An ideal base for exploring the Tamar Valley, this pleasant town is nicknamed the gateway to Cornwall.
Saltash is one of Cornwall’s oldest towns, with a history stretching back to the 12th century. Set on the west bank of the River Tamar, the town connects Cornwall to Devon by rail and road.
Enjoy a canoeing trip on the River Tamar or explore Saltash’s interesting historic attractions.
Two very old bridges are the town’s most prominent landmarks. Opened in 1859 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the Royal Albert Bridge is a bowstring suspension bridge with a graceful profile resembling a parabola. Follow the pedestrian walkway of the Road Bridge for the best views of the Royal Albert Bridge. Completed in 1961, the Road Bridge itself is also worth investigating. It is known as one of the first suspension bridges in the world to be widened and strengthened while remaining open to traffic.
Walk around the town’s scenic Waterside Conservation Area and look for its colony of mute swans. This area is popular for sailing, fishing and other watersports. It is particularly lively during the annual Saltash Regatta and Waterside Festival in June, which features live music, craft stalls and rowing events.
Be sure to visit Mary Newman’s Cottage, a Tudor house said to be the home of Sir Francis Drake's first wife. Completed in 1480, the cottage is the oldest building in Saltash. Inside, you’ll find period furniture on loan from the Victorian and Albert Museum. Explore the cottage’s back garden, which is filled with plants and herbs important to 15th-century households. Enjoy lovely views over the Tamar River below.
Look inside the Saltash Museum and Local History Centre. Its compact permanent display traces the history of the town from the medieval era to present day. You’ll see photographs, books, press clippings, maps and other art and artifacts from Saltash’s past, along with temporary exhibitions during the summer.
To get to Saltash, follow the Devon Expressway from Exeter. You can also reach the city by train on the main Plymouth-Penzance line. The town is well connected to neighboring cities by bus.