Saltash on the west bank of the River Tamar is the gateway to Cornwall. The Tamar suspension bridge, first opened in 1961, carries the A38 trunk road across the river from Devon capital Plymouth on the east bank to Saltash in Cornwall on the west bank. Brunel’s great Royal Albert Bridge (1859) carries the railway across the Tamar adjacent to the suspension road bridge. Saltash makes a great base from which to explore the west bank of the Tamar and the Tamar Valley. The town is modern and flourishing, with many fine inns, restaurants, shops and a variety of retail outlets. A town trail taking in a bust of Brunel, views of the great Royal Albert Bridge and the old Guildhall is just one of a choice of local walks in and around Saltash. Visit the Saltash Museum on Lower Fore Street with heritage gift shop on-site and see a variety of exhibitions on the town’s history and bridges.
Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge
The Royal Albert Bridge (1859) across the Tamar to Saltash is one of Brunel’s great engineering achievements, built to carry the railway from Devon to Cornwall across the river. Brunel died in 1859 just before the bridge’s completion. This Bowstring suspension bridge still has the power to astound with its great cables and iron plate girders. The Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash was Brunel’s last engineering masterpiece. The best way to view the bridge is by train. The bridge actually begins at the end of the station platform at Saltash. Regular services run between Saltash and Plymouth, and there is free parking down on the Saltash waterside not far from the bridge and station.
Port Eliot Festival
The Port Eliot Festival is held annually in July at the Port Eliot Estate in Saltash. This popular literary and arts festival features activities and attractions for all ages. A real celebration of words and music, the festival includes a fantastic line-up of performers across comedy, literature, film and pop culture, with names appearing in the past including Jarvis Cocker, Hanif Kureishi, Anita Pallenberg, Mike Figgis and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.