Clovelly Travel Guide

  • "twisting here and there"
    by johngayton
  • Day-trippers on a quiet day!
    Day-trippers on a quiet day!
    by johngayton
  • The Snug Awaiting The Day-trippers Going Home!
    The Snug Awaiting The Day-trippers Going...
    by johngayton

Clovelly Highlights

  • Pro
    bugalugs profile photo

    bugalugs says…

     Beautiful village with breathtaking views 

  • Con
    johngayton profile photo

    johngayton says…

     Too Many Day-trippers 

  • In a nutshell
    Kettleman profile photo

    Kettleman says…

     Beautiful and peaceful. 

Clovelly Things to Do

  • Starting at the Beginning - The Visitor...

    Clovelly's modern visitor centre, modelled on a traditional Devon long barn, provides an excellent introduction to the village and its history through a 20 minute audio-visual film. The film also features interviews with local residents and gives one an overview of the village to enhance your visit.As well as the film the visitor centre also hosts...

  • Taking In The Views - Mount Pleasant

    Before entering the village proper there is small park at the top of the hill, Mount Pleasant, which is known locally as the Peace Park. This is a pleasant spot to sit awhile on a sunny day and enjoy the breathtaking view over Bideford Bay. Mount Pleasant is one of the few parts of the village not privately owned, having been gifted to The National...

  • Providence House - The Fisherman's...

    Whilst the village as a whole is a museum piece the local residents would be a bit miffed if visitors were to traipse through their homes and so two of the cottages have been developed as showpieces and open to all. The first of these is Providence House, known as The Fisherman's Cottage.This shows how a local fisherman and his family lived in the...

  • The Kingsley Museum

    The second of the village's showpieces is The Kingsley Museum. Charles Kingsley was a Victorian author and clergyman, best known for his children's novel "The Water Babies" and his locally-based historical novel, "Westward Ho!". Kingsley was born in Devon and spent his childhood years here in Clovelly.The Kingsley Musem is a pleasantly informative...

  • The Look Out

    If you are walking up the High Street you'll find plenty of benches on route to stop for a breather. The Look Out is the first of these and is where the villagers would sit watching for the fishermen's safe return. This offers a splendid panorama over the bay and if you are up early makes for a great vantage point to watch the dawn rise over...

  • "(Sittin' on) The dock of the Bay"

    "I'm sittin' on the dock of the bayWatching the tide roll awayOoo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bayWastin' time..."Yep, this is definitely Clovelly's most popular "Thing to Do", especially when the sun's out and more especially with a beer in your hand from The Red Lion!Clovelly was once a bustling fishing village and the present day quay...

  • The Waterfall and Merlin's Cave

    Clovelly's harbour is abutted both to the east and west by its pebbled beach. From the harbour, to the east, you can see the waterfall about half-a-mile away which makes for a pleasant, though quite strenuous, wander as you negotiate the larger pebbles. Behind the waterfall is a cave which local legend has it was Merlin's (of Arthurian fame) either...

  • And Of Course Don't Forget Your Camera!

    The whole village, its quay and harbour and its stunning location all make it incredibly photogenic and whether you are just taking a few snaps for your family holiday albums or even looking for those "arty" shots you'll certainly find plenty of opportunity to get the camera out. Best you also pack a spare battery as well!!

  • Last, But Definitely Not Least - Go For...

    There are two hostelries in the village, the New Inn and the Red Lion, the New Inn being the one in the middle whilst the Red Lion is down by the harbour. Both are pretty decent pubs, though they can get insanely busy at times during the season. The New Inn is usually just a stopping point (either up or down) but the Red Lion is a destination in...

  • Stroll the Cobbled Street.......

    and notice the differing architectural styles, and be aware of various local 'attractions'........Each cottage down the village street has its distinctive identity. Some are half-timbered in the Tudor style, others faced in brick and some with stone from the beach. One particular cottage is decorated with wood carvings brought back from...


    Clovelly was a childhood home of the Victorian author and social reformer, Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875) and the place which inspired him to write his enduring children's classic, ‘The Water Babies’. Until Kingsley’s work in the mid 19th century and references from Charles Dickens, Clovelly remained almost unknown. In addition...


    The workshop is on the way to the centre of the village, so it is accessible WITHOUT making the trek down the cobbled street, but there is an additional small fee. It is wheelchair accessible.We did not have time to include this in our afternoon in the village, so this info is taken from the website, which includes photos. The POTTERY Workshop: On...


    again, one must walk down the long cobbled street to the harbour/beach area to see this attraction.Named after a fisherman’s widow, the oldest cottage at Clovelly has one of the best views looking right across the harbour.She would watch her husband fishing in the bay from an upper window. One day, a squall blew up and Kate watched as her husband...

  • Walk Along the QUAY

    if one is able and has the time, it is very worthwhile to make the trek via the cobbled street to the bottom of the village to the beach harbour and quay area, where you can climb up for a different perspective!


    your entrance fee to the village includes touring through a 1930s cottage. It makes one think that the people were much smaller then, with the low ceilings and small spaces; again I wish I had taken more photos.

  • Clovelly Walks

    Clovelly is located on the North Devon section of The South West Coastal Path about midway between the town of Bideford and the craggy rocks of Hartland Point, and with its two hosterlies, makes it an ideal place for an overnight stop for walkers of this section. In addition to the coastal path there is also a short section of relatively easy...

  • Clovelly's Donkeys

    Until the late 1900's donkeys used to be the main means of transporting goods and refuse up and down the cobbled High Street. This practice has now been discontinued (the donkeys having been replaced by strapping lads) and the donkeys retired. The donkeys are still here though and their stables and paddock are adjacent to the car park and are...

  • Walking down to the harbour

    There is no excuse- no visit to this part of the north Devon coast is complete without at least a cursory visit to Clovelly, and the best way to get to know the ancient cobbled and rather steep streets of this beautiful village, is to take a stroll from the top of the village right the way to the bottom and back, unless you're lucky enough to get a...

  • The Donkeys

    The donkeys that used to lug goods up and down the steep street of the village still live here, although they dont have to carry heavy burdens anymore. The donkeys dfo still carry things up and down the steep hill for the residents who live there but I dont they they carry the burdens they used to. They do however carry children wanting donkey...

  • Walks

    There are coastal paths at the top of the 400 foot cliffs. From the visitors centre you can go left to Gallantry Bower or right to Hobby Drive.

  • waterfall

    This waterfall on the beach of clovelly apparently provides residents with water for their gardens. This waterfall is just along from the lifeboat house. However as I had fallen the day before entering a church (and no I had not been drinking - lol) my ankle wasnt really up to it. However after Wayne saying I would be fine, I give it a go. You...


Clovelly Hotels

Clovelly Restaurants

  • For Your Traditional Devon Cream Tea!

    This is the place for your light lunch or snack here in the village if you're not tempted by either of the pub's offerings. This is a perfect old-fashioned "Tea-room" with frilly lace tablecloths in pleasantly atmospheric surroundings and with the added bonus of a sunny courtyard overlooking the bay. But please don't sit on the dry-stone pebbled...

  • As Timeless as the Village Itself!

    The Hoops Inn isn't actually in the village of Clovelly but rather at Horn's Cross a couple of miles to the East on the main Atlantic Highway but it is close enough to merit inclusion here on this page. Not only is it close enough to merit inclusion but is also one of my favourite eating establishments in the whole world and this is as good a place...

  • Clovelly Hotels

    1 Hotels in Clovelly

Clovelly Transportation

  • Getting Down Is The Easy Bit!

    Clovelly is a totally car free village and to get up and down the High Street you have no option but to walk. The High Street is only about 800 metres in length but drops 400 metres in elevation over that length and so even walking down requires a bit of careful footwork on the sometimes slippery pebble cobbling. Walking up however requires a...

  • The 319 Bus

    The village of Clovelly is situated on the western curve of Bideford Bay here in North Devon and is about a mile or so off the main A39 road (known locally as The Atlantic Highway) with the junction being at Clovelly Cross.To get to the village by public transport there is a 4 times a day bus service from Barnstaple, run by Stagecoach - the 319...

  • Take the Landrover!!!!

    If you are a little infirm or easily knackered, walk down and see the main street and the two chapels, then get the landrover back from behind the pub.I didn't take that option, but I some older people did and it was £2.20 per head.... well worth it.


Clovelly Shopping

  • The Perfect Village Shop

    Whilst Clovelly comes across very much a tourist village for those that merely come here for a day-trip it is in fact a community in its own right and as such does need its local shop. The village Post Office certainly fulfills that. Here you can pick up your morning paper on the way to work, your daily bread, plus all the usual necessities of life...

  • Not just donkeys

    All sorts of things in this little gift shop which is about half way down the hill on the right hand side. And no they dont sell donkeys otherwise I would have bought one :-))

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Clovelly Warnings and Dangers

  • Wear Sensible Shoes!

    Clovelly's High Street drops 400 metres in elevation over the course of it's 800 metre length - which is a 50% gradient! The street itself is cobbled using pebbles from the beach below, which the sea had spent millenia smoothing before being used in the street's construction. This combination of smooth pebbles and the steep gradient make it...

  • Dont overdo it!

    Whilst I was sitting on the quay wall waiting for my husband to bring my drink out I heard this kerfuffle and saw these four men carrying a lady on a chair!!! They were bringing her down the steps to the quay and through the archway at the side of the Red Lion. Later we saw it again. Whether these men work for the village and that is their job I...

  • Very Steep!!!!!

    When you pay your entrance fee in the visitors centre you are told that if you cannot walk back up the hill to the car park you can pay £2 for a lift back. Behind the Red Lion Hotel on the Quay there is a road which certain vehicles can get up and here is a Land Rover which takes people back up to the car park. Someone in front of us wanted to get...


Clovelly Favorites

  • Admission Charges (and how to avoid...

    Because the village as a whole is effectively a museum-piece all the repairs and maintenance are carried out to very strict criteria using only traditional materials which require skilled crafts people. Thus the village is quite expensive to upkeep and visitors are charged an admission fee which goes towards this upkeep.The admission fee (currently...

  • The Harbour/Breakwater

    The village is actually mentioned in the Doomsday Book around 1100 AD. It was a George Carys who actually had the breakwater built around the late 1500's. He was a lawyer and a Sherrif pf Devon. His family/descendants lived here until the Hamlyn's. At the top further along from the tourist information is Clovelly Court built by Zachery Hamlyn in...

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Explore Deeper into Clovelly
Crazy Kate's Cottage
Things to Do
Lifeboat House
Things to Do
Oberammergau Cottage
Things to Do
Kingsley Museum
Things to Do
Fisherman's Cottage
Things to Do
St Peter's Chapel
Things to Do
Methodist Chapel
Things to Do
Mount Pleasant
Things to Do
The Visitors Centre
Things to Do
Map of Clovelly

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