The Bridging the Tamar Visitor and Learning Centre is a free attraction on the Devon Cornwall border which celebrates the heritage of both the 20th century Tamar Bridge and Brunel’s iconic 19th century Royal Albert Bridge.
Visitors can join a special pre-booked guided talk on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. These are led by friendly volunteer guides and offer an insight into the history of the bridges. They are pre-booked on eventbrite. There are also monthly behind the scenes tours of the anchorage chambers available for members of the public.
There is an all year round events programme which offers a mixture of walks, talks, family activities and links to Heritage Open Days and other initiatives including workshops with adult learning partner WEA.
Groups can also book bespoke tours and talks which can be tailored to their area of interest, whether they are University students or local history groups. Scouts can book to use the monkey bridge – a classic pioneering session overlooking the Royal Albert and Tamar Bridges which links into different scouting and guiding badges such as leadership, pioneer, survival skills, and science and technology badges.
Visitors can spend a couple of hours at the Centre to look around the exhibition and join a guided tour. If you have longer the Bridge is ideally situated to explore the town of Saltash which has many independent shops and cafes. Although there is currently no dedicated shop or café at the Learning Centre there is a lovely picnic area overlooking the river. The train station in Saltash is a 15-minute walk across the Tamar Bridge to the Bridge Offices.
The Centre is also a STEAM hub (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) and provides curriculum linked schools workshops on bridge building, Brunel, STEAM subjects, Minibeasts, air pollution, transport, environment, forces, levers and pulleys, as well as a partnership workshop with The Box in Plymouth. Home educators are welcome and the team can also provide outreach workshops in school classrooms and assemblies.
“To have these two iconic structures on our doorstep, I was amazed at what I didn’t know! A brilliant visit, and so close to home. Thank you so much.”
“This was so good, the tour was adapted for our 3 young children. They loved the videos and the centre. They also enjoyed seeing the train on the track. Thank you so much it was a lovely morning.”
“I think these events are a wonderful idea, it’s great for people to be to be able to connect with the history of their surroundings. The tour helped bring this to life.”