A trip around North Devon: Clovelly

I realised its been a while since I last posted, but so much seems to have happened in that month I’m not sure where to begin.

I thought I’d start with a review of our jaunt down to the North Devon coast over the Easter weekend (I’m actually eating an Easter Egg whilst I write this as we have some left over!) We went with a couple of friends and decided to be based near Clovelly; none of us had been there before but after a quick google search and seeing so many pretty pictures of it we simply had to visit.

Clovelly is a small fishing village situated on private land. The main high street is pedestrianised, with good reason; Clovelly is incredibly steep and has narrow cobbled streets. The villagers use trolleys and crates on wheels to transport goods up and down the village. In years gone by, the villagers used the same crates to carry fish up from the harbour.

& it is so quaint!

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Follow the cobbles down and you will make your way past a pub called the Up and Along Bar. It sounds quirky, but its not much to write home about – just a standard pub for a drink.

Carry on a bit further and you’ll reach the only cafe in Clovelly serving Devonshire cream tea. We sat out the back overlooking the bay and it was quite glorious; beautiful sunshine with an amazing view to boot. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The scones and jam were lovely too.

From here the road becomes steeper and more windy as you descend to the bay. If you are slightly infirm or if it was wet, I imagine the cobbles would be quite treacherous. Otherwise its certainly a talking point (and gasps of air on the way back up!)

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This photo shows how steep the path becomes

But eventually you will come down to the bay. There is a very popular pub to the one side and stunning views out over the sea to the other. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The tide was out when we were there which made it even better; you could see the ropes and moorings and could almost feel how dangerous it would have been to be in a tiny fishing boat near all the rocks. As we were enjoying a pint a couple of canoes made their way in and were very careful on the approach.

I love the sea; blue, grey, calm or thunderous, in shorts or in a coat, there is nothing like looking out onto it.

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If you head out across the beach after about half a mile you will reach a small waterfall trickling over the top of the cliff. Its worth a wander on a warm day though do be careful on the rocks! Most were large and would rock back and forth as you stood on them. I grazed my ankle on a good couple of occasions.

Although most of the houses are guesthouses or holiday homes, the villagers really pull together to make the village pretty. There were so many pot plants, colourfully-painted homes and trinkets outside that made me smile as we walked along.

My top tips for visiting Clovelly:

  1. You have to pay a fee (£7 each) to go into the village. This is paid in the gift shop where you park your car. However, if you approach on foot via a footpath to the east (on the right-hand side as you look down to the village), then you avoid the toll altogether! Your tickets are not checked once in the village, so if you don’t need to travel by car perhaps consider walking? However, I think some of the money raised does go toward village activities so if you are good person you may want to pay the fee.
  2. You only need half a day in Clovelly and that includes stopping for cream tea, fudge, and a drink or three. There are only 2 pubs and 1 cafe plus a handful of shops so there is not a lot to do. The village is picturesque and that it what is so attractive about it. I would definitely recommend the cream tea at the cafe half way down and a Devonshire pasty (not to be confused with a Cornish pasty or you’ll get a slap from a resident)
  3. If it is a sunny day take a picnic and eat on the beach; you will really make the most of the village and its scenery.
  4. Wear good footwear! Trainers or the like, but not flip flops as you probably will slip and fall.

Clovelly was beautiful and I’m glad we visited. We’ve been to many places in both Cornwall and Devon though I’ve realised one main difference between the neighbouring counties:

Cornwall is quaint. Most of the towns and villages are geared towards tourism and have their own prettiness and quirkiness about them. I get the feeling Devon is either ‘new’ to tourism or is going for the more rugged look. Whilst the landscape is stunning, most of the towns and villages, other than Clovelly, are quite simple and don’t have that twee, tourist-pulling attractiveness about them. I’m sure people from Devon will be up in arms about this comment, but it is only my opinion.

I will continue to visit Devon!

 

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