On track to Boscastle
It wasn’t so very long ago that our area was serviced by its own trainlines.
The Okehampton to Bude line, opening at the turn of the 20th Century, is well known for cementing Bude as one of the tourism hot spots of the South-West.
However, decades earlier another line was already serving the area. The historic North Cornwall Railway chugged at a leisurely pace from Halwill in Devon (on what became the Okehampton to Bude line), down through Launceston (where you can still ride part of the tracks on the Launceston Steam Railway), through Camelford and terminating finally in Padstow. [Click here for more information on the local railway and stations]
Sir John Betjeman wrote of a journey to his holiday home near Polzeath:
“The emptying train, wind in the ventilators,
Puffs out of Egloskerry to Tresmeer
Through minty meadows, under bearded trees,
And hills upon whose sides, the clinging farms hold bible Christians
Can it really be that this same carriage came from Waterloo?
On Wadebridge’s platform what a breath of sea scented the Camel valley!
Soft air, soft Cornish Rains, and silence after steam….”
It must have been a spectacular route.
Unfortunately, these routes weren’t particularly well used, and came under the focus of the notorious Beeching report in the 1960s, finally closing for good in 1966.
Since then, our nearest station has been Bodmin Parkway.
A new option…
However, we’re delighted to confirm that a new option is now available.
Recently we took a trip on the Dartmoor line (reopened in late 2021), taking us from Exeter to Okehampton – and we were impressed!
The trains operate hourly, 7 days a week; they offer free Wi-Fi in all carriages, plug sockets in every seat, and accessible toilets as well. Of course Exeter is a mainline station, with regular connections across the UK.
Once in Okehampton, you have two choices. A regular bus service will take you to Bude. From there First Kernow have a 95 & 96 bus service running Monday to Sunday which pass through Boscastle between hubs Bude and Wadebridge.
Alternatively, a private taxi direct from Okehampton to Boscastle can cost from £75 (make sure you haggle for a deal on the return journey when booking).
We love this route! Why not explore the edge of Dartmoor while stopping in Okehampton, or spend some time in Bude?