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Morwellham Quay

Morwellham Quay

Explore our industrial past at Morwellham Quay

Nestled along the banks of the River Tamar in Devon, the historic port of Morwellham Quay transports you back over 200 years to experience life in a Victorian copper mine village. With costumed guides, interactive exhibits and original buildings, it provides a living window into Devon’s 19th century mining boom.

Ride on the mine railway, explore the village streets, watch craft demos and ride on a sailing barge on the river. Here’s all you need to know for an immersive day out in Morwellham’s historic harbour.

Map of Morwellham Quay

Getting There

Morwellham Quay is located around 7 miles south west of Tavistock in Devon, close to the Cornish border. It sits just off the A390 Tavistock to Callington road outside the village of Morwellham. Brown heritage signs make it easy to find.

By Car

The site has free parking making travel by car very convenient. Simply follow the A390 towards Callington/Launceston and turn off at the Morwellham signs.

Local Buses

You can also catch Stagecoach bus 79 from Tavistock to Morwellham village and walk the last 15 minutes downhill to the Quay.

Opening Times

Morwellham Quay is open daily from 10am – 5pm over the main season from Easter to the end of October. It offers weekend openings only for the rest of the year. Check the website for the most up to date schedule.

Entry Prices

Admission to Morwellham Quay is:

  • Adults £12.50
  • Seniors £11
  • Children £9.50
  • Under 5s free
  • Families from £34

Some activities like the mine train incur additional charges. Gift aid tickets allow return visits within a year.

Victorian Village

Morwellham’s historic buildings form a preserved Victorian village filled with sights and sounds from the era:

  • Workers Cottages – Nose around little homes depicting domestic life in the 1800s.
  • Village Street – Bustling row of cobblestone houses, shops and pubs.
  • George & Charlotte Inn – Have a drink in this characterful period pub.
  • Shipwright’s Workshop – Watch boatbuilding skills first-hand.
  • Blacksmith’s Forge – See the blacksmith stoking the fire and shaping metal.

Costumed villagers really enhance the immersive experience.

Riversde at Morwellham Quay

Underground Mine Railway

One of the top attractions is the vintage underground train that transports you into the original copper mine. On this fun 20 minute ride, you’ll learn how miners extracted copper from the hillside tunnels.

Look out for the site’s resident bats along your bumpy journey into the mine tunnels by lantern light.

River Cruises

The picturesque River Tamar provides another memorable activity. Vintage barge trips include:

  • Rowing boat rides – Take a turn rowing along tranquil waterways.
  • Motor boat cruises – Spot wildlife on scenic cruises.
  • Kingfisher cruises – Search for kingfishers darting along the river banks.
  • Evening cruises – For magical twilight floats.

Viewing the village and mine entrances from the water offers a different perspective.

Morwellham Quay Devon

Family Fun

Kids will love activities like:

  • Candle-dipping – Make traditional taper candles as souvenirs.
  • Mine Quests – Join the animals on an interactive adventure.
  • Pump-cart rides – whizz along tracks in a speedy cart.
  • Panning for copper – Swirl and pan to find glinting fragments of ore.

With costumed re-enactors bringing the exhibits alive all day, it’s an entertaining immersion in historic life.

Refreshments and Facilities

The Harbourside Café & Bar serves freshly prepared lunches, snacks and refreshments in a waterside location. The gift shop has locally made gifts. Accessible facilities cater for visitors with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Making a Day of It

Between the village streets, mine rides and river cruises, you’ll easily fill an entire day at Morwellham Quay. Arrive early to experience the hustle and bustle of village life before taking a peaceful river trip in the later afternoon.

With so many interactive exhibits in an idyllic riverside setting, Morwellham Quay is a fantastic way to experience the sights, sounds and stories of Devon life in bygone eras.

Birds eye view of Morwellham Quay

Frequently Asked Questions

What was filmed at Morwellham Quay? – The Edwardian Farm series on BBC2 in 2010

What time does Morwellham Quay open? – open from 10am to 5pm

Do you have to book to go to Morwellham Quay? – It is not essential to book and you should be all right simply turning up

How long does it take to go around? – We recommend allowing about 3 hours to get the best from Morwellham Quay

Nearby Attractions

Morwellham Quay is close to both Plymouth and Tavistock, which have lots of bars, restaurants and shops. The following are other great local attractions:

  • Buckland Abbey: Once home to Sir Francis Drake, visitors can wander through the well-preserved rooms and explore the tranquil gardens. The estate also houses an impressive collection of Drake’s personal belongings and artifacts, providing a glimpse into the life of this renowned explorer.
  • Lydford Gorge: Managed by the National Trust, this dramatic gorge boasts a series of waterfalls, ancient woodlands, and rugged landscapes. Visitors can embark on picturesque walks along the river, crossing the famous Devil’s Cauldron suspension bridge for breathtaking views of the natural surroundings.
  • Tavistock Abbey: Steeped in history, Tavistock Abbey is a must-visit site near Morwellham Quay. The ruins of the abbey date back to the 10th century, and the site has witnessed centuries of transformation.
  • The Garden House: For those with a penchant for horticulture, The Garden House in nearby Buckland Monachorum is a hidden gem. This well-tended garden showcases a diverse collection of plants and flowers in a tranquil setting. Visitors can meander through themed gardens, including a stunning walled garden, and gain inspiration for their own green spaces.
  • Bere Ferrers: A charming village along the River Tavy, Bere Ferrers offers a peaceful retreat. Visitors can stroll along the riverside, explore the historic church, and perhaps enjoy a meal at a traditional pub. The idyllic setting provides a glimpse into rural life in Devon.
  • Dartmoor Zoo: Home to a diverse array of animals, including big cats, monkeys, and rare species from around the world.

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