Clovelly – at the heart of your North Devon holiday
Imagine life without cars. In Clovelly you can. Come along to this picturesque village, one of Devon’s major tourist attractions, and you’ll enjoy a unique experience of a bygone age, a time when people lived a more tranquil way of life. No vehicles are allowed down the steep cobbled street, and you leave your car at the top of the hill by the Clovelly Visitor Centre.
The award-winning Visitor Centre is where you begin your tour of the village. It’s modelled on a traditional Devon long barn, and the interior is light and spacious. You’ll find a popular café restaurant where you can enjoy a cappuccino and a tempting cake, and you can sit out on the terrace and savour the fresh sea air and amazing views of the North Devon coast and Bideford Bay.
You’ll find souvenir shops where you can buy a range of gifts for friends and family, including bargain-priced books, jewellery, and delicious home-made fudge.
Before you set off down the street, we recommend that you make the most of your visit by watching the 20-minute audio-visual film telling the village’s fascinating history. Visitors tell us that it adds hugely to the enjoyment of their visit.
Suspended from the Visitor Centre ceiling you’ll see a fishing boat unique to Clovelly. The ‘Picarooner’, with its shallow draft, rounded bilges and high transom, could get out to sea faster and return earlier on the tide, stealing a march on bigger boats in their pursuit of Clovelly’s tasty herrings, the ‘Silver Darlings’.
From the Centre you pass craft workshops and the donkey stables, and then down the cobbles into the village. Part way down stop off at the New Inn for a tasty lunch or hold on and enjoy one at the Red Lion on the quay.
The fee that you pay at the Visitor Centre covers parking, entrance to this privately owned village, admission to the audio-visual show and the two museums, Fisherman's Cottage and the Kingsley Museum and Clovelly Court Gardens. Charles Kingsley, Victorian author of ‘The Water Babies’, lived in the village.
Do try to manage the steep village street down, but if you have doubts, ask at the desk and book a seat in the Land Rover that will carry you down to the harbour and back.
A day out or short break at Clovelly is always hugely enjoyable. Do come along and see what the village has to offer for the perfect family day out.