The Visitor Centre at Clovelly
At the heart of your North Devon holiday
The Visitor Centre is the entry to a unique and very special place. Just three familes have owned The Village and Estate down the ages. Imagine life without cars? In Clovelly you can actually experience it.
You can first enjoy a drink, cream tea or lunch, and do a little shopping. There is an amazing selection of shops from fudge makers, jewellers, to soap makers and souvenirs to help you remember your visit.
Park up, come in and before going on down into the village, please make sure you watch the film of the history of this still wonderful working village.
A hand-built model of ‘HMS Victory’ now takes pride of place in the Cafeteria at the Visitor Centre. To find our more you will need to pop in and read all about it.
Visiting this picturesque village is one of Devon’s major attractions. You’ll enjoy a unique experience of a bygone age; a time when people lived a more tranquil way of life.
The award-winning Visitor Centre is where you begin your tour of the village.
It is 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 with a tempting cake, or lunch. Sit out on the terrace and savour the fresh sea air and amazing views across the North Devon coast and Bideford Bay.
You’ll find souvenir shops where you can buy a range of gifts for yourself, 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 film show relating the fascinating history of the village. Visitors tell us that it adds hugely to their enjoyment when visiting the village.
Suspended from the Visitor Centre ceiling you’ll see a fishing boat unique to Clovelly and a faithful replica. 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 thus stole a march on the bigger boats in their pursuit of Clovelly’s tasty herrings, the ‘Silver Darlings’.
On leaving the Visitor Centre, do visit the craft workshops and donkey stables in the Lower Yard before walking down the cobbles to the village. Stop off half-way down at the New Inn for a tasty cream tea or lunch or just continue to 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 film show, two museums – Fisherman’s Cottage and Kingsley Museum – and also Clovelly Court Gardens at the top of the village. Charles Kingsley, Victorian author of ‘The Water Babies’, lived in this village. If you are unable to walk down the steep village street, ask the Visitor Centre reception to book a seat in the Land Rover. It will carry you down to the harbour and back for a smaller fee.
A half day out or a short break at Clovelly is always hugely enjoyable and the perfect family day out.