Travel back in time on the Dartmouth steam railway outing, with river cruise options
We enjoyed our first steam train trip on the Dartmouth Steam Train from Paignton to Kingswear, which is just across the River Dart from Dartmouth. It was a lovely experience and is a must-do for all our visitors. Start your journey from Melba House, it is an easy walk to the train station where you can catch a train from Torquay to Paignton or catch one of the regular busses to Paignton.
It is one of the finest steam train trips in the country coastwise, linking the Torbay resort of Paignton with Dartmouth. The line travels alongside the beach at Goodrington Sands, through beautiful Long Wood and alongside the River Dart to Kingswear.
According to Wikipedia, the line is 6 miles and 57 chains long and travels past the Goodrington Beach huts, the Broadsands bioduct and the UNESCO Global GeoPark. It also passes through Saltern Cove, which is a site of interest for its geology and marine biology, and you can wave at hikers as the train chugs alongside the South West Coast walking path.
It was amazing to feel the power of steam as the engine worked hard to climb the 200ft among the hills while crossing three Brunel-designed viaducts and a long tunnel.
The station in Paignton has a nice coffee shop called “Head of Steam”, as well as a souvenir shop, with lots of books, memorabilia for train enthusiasts and more. At the coffee shop, you can order a picnic before boarding the train, or enjoy a selection of fresh cakes or a special Devonshire Cream Tea on site. Click here to find out more.
From Dartmouth, you can book a riverboat cruise with commentary up to the lovely town of Totnes. The cruise operates daily and is most often on the historic paddle steamer Kingswear Castle. The cruise sails part castles in the estuary, the Britannia Royal Navy College and Agatha Christie’s Greenway Estate.
The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company run various options combining steam trains and boats, and more details and booking information can be found on their website here – https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/.