the heart of the Valley’s rolling hills, the Mariner’s House is a beautiful and cosy property which offers a little luxury after a long day spent adventuring. The House offers the best of best worlds as it is situated on the border between Devon and Cornwall.
Galleon House, Calstock
Located just next door to Mariners in the centre of Calstock, this large property has everything you need to make the most out of your stay. A huge open plan kitchen/dining/living room with fireplace opens out to a large terrace for a great BBQ spot with river views.
Okel Tor Mine Cottages
If you’re travelling as a pair or even on your own, the Okel Tor Mine Cottages are perfect for your visit Cornwall. As one of the most unusual and unique places to stay in the Tamar Valley, the cottages offer the best of peace and quiet on the Devon-Cornwall border.
Stay somewhere as beautiful as the Cornish countryside.
With the slogan like “Possibly the best bike show in the world?” you know you’re in for a treat. Enjoy the stunningly beautiful Tamar Valley alongside the live music, food and drink of its local Calstock inhabitants in August this summer.
This spring – on May 6th to be exact! – Calstock will host an annual event like no other. Based upon the romantic legend of Tamara and Tavy, the Calstock Giant is a lively parade through the village that can’t be missed!
If you’re travelling this Christmas, there’s one thing you have to be absolutely sure of – a delicious, hearty Christmas dinner for the big day itself. Here in Calstock, the Boot Inn offers everything you need for the perfect Christmas day.