Bohetherick & Cotehele Mill

2¼ miles (3.6km)
1½ hours
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Limekilns, old market gardens, cherry trees and spectacular valley views are enjoyed on this short and undulating walk from Cotehele Quay to the peaceful hamlet of Bohetherick and back via Cotehele Mill.


A short walk when it comes to mileage, but one that’s packed with evidence of the Tamar Valley’s rich industrial and horticultural heritage. Riverside limekilns were used to produce lime (by slowly burning limestone with locally sourced wood) to ‘sweeten’ the acid valley soils. Huge crops of strawberries were grown on the once-wooded slopes, initially fertilised with street sweepings, night soil, offal and fish waste: the delightfully named ‘Devonport Dock Dung’! The walk ascends through old market gardens to Bohetherick, a once-bustling hamlet on the Edgcumbes’ Cotehele estate (in the hands of the National Trust since 1947), before returning to the quay via Cotehele Mill.

Key facts

Start/Finish Cotehele Quay SX 424681, PL12 6TA

2¼ miles (3.6km)
1½ hours
Cotehele Quay car park (pay & display; National Trust members free)
Cotehele Quay


Steady ascent to Bohetherick; gentler descent to Cothele Mill; quiet lanes, woodland and field paths

Public Transport

None available


Under control at all times; on leads in fields

Step Image


Step 1

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From the car park entrance follow signs ahead for the Discovery Centre and Cotehele Mill. Note the huge limekilns, and the Shamrock, an old ketch-rigged Tamar sailing barge, in one of the riverside wharves. She was built in Plymouth in 1899 and carried cargo up and down the river. Head towards the water to round the building housing the Discovery Centre. On reaching the lane turn left, passing the Etherick Lake reedbeds; follow the lane over Cotehele Bridge (built in 1820) to reach a T-junction.
Turn left. The lane bears right on reaching the river; on the left look out for three fenced-off limekiln shafts above the site of Dung Quay, where foul-smelling dung was offloaded from river barges in the late 19th/early 20th century.

Step 2

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About 75 yards after the limekilns turn sharp right on a steeply ascending track (Doneys Lane), passing round a wooden barrier. Head steadily uphill through Bohetherick Wood.

Step 3

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At the first wooden waymark post turn sharp left, uphill, on a broad grassy permissive path which passes above old market gardens (all signs of cultivation have long since disappeared). Pass through a gate and out into the open on East Down, planted with plum trees in the 1900s, and later with daffodils: the view down the Tamar is one of the finest in the valley.
Follow the fenced path along the top edge of the field, and then a track, to reach a road.

Step 4

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Turn right, uphill, through the hamlet of Bohetherick. During the 19th century the settlement was at the heart of the valley’s horticultural industry, which at its peak employed 15,000 people; the houses here were provided for workers on the Cotehele estate. Ignore a lane left – note the ‘VR’ postbox in the wall – then bear right at the next lane junction, signed to St Dominick.

Step 5

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A few paces on, where the lane bears sharp left, turn right along a track (Dymas Town Lane), signed to the parking area for Tremletts Cottages. Pass behind the cottages and continue along a track, under trees. The track bears sharp left, then right, and continues to zigzag down the hillside between hedgebanks, narrowing and becoming rougher in its lower reaches.

Step 6

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Reach a path junction just past a huge veteran oak tree at the top of Bohetherick Wood. For a shorter walk keep ahead, downhill, on Doneys Lane, to pick up the outward route and return to Cotehele Quay. Turn left along the top edge of the wood, below fields; the path drops past a waymark post. At the next waymark post turn right, down a couple of flights of steps; the path levels off.

Step 7

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Cross a stream to find a waymark post (the path ahead starts to ascend gently); here turn right (unsigned), down an embanked path. This is ‘Mill Turning’ – the old road to Cotehele Mill.

Step 8

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Reach a lane via a gate. Turn right, passing above Cotehele Mill (in the 19th/early 20th century also site of a sawmill, producing wooden boxes for local market gardeners). Turn sharp left at the entrance and head towards the complex of 18th- and 19th-century buildings; immediately past artisans’ studios bear right, passing the NT reception. Follow the path across the meadow to find a footbridge over the Morden Stream. Join the broad valley path and head downstream to meet the lane by Cotehele Bridge, then keep straight on to return to Cotehele Quay.