The historic Cotehele Quay on the banks of the River Tamar was once a busy working quay where goods were shipped to and from Plymouth. Today it is a place for all to enjoy, a starting point to explore the wider Cotehele estate and where the Victorian Tamar sailing barge ‘Shamrock’ can be seen awaiting further conservation work.
Cotehele's historic quay
In the 19th century, as local industries boomed, Cotehele Quay bustled with vessels loading and unloading cargo. Crowded paddle steamers travelled upriver from Plymouth to see the blossoming orchards for which the area was farmed and small boats carried market-gardening produce for sale at Devonport Market.
Cotehele Quay: a starting point for an adventure
From Cotehele Quay you can start to explore the many miles of footpaths around the Cotehele estate. The 1,300 acre estate includes woodlands and fields, industrial ruins, flora, fauna and working farm buildings. You can find out more about the wider estate here.
Canoe, kayak and paddleboard from Cotehele Quay
Canoe, kayak and paddleboard owners can launch from the slipways on the quay, so long as you carry the equipment from the car park having used the pay and display machine. If the quay is busy and there is nowhere to park within the quay car park, please turn around and try again at a time when it is quieter. We ask that all users of the slipway make a £5 donation to the National Trust which can be done here. By making this donation to use the slipway, you can help us to maintain the quay and the slipways for future generations to use.
For those with larger boats on a trailer, we ask you to book in advance for use of our slipway. To do this please email email@example.com or call 01579 351346. For larger boats on a trailer the cost is £10 and we ask for cars and trailers to be parked in the overflow car park in our main car park. We will turn away any boats and trailers that arrive on the quay without pre-booking.
We are currently reviewing procedures of use of the slipway on the Quay and this is a temporary measure for boats launching.
Before you head out on the water, we recommend that you check the tide times for Cotehele Quay.
If your looking to get out onto the river but don't own a canoe, Canoe Tamar host regular canoe trips setting off from the quay, heading towards Calstock and into the wilds of the upper tidal limits.
Fishing at Cotehele
We do not allow fishing on Cotehele Quay unless permission has been given. We do however welcome those who wish to fish to use Bohetherick Quay nearby. Please follow government guidance on rod fishing byelaws and licences and remember to take any rubbish home with you.
Shamrock is the only fully-restored ketch-rigged Tamar sailing barge in the world. She was built in Plymouth in 1899 to carry cargo on the river. She now spends her retirement on Cotehele Quay. You can read about her history and see loads of photos on her blog here.