This West Country AONB has riverside walks, wildlife havens, and mining heritage sites.
On the Devon and Cornwall border, the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty draws hikers and wildlife enthusiasts to its unique drowned valley landscapes. Hike steep gorges, cycle through forested valleys, or camp at peaceful country campsites. With three rivers to choose from, getting on the water is a must—set sail on a barge cruise along the Lynher River, enjoy water sports on the lakes, or fish for salmon along the Tamar River. Summer is peak season for campers, while spring and fall are the best times for bird-watching around the estuaries.
The River Tamar runs through the heart of the AONB, marking the border of Cornwall and Devon. Take a ride on the scenic Tamar Valley Line railway from Plymouth to Gunnislake, and hop off to visit Calstock village, enjoy riverside walks, or have lunch at a country pub. May through October is fishing season, and the river is known for its salmon and trout fishing.
The River Tavy winds its way north through the Tamar Valley, where you can enjoy woodland walks and pitch your tent at rural camping grounds. Go kayaking or windsurfing at Lopwell Dam, visit the market town of Tavistock, and tuck into a traditional Devonshire cream tea at a local café. Beyond Tavistock, the wild moorlands of the Dartmoor National Park are a natural playground for hikers and campers.
Coastal Plymouth lies between two AONBs, with the Tamar Valley to the north and South Devon to the east. Set sail on a boat cruise around the Plymouth Sound, then head along the South Devon coast to enjoy beachside camping and seaside hikes. The blue flag beaches at Bantham and Bigbury on Sea are favorites for summer sunseekers, or visit in winter, when migrating seabirds flock to the coast.
Saltash and Torpoint lie on the southwest borders of the Tamar Valley, where the Lynher River meets the Plymouth Sound. Dive into Cornwall’s mining heritage as you explore 18th-century mines, hike along the South West Coast Path, or try wakeboarding and windsurfing along the Hamoaze estuary. To escape the crowds, head to the Rame Peninsula, where you’ll find secluded coves, sea-cliffs walks, and ocean-view campsites.