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“Wonderful for the rail enthusiast”

Looe Valley Railway Line
Ranked #6 of 31 things to do in Liskeard
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Looe Valley Line links the bustling market town of Liskeard with the picturesque fishing port of Looe. The train journey is full of beautiful views out of the train window, as the wooded valley teaming with wildlife opens up to glorious estuary views as the river meets the sea. Looe itself is a much-loved seaside destination that’s full of character. It prides itself on its safe beaches for swimming and sunbathing, restaurants that specialise in fresh local ingredients, and a maze of narrow streets full of small independent shops to discover.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
237 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Wonderful for the rail enthusiast”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

I've only ever traveled on this line in a standard modern railcar but the scenery and experience is great. You only have to look at the line on a map to see the circuitous route taken from Liskeard to Looe. Well worth the fare!

Visited July 2012
6 Thank Terry B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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139 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Line for all season - a ride for all reasons”
Reviewed November 23, 2012

The Looe Valley line is a mobile inspiration - a journey for the mind and eye to absorb the passing veiw in such a short space of time. This little railway, born of industrial need and now a lifeline to small communities in East Cornwall seems to have missed the 20th & 21st Centuries and wanders in a time long gone -of a local train where everytone knows everyone and enhances the need for local gossip to spread -"did you hear Mrs Stephens is expecting again" says the guard to an elderly couple joining at St Keyne(Wishing Well Halt) -"well to be expected" says the old man -"winters the time of year for it" and so the rumour spreads as doies our little line as it meanders round tight bends from a right angle Junction with the Great Western main line at Liskeard. Through small woods and deep cuttings, to join the remains of an old canal which we run next to for our journey to Looe. The line spreads out as does the canal and joins the river Looe to provide wide vistas over the water and to unknown Cornish Hills and valleys on the other side of the water. Wild life in abundance as a winter sun sparkles of the out going tide and all a woinderful visit from the comfort of this little warm one carriage train. Such a peacefull and distractingly scenic journey which is not long enough - oh how I wish it was longer.
Arrival atr Looe is in the top end of this small Cornish fishing village -which is fine by me as I am booked into the superb Trehaven Manor hotel just across the road from the station. An evening stroll into the village on a cold November night sees a fine mist rolling off the river like some American deep South bijou. I find it's nearly all fish restaurants advertising whats been caught today will be on the menu, it is so fresh and delicious and the service at the "Trawllers" was speedy.

Just a weekend away from a dark crowded city refreshes the soul and spirit alike and I can make no stronger recommendation than to go to Looe for a long weekend in winter -enjoy, I certainly did -very much :)

Visited November 2012
11 Thank WherryLines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Steam Special to Looe”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

A journey on the steam rail motor car but even on the service train the line is worth travelling on for the senic views

Visited November 2012
11 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
340 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 785 helpful votes
“Surely, the most scenic railway ride in England?”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

I took the journey from Looe to Liskeard and back for the first time earlier this summer. If I recall, the return ticket price was under £4 which is remarkable value for money. The train leaves the little station at Looe and winds it's way along the pretty river valley through tiny halts at Sandplace, Causeland and the delightfully named St Keyne Wishing Well Halt.

Shortly after this, the train pulls onto a section of track which once conveyed slate from Bodmin Moor, clears the points which are then changed, and the train reverses out and then begins the almost 150 feel climb on a 360 degree curve which allows it to ascend to the main line station at Liskeard, although the Looe trains actually stop at a platform at right angles to the main platforms.

The line opened in 1879 although at that time, the line from Looe terminated at Moorswater which was some distance from Liskeard, thus, a curving line was built just beyond Coombe Junction halt which enabled the Looe trains to make the climb up to Liskeard's main line station.

In the early days, the line also continued through Looe right down onto the quayside but this closed around 1916 as did the section from Bodmin Moor to Moorswater. The line did fall foul of Beeching's axe in the mid 1960s but was saved at the last minute.

Today, the line carries around 100,000 passengers annually and promotes it's use especially for birdwatchers, walkers and beer drinkers, who can participate in the "Real Ale Trail" at any of all of the eleven pubs close to the various stations.

Negotiations are underway to use the old Moorswater goods sidings ( now on a disused section of track) as a Park & Ride for Liskeard, with a regular bus connection negating the need for the laborious and time consuming reversing of the trains along the loop up into Liskeard.

One of the best, albeit short railway journeys I've ever taken. Highly recommended.

Visited June 2012
12 Thank GBfromDevizes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lee-on-the-Solent, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
83 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“The train ride for non-railway people”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

The best way to get to Looe from the other parts of Cornwall. The guard is knowledgeable about the line as well as having to change the points at Coombe, after the steep descent from Liskeard and the reversal of travel direction. Beautiful views of the river, the station is just a short walk from town which is picturesque in itself. Wildlife abounds on the journey (egrets, herons, kingfishers and so on). A bargain!

Visited August 2012
12 Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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