Cotehele House and Quay
Cotehele House, with its gardens and grounds, and Cotehele Quay, make a great day out when you stay with us at The Bedford Hotel in Tavistock.
Cotehele is a National Trust estate in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, just 20 minutes drive from The Bedford Hotel (ask us the way!).
Cotehele House, a tudor manor, was the ancestral home to the Edgcumbe family. Inside you’ll find historic and atmospheric rooms packed with antique furniture, tapestries, arms and armour. And outside there are stunning formal gardens which befit the grandeur of this beautiful property.
As much as we like the beautiful and historic house itself, we think the real highlight of Cotehele is the many acres of grounds which surround it, and the miles of walks which you can enjoy.
Cotehele is perched on the steep banks of the River Tamar, which forms the border between Devon and Cornwall, so be prepared for a few “ups and downs”! If you tire of walking, there is a shuttle bus which connects Cotehele House with Cotehele Quay during the busier months.
The large apple orchards and the beautiful formal pond to the rear of the house are splendid, particularly in the early Spring (where you’ll find dense drifts of daffodils) and in late Summer (when the apple trees are laden with fruits).
From Cotehele House, it’s a beautiful stroll through the seemingly sub-tropical and wild gardens down to Cotehele Quay, where you will find the restored sailing barge “Shamrock” moored.
The broad and grassy river banks at Cotehele Quay are the perfect spot for a picnic on a nice day (and if you are staying at The Bedford Hotel, we can prepare a packed lunch for you).
The River Tamar is tidal at this point, and on a nice day, and when the tide is high, it’s a joy to watch yachts and pleasure boats passing Cotehele Quay, usually on their way to and from Plymouth which is downstream from Cotehele.
From Cotehele Quay, there is the most beautiful woodland walk along the Morden Valley to the nearby Cotehele Mill which has been beautifully restored by the National Trust.
As you would expect from the National Trust, there are nice places to enjoy a coffee or a spot of lunch – both at Cotehele House and at Cotehele Quay. The local ice-cream is a lovely treat (though perhaps not quite as good as the home-made ice-cream at The Bedford Hotel!) – and at the house you will find a small but very thoughtfully-stocked shop selling local Devon gifts, tasty local treats, and plants to take home.
If you are looking for a longer walk, we can highly recommend the walk from Cotehele Quay, upstream on the banks of the River Tamar and through the hamlet of Danescombe to the bustling and attractive riverside village of Calstock.
You’ll find all the walks at Cotehele very clearly signed (and the friendly and knowledgeable staff and volunteers are always very willing and able to help).
If you are visiting in the run-up to Christmas, the highlight is the giant swag which is made each year and hung in the grand entrance hall to the house, made from dried flowers, leaves and berries from the estate.
For more information on Cotehele House, including opening times, admission fees and details of events, visit the National Trust website.
The postcode for Cotehele House, for your SatNav, is PL12 6TA.