South Devon Railway and Stuart Line Cruises

launch new ‘Boat Trains’ joint tickets for groups

and join forces with other Devon attractions

by exhibiting at UK’s top tourism shows


4 February 2015


A multiple award-winning Devon based tourism duo, the South Devon Railway and Stuart Line Cruises of Exmouth, are launching their great new ‘Boat Trains’ joint ticket designed especially for groups at a number of prestigious tourism trade exhibitions and shows around the country in 2015, but are also joining forces with other attractions in flying the flag for Devon.


Hot on the heels of the popular ‘Excursions’ show at Alexandra Palace, London on Saturday 24 January, plus the South West Group Travel show at the Winter Gardens in Weston Super Mare this coming Saturday (7 February), the attractions will also be exhibiting at the Best of Britain and Ireland (BOBI) tourism show at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 March on stand D70. They will also be attending the prestigious Group Leisure & Travel Trade show this October, also at the NEC to fly the flag for Devon.


In a new marketing drive, the South Devon Railway and Stuart Line will be joined on the road at almost all of this year’s major tourism and travel trade shows by Powderham Castle and Devon’s Top Attractions who are sharing exhibition stands and pooling promotional activities.


Devon’s Top Attractions represents over 40 of Devon’s best visitor attractions, all of whom are inspected annually to meet quality standards and provide good customer service which ensures visitors experience a great day out.


Stuart Line, Powderham Castle and the South Devon Railway are all members of ‘Devon’s Top Attractions’, see

Many of Devon’s Top Attractions carried off several prestigious awards in 2014 and are shortlisted for more in 2015 proving that Devon really is home to the very best in tourism. The varied attractions include castles, botanical gardens and impressive stately homes. Visitors can take a ride on an award winning steam railway, narrow gauge tram or sail along the famous Jurassic coast. They could visit a Zoo or farm, or enjoy one of the award winning theme parks.                                   

The new ‘Boat Train’ ticket offers a 14-mile round trip aboard a heritage steam train on the scenic South Devon Railway down the beautiful valley of the River Dart, plus a fabulous cruise along the tranquil River Exe with Stuart Line Cruises from Exmouth.


The new venture offers a brilliant value, fun, varied and exciting full day out for groups visiting beautiful South and East Devon. With just a 45-minute coach journey between the two attractions, the joint ticket is designed to provide visitors with a different morning and afternoon itinerary.


Groups can either board at Exmouth first for the Stuart Line cruise -- which can be for an hour or up to two hours by request -- and then travel by their own coach afterwards to the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh for the hour and a quarter South Devon round trip Railway steam train ride, or vice versa starting at the railway first.


There’s plenty of free parking for coaches at Buckfastleigh station close to the platform and at Exmouth close to the docks too, and both the steam railway and Stuart Line provide ideal stops for refreshments and toilet breaks.


The SDR has extensive Refreshment Rooms at Buckfastleigh serving a full range of hot and cold meals, snacks and drinks, all at good prices, plus a well-stocked gift shop, and all Stuart Line boats have on-board refreshments too.


Shorter distance, one way single journeys on the South Devon Railway, lasting half an hour, are also possible for groups wishing to board at Totnes and Buckfastleigh, although it’s worth noting there is 464-yard walk at Totnes to access the SDR station and so is less likely to appeal to senior citizens.


Stuart Line Cruises and South Devon Railway will be working closely together in the next 12 months. Boat Train prices for groups start at £15.00 per head for adults; £14.00 for seniors, and £10.00 for children giving a 25% saving on the normal fares.


Bookings for Boat Trains will be handled by Stuart Line and the first bookings have already been taken for 2015. Prices are available on application for one way trips of seven miles on the South Devon Railway, plus the Stuart Line cruise.      


Please note that coach travel between the two attractions is not included in the joint fare as most groups on a tour, trip or excursion will already have their own transport on tap.


The award-winning South Devon Railway offers a scenic 14-mile round trip between Buckfastleigh and Totnes in period coaches pulled by a historic Great Western Railway steam locomotive. The line travels along the gorgeous valley of the River Dart, hugging the river for virtually all its length.


The South Devon Railway is also one of Devon’s ‘3 Great Attractions, 1 Amazing Day’ - one of the best-value, family days out in Devon.


The railway links the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, where you can meet and make a fuss of friendly animals and birds including the famous collection of owls and red squirrels; and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies, with its amazing collection of tropical butterflies and otters from all round the world. Feeding time is quite an experience!                                         


Groups can buy big money-saving joint tickets for all three attractions linked by the SDR and enjoy a fantastic all day adventure that offers something for everyone.


Powderham Castle is located in a unique, picturesque setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. Six hundred years of history are contained within the walls of one of England's oldest same family houses, currently home to the 18th Earl & Countess of Devon.  The magical setting and convenient location makes it the perfect venue for all manner of events, including weddings and business functions.  


Stuart Line Cruises is located in Exmouth just 15 minutes from junction 30 of the M5 and the start of many a scenic coastal drive along the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast.  Exmouth makes for both an ideal coffee stop for the longer journey but also an ideal destination. 


Exmouth is a beautiful town to explore as a part of a day out!  A trip on the River Exe is on always calm and sheltered waters aboard a fully licensed and insured vessel with inside and outside seating, toilets and licensed bar on board.  The skipper gives a live commentary throughout the trip on the history, beauty and wildlife and visitors are well looked after from start to finish by the crew.                                                                                        


Commenting on the launch of the new Boat Train joint ticket, Ian Stuart of Stuart Line Cruises said: “Boats and steam trains have always gone well together through history and they are a popular mix with visitors looking for a varied and scenic full day out. We’ve been keen to link in with the South Devon Railway for some time and launching this great, value for money product for the groups market provides us with an ideal opportunity to do so.”


SDR PR & Business Development Manager Dick Wood said: “We’re always looking at new ways to encourage people to come and spend some time with us going down memory lane to the bygone era of steam travel. This joint ticket with Stuart Line Cruises will open up new markets for both of us as people will readily understand what a Boat Train means. It’s an exciting opportunity for both leading Devon tourism businesses, and we are really enjoying working with Powderham Castle and increasing awareness of Devon’s Top Attractions to new audiences.”      More


With ample car parking at Buckfastleigh on the A38 Devon Expressway, the South Devon Railway is just 25 minutes from Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay, Stuart Line Cruises at Exmouth are just 20 minutes from the M5 at Junction 30, and Powderham Castle is close to Exeter.




1)                   Further information and news about the new Boat-Train joint ticket can be seen at either:  or by ringing (01395) 222144, or the South Devon railway at: ,telephone (01364) 644370


2)                   To further media comment or to arrange photography or filming, please contact Dick Wood via the details and number below.


Issued by Dick Wood on behalf of Stuart Line Cruises and

the South Devon Railway,

Mobile 07711 552947, e-mail: or