The Bay Tree Café at the award-winning Visitor Centre is where your Clovelly adventure begins. It is modelled on a traditional Devon long barn. The interior is light and spacious with its cinema and shopping areas. The must-see film shows of the history of the village. There are lots of shops to wander around, and freshly-made Clovelly fudge.
The Café is very popular. You can enjoy a freshly made cappuccino and home-baked goods whilst sitting out on the terrace. Savour the fresh sea air and amazing views of the North Devon coast and Bideford Bay. Looking further out right across the Bristol channel changes the views completely. On a good day you can even see the south coast of Wales! It is the ideal location for a snack, lunch or a Devon cream tea.
This ship on show in the café is an exact copy of the flagship, ‘HMS Victory’, that could be seen patrolling these waters during the 16th and 17th century.
Stefan Krapf of Bavaria, Germany, spent eight years building this model ship. It contains hundreds of miniature sailors and cast iron canons. He donated the ship to Clovelly following its display at Portsmouth. It shows a real passion for detail and a love of local history that just emulates from it.
Looking across, suspended from the Visitor Centre ceiling below, is a replica fishing boat unique to Clovelly. The ‘Picarooner’ (once a Spanish insult meaning ‘a sea robber’), with its shallow draft, rounded bilges and high transom, could get out to sea faster and return earlier on the tide. It therefore had a speed advantage on the bigger boats in their pursuit of Clovelly’s tasty herrings, the ‘Silver Darlings’.
There is also a suspended, sporty, classically styled, fully decked single scull, designed for rowing on open water. Named ‘Clovelly Scull’, its design and creation is from the Rous Family. To learn more about it, just follow this link .