Daily Canoe Trips

If you are looking for a truly relaxing way to enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife that the Tamar Valley has to offer, then there is simply no better way to do it than with a Canoe Tamar safari.

Our daily canoe trips all start and finish from Cotehele Quay and because the river Tamar is the boundary between two counties you will be canoeing in Devon and canoeing in Cornwall!

Canoe tamar treesurfers tamar trails centre river tamar canoeing

Availability of the journeys varies according to the daily tide times. Check out our timetable to see the times of trips for 2023

Cotehele to Harewood and back

The river Tamar divides Cornwall and Devon. The canoe trip  starts from Cotehele Quay which is about 20 mins from Plymouth. You will be on the water between two and two and a half hours and we will take a picnic break at our private river side wild meadow.

Cotehele Quay is part of the National Trust property based around Cotehele House, Cornwall. The Shamrock, a fully restored Tamar barge is moored there. There are tearooms in the Edgcombe Arms on the quay and delicious local organic ice cream for sale.

On our canoe trip you will paddle past the steep woodlands of the Cotehele estate and the chapel built by Sir Richard Edgcumbe to mark his escape from the Roundheads. A sharp bend in the river take us past Danescombe House, built for a mine captain and once a hotel. Boatyards and moorings bring us to the famous Calstock viaduct completed in 1907 which we paddle underneath. The viaduct is still in use by the Tamar Valley rail link from Gunnislake to Plymouth, and our halt at the village.

The river then winds it way up past Okel Tor Quay on the Cornwall side and Gawton Quay on the Devon side of the river, once part of a large thriving copper industry with ships taking the ore from the 19th century mines along the valley. There is evidence of the mining activity all the way, with ruins, chimneys and disused small quays.

Our destination point on the river can vary depending on the weather and enthusiasm of the paddlers! But often we will get as far as, the affectionately known “Pirate Ship”…once a grand little boat that moored along the river, now the bones lay submerged with the mast still standing proud above the water.

Our instructors will happily talk to you about the history and your surroundings on the trip and will endeavor to answer any questions you have along the way!

See our 2023 Canoe Trip Timetable >


£36 for adults and £26 for under 18’s, with under 5’s going free.

Who can join in?

Everyone is welcome!

Age 3 years upwards, there is no upper age limit, but there is an upper weight limit 127kgs/20 stone.

You may be coming with a friend or as part of a group or family but unfortunately you cannot book a canoe trip as one person, you will need a minimum of two people.

Well behaved dogs are very welcome too!

Canoe tamar trip family outdoor activities treesurfers

Our traditional style Canadian canoes are large enough to take up to three adults and are very safe and stable. Even if you have never been in a canoe before you will quickly find that they are easy to paddle and that you can keep dry and comfortable.

You do not need to be particularly fit or energetic as we travel with the tide. Our trips are suitable for all ages and stages of life. You will need to be able to manage a paddle on one side of the boat and we can help less agile people in and out of the canoes safely. You do not need to be able to swim.

Read our Guide to Exploring the River Tamar here.

What is provided?

We will supply every customer with a suitable Buoyancy Aid & Paddle.

We also have a water tight container to store your valuables that we take on the trip with us! You can take your camera  if you feel comfortable to do so, and you are welcome to store that in our container. One of your instructors is likely to take some photos during the trip so remember to ask them where to see them afterwards!

The Flipflops and Wellies team (aka family activity blogger Clare and her family) joined us on a trip this summer, read her article about their experience here.