For Steam enthusiasts, there are plenty of reasons to visit Cornwall and Devon. Here are just a few:
At the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, you can enjoy a 13-mile round trip on a vintage steam train through some stunning Cornish countryside. Real enthusiasts would love the Footplate Experience days, where you get to shovel in coal, drive the train, blow the whistle, and experience life as the driver or fireman of a steam locomotive. They also do Sunday lunch onboard, and you can even take your dog along for the ride! http://www.bodminrailway.co.uk/homepage
Launceston Steam Railway is a narrow gauge steam railway running for 5 miles from the historic Cornish town of Launceston, through the glorious Kensey Valley, to the hamlet of Newmills. The locomotives are all Victorian steam locomotives from the Welsh mountain railway. There is also a Vintage Transport and Machinery Museum on site. http://www.launcestonsr.co.uk/
Boconnoc Steam Fair was started in 1999 by a small group of enthusiasts, but has grown into one of the biggest and best steam rallies in the SouthWest. There is a wide selection of both full size and miniature steam engines, classic and vintage cars and vehicles, classic tractors, trailer rides, and even lawnmower racing! The dates for 2015 are the 24th, 25th and 26th July.
The South Devon Railway is a seven mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. There’s lots to do here, as the site also hosts the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies. http://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/
Steam also played an important role in the development of the British fairground, and the Fairground Heritage Centre in Lifton (Devon) has over 45,000 square feet of vintage rides and exhibits, including vintage fairground vehicles, and England’s largest dodgem track! http://fairground-heritage.org.uk/
You can get a double dose of steam at Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat – the steam train runs through stunning scenery from Paignton along the English Riviera Geopark coast line and the Dart Estuary to Dartmouth. Alternatively take a trip on the Kingswar Caste – the last remaining coal-fired paddle steamer operating in the UK, which offers trips along the lower reaches of the River Dart. If you can’t choose, then you can get a combined ticket and do both! http://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk/days-out