The purpose of the present work is to evaluate the capability of the Actuator Line Method (ALM) to simulate flow through a horizontal axis tidal stream turbine. A numerical model combining the ALM with large eddy simulation technique is developed and applied to compute the flow past a laboratory-scale tidal stream turbine. The flow field is analysed in terms of streamwise mean velocity, turbulence intensity, turbulent kinetic energy and the decay rate of the maximum turbulent kinetic energy behind the turbine. It is found that the ALM performs well in predicting the mean flow and turbulence characteristics behind the turbine. The flow field predicted show a clear transition from an organised vorticity region near the turbine to a highly turbulent flow downstream. The location of this transition and the controlling parameters are discussed but further investigation, both numerical and experimental is required in order to clarify its effects on the flow structure and the performance of downstream turbines in tidal turbine arrays.