- Arriving at Clovelly on the road from
Bideford you pass along the summit of a ridge sufficiently high to command a succession of extensive views with the sea away on the right, and on the left the church towers of Parkham and Buckland Brewer.
- The entrance to the famous Hobby Drive is passed before the steep descent to
Clovelly begins. Cars stop on level ground, where an extensive parking-place has been constructed.
Clovelly has only one street, a winding path culminating in a series of wide cobble-paved steps
"Clovelly, a village like a waterfall,” as Edward Capern called it, has been truly described as a place unlike any other in the kingdom, and this is the secret of its popularity with many visitors. The one street is often so crowded with visitors as to resemble a queue awaiting entrance at a theatre.
- Looking down, a narrow torrent of flower-decked cottages is seen, no two exactly alike, either in design or colouring. Flowers bloom everywhere. Giant fuchsias, almost wild, quite cover the fronts of some of the tiny cottages, and the air is so mild that later than at almost any other place in Devon may be seen in flower honeysuckle, hydrangeas,
jasmine, camellia, japonica, and rhododendrons.
Clovelly remains a vibrant community. which enjoys a way of life
that visitors can but envy. The only forms of transport you will see
at Clovelly are sledges and donkeys.
There is much to see and do - an audio-visual film at the award
wining Visitors Centre, shops, traditional craft workshops, the
Charles Kingsley museum author of ‘Westward Ho!’ and ‘Water Babies’,
who spent part of his childhood here - a cottage replicating the
life of a fishing family in the 19th century, a Victorian kitchen
garden at Clovelly Court, the manor house, and much more.
The view from the coast path above Clovelly Harbour is dramatic
that's one of the reasons why this village is so unique
People have lived in Clovelly village since the Iron Age, but the
Saxons named it “Cleave Leigh”, old English for ‘cleft in the
Clovelly is part of a private estate, once owned by the wife of
William the Conqueror and listed in the Doomsday Book, and has been
in the ownership of but three families
These white cottages with lichen-covered slate roofs, clings to each
side of the cliff. The street ( paved with cobbles hauled up from
the shore) is traffic free, it meanders steeply in a series of
terraces to a tiny fishing port, once famous for its herring
catches, and Its ancient quay.
The car park is at the entrance to the village. It is then a 20
minute steep climb down through the cobbled street of the
There is a small steeply shelved beach by the old
harbour with a little sand by the pier, but mostly pebble and rock.
There no beach amenities but nearby can be found public toilets, a
museum, snacks, a small hotel and pub. (see picture below)
You can also take a boat trip along the dramatic coastline or to
Lundy Island. Alternatively, enjoy the magnificent views from a cliff
top walk along ‘Hobby Drive’ or West towards ‘Gallantry Bower’.
For those who do not want to walk back up, there is a fee paying Land
Rover service for much of the year to return you to the top of the
- Local towns and villages to visit..
- Great Torrington