Tamar Trails

About this route

Around 15 miles / 25km of new trails have recently been  created in the Tamar Valley as part of the Mining Heritage Project, a £7million investment by public bodies to conserve and improve access to the rich mining heritage of the Tamar Valley. The trails include routes along old mineral tramways and railways where you can learn about the mining history and enjoy stunning landscapes.

Getting Around

Park at the Tamar Trails Centre at Gulworthy off the A390 west of Tavistock

Refreshments at Tamar Trails Centre. Cycle hire at Tamar Trails Centre.
Woodland rough tracks. Some moderate climbs and uneven paths. Muddy in winter
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Interesting information

For a while, Devon Great Consuls was the greatest copper mine in Europe and later became the largest arsenic workings in the world. It is now a martian-like landscape.  Ore was transported along the mineral railways of the area which now form the trails to the docks at Morwellham Quay.  The dramatic increase in copper mining in the 1860s created so much waste that the Wheal Josiah Bridge was built over the railway, allowing the spoil to be tipped down the hillside.


The pool in the dell of Rubbytown Valley is one of the settling ponds which dealt with the discharge from the Wheal Emma processing works.


At the Wheal Anna Maria Arsenic Works you will find a viewing platform at the heart of the 1920s arsenic complex (the 1868 works were demolished in 1903). This is where the deadly poison arsenic was made by men and boys protected only by cotton wool in their ears and nostrils, and handkerchiefs across their mouths.


At Wheal Fanny there are the remains of cobbled dressing floors where women and children would break the ore with long spalling hammers

Photo of an arsenic mine tower with waste ground in front
Arsenic Mine, Cornwall Mines World Heritage Site Copyright B Gamble, Cornwall CC

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