Visiting Cotehele: what you need to know
Cotehele is now open for you to enjoy the garden, orchard and wider estate. If you are visiting the garden and orchard, booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Bookings close at 3pm the day before. In this article you'll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit.
Arrival and parking
All the car parks at Cotehele are open and do not require booking. If you have booked to visit the garden we recommend that you park in the upper car parks located nearer to the garden. If you haven’t booked but want to explore the wider estate, please park in the car park located down the hill on the quay. All car parks at Cotehele are pay and display, please scan your membership card for a ticket or use the car park machine to purchase a ticket. There is also designated accessible parking available in our car park in the farm yard.
Campervans that are used for transport are welcome but are not permitted to stay overnight. At this time we’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches.
You are welcome to park in any of our car parks before your time slot to give you time to enjoy the wider estate, to grab refreshments from our restaurant or to enjoy a picnic, but we ask you to arrive at Visitor Reception within your time slot in order to maintain social distancing. If you’re more than 10 minutes late, we won’t be able to guarantee you entry to the garden or orchard. Your entry will be at the discretion of the property staff and will be based on visitor numbers and the ability to maintain social distancing.
When you arrive inside Visitor Reception to enter the garden, please have your ticket ready to show either on your phone or a printed copy. If you’re a member, you’ll also need to show your membership card. You will be asked to show these from a safe distance to a member of the team. You must have a ticket for everyone who is visiting – under 5s do not need a ticket. You are welcome to enjoy the garden and estate for as long as you like, but we ask for everyone to leave the garden by 5pm.
Alternative ways to travel to Cotehele
If you're travelling from Plymouth, you can take the train along the Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth to Calstock station. From Tavistock or Callington you can take the 79/79A Transport for Cornwall bus service which stops at our nearest bus stop on Calstock Quay.
To help with social distancing the train and bus service might be running at a reduced seating capacity, so they are unable to guarantee that you’ll be able to board. You are required to wear a face covering when travelling by train or bus, please bring one with you.
From Calstock it’s a 1½-mile walk along the River Tamar and up a steep hill through the woods.
Booking your visit to the garden is still essential if arriving by train, by foot or by bus; follow the links on this page to do so.
To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. Look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.
Please bring a face covering with you when you visit. You will be required to wear a face covering when inside the restaurant, shop, gallery, second-hand bookshop, toilets, visitor reception and the Chapel-in-the-Woods.
If you’re showing any symptoms of coronavirus, or if you’ve been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.
The quay, estate and weir is open as normal.
If you are visiting the garden please park in the upper car parks. If you are visiting the quay, estate and weir please park at the quay car park.
The garden is partially open with a one-way system in place to ensure social distancing. Last admission to the garden is 4pm.
Our restaurant is open from 10am-4pm each day. The restaurant is serving hot and cold drinks, snacks, pasties, cakes and ice-cream. There is seating available outdoors with a limited number of seats available indoors.
The takeaway kiosk on the quay is open Wednesday-Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday) from 11am-4pm and is serving hot and cold drinks, snacks, a limited range of sandwiches, cream teas and scooped ice-cream.
The Bull Pen Gallery, shop and plant centre are open Friday-Tuesday (closed Wednesday and Thursday) from 11am-4pm.
The second-hand bookshop is open every day from 12noon-4pm.
The visitor reception area is open every day from 10am-4pm.
The toilets in the farm yard, by the house and on the quay are open from 10am-5pm and are sanitised regularly though the day.
The house, mill, tea-room, play areas, Discovery Centre, Valley Garden and Prospect Tower remain closed for now.
Bringing a dog?
Dogs are welcome on the estate; we do ask that you keep your four-legged friend on a lead at all times. No dogs in the garden or orchards except assistance dogs. Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome inside the Barn Restaurant.
The one-way route around the garden follows hard-standing and gravel paths which are wheelchair and pushchair friendly. There is one section behind the house which is unsuitable for wheelchairs and an alternative route is signposted to avoid this.
Please check with staff on arrival if you have any concerns. There is plenty of seating along the route to offer you a place to rest along the way.
We are sorry but we are unable to offer our wheelchairs or our visitor shuttle service between the house, quay and mill at this time.
We are currently updating our access statement and will be made available on our website soon.
Exploring the garden
The garden is looking lovely, but it won’t be quite as you’re used to seeing it. We’ve only had two gardeners at the property for many weeks, while everyone stayed home and stayed safe.
We have a small team of staff and volunteers in now, but the garden isn’t perhaps as well-groomed as you might be expecting. There are some weeds and rough edges; please bear with us as we do what we can as soon as we can. You might find that some areas of the garden are closed, such as the Valley Garden and Nelson’s Piece, where it is unsafe to welcome visitors for the moment as they need some additional work to ensure everyones safety.
Exploring the quay and wider estate
If you’re coming to stretch your legs the quay and wider estate are open for you to enjoy. You do not need to book if you are just visiting these areas, but we ask that you park in the car park located on the quay.
Booking your tickets
How to book
To avoid disappointment all visitors to the garden are advised to book a ticket in advance, including members. Entry is free for members, but please bring your membership card for every member with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance. Your entry does not include car parking charges, these are payable on the day at the car park machine.
Please book one ticket per person. Children aged under five do not need a ticket. Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit.
You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.
The time slot is for your arrival time into the garden only. You are welcome to park and enjoy the wider estate earlier if you wish and you can stay for as long as you like. But we ask for all to leave the garden by 5pm.
Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale
We’ll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.
Every Friday we’ll release new bookings for the following week. You can book up to 18 hours before a time slot. You can book your visit below.
Help support key workers
To say thank you to our nation's key workers and all they have done for us, we are encouraging visitors to keep the first and last slots of each day free for key workers to use. While we are unable to 'reserve' these slots exclusively for key workers, we hope you will join us in thanking them by leaving these times free. If you or someone in your group are a key worker, please take the opportunity to book these early and late time slots.