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Saltash and Tamar Bridge

Welcome to Saltash: the gateway to Cornwall.

Rising from the west bank of the River Tamar, Saltash is a picturesque town bustling with history, charm, and friendly people. The town is surrounded by the beautiful waterways and features historic landmarks and stunning landscapes.

Stroll along Fore Street and absorb the atmosphere of its shops, and cosy cafes, where you can indulge in delicious local treats. Or sit by the Waterside and enjoy the sights and sounds of the river, with the dramatic backdrop of the two Tamar bridges towering above you.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking an interesting stopping point on your journey, Saltash promises a memorable experience for every visitor.

A Brief History of Saltash:

Saltash’s rich heritage dates to pre-Roman times when its sheltered anchorage and river ferry crossing led it to be developed as an international trading post. Trade first centred on salt before later moving to tin and other commodities. It was on Saltash’s quay in 1580 that Sir Francis Drake unloaded enormous quantities of gold and jewellery, plundered from Spanish ships and settlements during his 3-year circumnavigation and then stored in nearby Trematon Castle.

Saltash was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War and in 1643, it suffered a devastating siege. Musket balls from this violent era can still be found on the foreshore and in local gardens.

The iconic Royal Albert Bridge was designed by Cornish engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1859. It spans majestically across the river alongside the equally impressive Tamar Road Bridge which opened in 1962.

Local attractions such as the Tudor Mary Newman’s Cottage, the town museum and unique Elliot’s Store bring this colourful local history to life.

Getting here:

Train: Regular services from London, Plymouth, Bristol and Exeter and Penzance stop at Saltash Station, which is a 5-minute walk from the town centre.

Car: The A38 passes underneath the town through the Saltash tunnel. Take the slip road off the Tamar bridge or exit at Carkeel roundabout to drive into the town centre. Paid-for car parks are available off Fore Street or there is free parking on the Waterside.

Bus: The town’s position on a river crossing point means that frequent buses from across Cornwall and Devon and National Coach services stop in the town.

Ferry: From 24 May to 30 Sept Plymouth Boat Trips run a daily ferry between Royal William Yard and Saltash Jubilee Pontoon. For timetables and booking see