Cotehele and Burcombe Valley Walk

Walking trail

Discover wildlife-rich woods, meadows and orchards as you explore a lesser known corner of the Cotehele estate, the Burcombe Valley, land recently taken back under direct management by the National Trust.

Before you start:

Bring your walking boots for this trail. There are moderate to steep climbs in a couple of places, with some uneven areas underfoot. There are also two stiles along this route.

A view of Cotehele Quay, taken from Bohetherick Woods

Map

Map of Cotehele and Burcombe Valley walk

Start:

Cotehele Quay car park

1

Start your walk at the Edgcumbe tea room. Walk along the historic quay, past the Discovery Centre and join the road. Follow the road as it takes you beside reedbeds and over a stone bridge above the Morden stream.

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A view across the reedbeds at Cotehele Quay, demonstrating new growth in Spring 2020.

2

When you reach the junction, turn left and follow the road sign to St Dominick, taking extra care on the road. After about 20m, take the public footpath on your left, this leads you down to Dung Quay. Take in the view across the reedbeds to Cotehele Quay and then follow the path around the lime kilns and back up to the road. Cross over the road and enter the woods opposite, joining the St Dominica trail.

3

Continue along the woodland ride for a few minutes until you come to a junction with a sharp left-hand fork. Take this turning and leave the St Dominica trail for a gradual uphill path back on yourself. Continue along this path until you reach a wooden fence and gate. Walk through the gate to emerge from Bohetherick Wood onto a meadow with fabulous views across the Tamar.

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4

Follow the along the top of the meadow. In summer the grass is alive with meadow brown butterflies and bees. The hedge on your right is a wonderful nectar source for insects and contains a mixture of trees, such as, hazel, dog rose and sycamore.

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A healthy hedge made up of many different shrubs and bursting with wildlife

5

After about 20m, you will come to a metal gate which takes you down to shady path back to the lane. You will emerge beside a grand, Victorian cottage called Bohetherick Lodge, a grade II listed building. Turn right and, taking care on the lane, continue uphill into the village of Bohetherick.

6

Take the first left you come to in the village and walk down the narrow lane into West Bohetherick. Continue along this lane past the row of cottages as it dips gently downhill and views across the Tamar Valley open up on your left. Stay on this lane for another 500m until it ends at a junction. Ignoring both turnings, cross the road and walk through the gate opposite, joining the St Dominica trail's alternative route.

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A Cornish hedge in its height of summer bloom in the village of West Bohetherick on the Cotehele Estate.

7

Continue along the path, keeping the hedge and polytunnels to your left. Follow the hedge all the way to the end of the field where a stile will take you onto another field. Once again, keep the hedge to your left and head down the hill towards a large white cottage with two chimneys.

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8

As you approach the bottom of the hill, look for the gap in the hedges where another stile will take you onto a narrow path between hazel trees. Follow this path over a small stream down to the lane. Take care as this path is uneven and can become muddy and slippery in wet weather.

9

Turn left and walk briefly along the lane until you reach the way marker signalling a path through a wooden gate on your right. Follow this path uphill through the woodland ride, past orchards on your left and open meadows to your right. Listen out for the gurgling stream which this path follows.

10

Eventually this path leads to a wooden footbridge over the stream. Cross the bridge, turn left and follow the path until you come to a kissing gate. Head through the kissing gate and then take the narrow track to your right, walking uphill between the two hedges.

11

Follow this path until it ends at the top of the hill beside a large oak tree. Take a moment to catch your breath and soak in the views across the Burcombe valley. On a clear day you can just about make out the Tamar Bridge to the east. Then join the lane and turn left, continuing along St Dominica trail into the village of Burraton.

12

Follow this lane through the village until you come to a crossroads. Cross the road and walk up the lane directly opposite. This takes you uphill past a large grey house on your right and then a row of bungalows on your left. When you reach the next junction, turn right and walk down the lane between fields on your right and a row of houses on your left.

13

After about 50 metres, you will reach an oak tree and a finger post in the middle of a junction. This is Hunter's Oak. Ignore the signs to Bohetherick and Cotehele and instead take the narrow lane down the hill to your left.

14

Follow this lane until another track emerges on your right beside a group of large oak trees. Take this path and follow it further downhill where it narrows and eventually re-enters Bohetherick Woods. Take care as this path is uneven and can become slippery in wet weather.

15

Follow this path until it splits. Take the left fork, leaving the St Dominica trail for a steep path down to Cotehele Mill. Take care as this uneven path can be slippy at times.

16

This path emerges just above the Mill where you may wish to pause, look around the buildings and learn about the history of milling at Cotehele and in the Morden Valley. Access the Mill by turning right at the road and taking the first left you come to.

17

From the Mill, walk across the meadow opposite and cross the bridge over the Morden stream. Turn right and take the woodland path back to Cotehele Quay, keeping the stream to your right.

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The dappled path between the quay and the mill at Cotehele being protected by ash trees that have been felled due to ash dieback.

18

After about 600 metres you will emerge beside the stone bridge that you crossed at the beginning of the walk. Continue down the road, following the sign to Cotehele Quay where your walk ends.

End:

Cotehele Quay car park

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Cotehele and Burcombe Valley Walk

How to get here

Address
Cotehele Quay car park, Cotehele, St Dominick, PL12 6TA, Cornwall
By train

Take the Tamar Valley Line from Plymouth to Calstock station. From there it's a lovely 1½-mile walk, signposted from the station, along the River Tamar and up a steep hill through the woods. Follow the signs. Bring a torch for late afternoons in the winter months.

By road

From Plymouth/Callington, follow the A388 towards St Mellion. At the Vernigo Roundabout (for the St Mellion Resort) take the exit towards St Dominick. Follow the brown signs through the villages of St Dominick and Bohetherick where you will then arrive at Cotehele Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the road to arrive at the lower car park at Cotehele Quay or drive up through a white gate for the upper car park near the house and garden.

From Tavistock, follow the A390 through the village of Gunnislake. Continue on the main road pass the Co-op petrol station on your left hand side. Turn left after you see the brown sign at St Ann's Chapel and then continue to follow the brown signs. We recommend entering Cotehele via the A390 if you are in a large vehicle.

Cotehele and Burcombe Valley Walk

Facilities and access

  • The Edgcumbe Tea-room on Cotehele Quay for refreshments (take away only)
  • The Barn Restaurant near Cotehele house for refreshments, snacks and meals.
  • Toilets available on Cotehele Quay and by Visitor Reception near Cotehele House