Danescombe Valley Walk

Walking trail

This walk starts at Cotehele Quay and leads you through the fantastic Danescombe Valley to take in buildings from the rich mining history of this world heritage site.

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.

Ruins of Danescombe Sawmill


Map of Danescombe Valley walk at Cotehele


Cotehele Quay car park


Start your walk at the Cotehele Quay car park. Take the path above the car park which leads into the woods. Continue along this trail keeping the fields on your right and the woodland on your left.

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The River Tamar and the Cotehele quay field


Continue along this path. You will walk past the Chapel-in-the-Wood on your right, and below the Valley Garden until you pass the viewpoint which looks over toward Calstock viaduct.


Follow the path up the steep slope from the viewpoint until you reach a junction. Turn right and take the route down the hill towards Calstock.


At the bottom of the hill you will reach another junction. Turn left here and continue along the road, where you walk past the ruins of Danescombe sawmill. Keep going until you reach a group of cottages.

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Road alongside the ruins of Danescombe Sawmill


At the cottages, cross over the bridge and continue along the track ahead of you, keeping the stream on your left all the way through the woodland until you reach a road.

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The exterior of Engine Cottage near Danescombe Cottage, Calstock, Cornwall


From this point you can continue to follow the route or take a detour to visit the Danescombe papermill ruin. To continue to follow the route, turn left when you reach the road and then almost immediately take the next left turning back onto a track and through the gate.


To visit the ruin, walk down the road and take the track on the right which then forks. Take the track on the immediate right of Danescombe cottage. Keep the stream on your right and follow the track a short distance to the ruin. You will need to return to the road to continue the route back to Cotehele.

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Follow the track across the field and re-enter the woodland through a gate at the far end. It can be muddy underfoot here. Continue along the route, looking out for chimneys visible through the treeline. Stay on the main path here, ignoring any off shooting tracks.

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Walk down the short, steep slope and you will find yourself back on the path you walked up from the quay. Turn right and follow the path along the edge of the Valley Garden until you reach a courtyard.


To finish the route, walk through the courtyard in front of Cotehele Visitor Reception, and follow the driveway straight down the steep hill ad through the white gate at the bottom. Turn left and walk past the Edgcumbe tea-room to return to Cotehele Quay car park.


Cotehele Quay

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Danescombe Valley Walk

How to get here

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.

Danescombe Valley Walk

Facilities and access

  • The Edgcumbe Tea-room on Cotehele Quay for refreshments (currently closed)
  • The Quay Kiosk on Cotehele Quay for takeaway drinks, food and scooped ice-cream
  • Toilets available on Cotehele Quay and by Visitor Reception near Cotehele House