Clovelly, Bideford, Devon
When you’re on your group holidays in North Devon you should visit the historic fishing village of Clovelly because there isn’t anything else like it in the UK, and possibly in the world. The village has been privately owned since Elizabethan times and there is no vehicle access; admission is by ticket from the Visitor Centre at the top of the hill. What? We hear you cry! You have to pay to see a village? Well, yes, you do because the tourists flock here in the summer and maintaining things to suitable standards isn’t cheap by any means so monies raised from entry fees are put to very good use.
The cobbled main street is lined with centuries old flower hung cottages that seem to almost tumble down to the 14th century quay and the picturesque harbour. Browse the little shops, galleries and museums, stop for a bite to eat in one of the inns or restaurants, wander along the beach to see the waterfall and behind it the cave where they say Merlin the magician was born. Amble up through the woods along Hobby Drive, take a chartered fishing boat out to sea and catch mackerel for your supper, sign up for one the workshops in the craft centre and try your hand at soap making, candle making, rag rugging or pot making.
One of the things Clovelly is most famous for the donkeys who were a very important part of working life here in times gone by. Every day they carried heavy baskets and pulled sledges up the hill from the harbour to the carrier’s carts. These days they live contentedly in their stables at the Visitor Centre where you can go and say hello to them, and in the summer, they come out to give rides to younger children.
Also at the top of the hill is Clovelly Court Gardens, well worth a visit if you have time and included on your admission ticket to the village. Worth remembering is that the cobbled street isn’t the easiest for buggies and prams so a child carrier or sling would be a better idea. The village is open every day except Christmas from 9.30pm-6..30pm in the summer and from 10.00am-4.00pm in the winter.
T: 01237 431781 All information correct at the time of writing