On The Countrywide Great Tour Route: Things to do in Clovelly

The quiet and quaint village of Clovelly

The quiet and quaint village of Clovelly - Credit: Archant

The Countrywide Great Tour will soon with us here in Devon, we take a look at the unique and picturesque village of Clovelly.

Stage 52- Clovelly to Porlock

Stage 52- Clovelly to Porlock - Credit: Archant

On Sunday the 23rd of August The Countrywide Great Tour will embark on their segment from Padstow to Clovelly. An estimated 250 people will be taking part in this section of the ride.

Sitting on the coast of North Devon, this quaint and quirky town has a wealth of history. It has been privately owned for over 800 years and has been associated with just three families since the 13th century. Because the village is part of a privately-owned estate, there is an entrance fee that includes parking.

Clovelly from the air

Clovelly from the air - Credit: Archant

As you walk down through the traffic-free village towards the port you really get sense of history. The harbour dates back to the 16th century when lawyer, George Cary, built the stone harbour which used to be a haven for the many herring fishing boats. Although there are no longer quite so many fishing boats, Clovelly is still very much a living and working place with holiday homes being banned on the main strip.

The main strip is a very steep cobbled pathway made from pebbles collected from the Clovelly beach so the ground is rather uneven. Because of this it is advised that visitors should wear sensible footwear, however there is a land rover service which runs from the top of the hill.

Cyclists descending the steep slope

Cyclists descending the steep slope - Credit: Archant

Once you’ve had a walk along the harbour and if you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find The Red Lion Hotel. They have a restaurant upstairs and a pub menu downstairs, both offering locally sourced produce. They also have a Devon Wine List with all of their Devon still wines priced at £15 a bottle.

If you would prefer to tackle the walk back up the steep path before you eat, then The New Inn sits halfway up the slope and offers home cooking at its best. Their restaurant menu showcases the very best of local, fresh seafood like their Clovelly lobster. You can also dine in the bar and choose from a more traditional menu.

With breathtaking views across Bideford Bay, the Cottage Tea Rooms has a very traditional feel. They are located half way up the cobbled street and offer pasties, fresh crab sandwiches and Devon cream teas. They also cater for vegetarians and have a gluten free option.

The view from the top of the village

The view from the top of the village - Credit: Archant

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Although a small village, there are a number of activities to do whilst at Clovelly.

Boat trips and evening charter trips are available on the ‘Neptune’ by appointment only. Contact Stephen Perham, Harbour Master. Tel: 07975 501830 and for passenger boat trips and inshore mackerel fishing trips on eco boat, the ‘Nemesis’ Contact Remo Rossi. Mobile: 07966 172210.

And for those feeling creative, you can craft your own pot under supervision at Clovelly Pottery, which was established by acclaimed potter, Clive Pearson. You can also buy a range of North Devon pottery here. To find out more, contact 01237 431042.

The tranquil harbour

The tranquil harbour - Credit: Archant

It is claimed that without its donkeys, the village could never have been a successful fishing port as they were used to help carry the heavy loads up to the top of the steep slope. In recent times, however, the donkeys have been replaced by sledges and today they have a more restful existence in the meadow at the top of the village where you can go and see them. They also give rides to children during the summer months.

There are also village tours of Clovelly which are run by Jana Edwards. Join one of her tours and you’ll gain valuable insights and information about the fascinating history of this curious village. To book your tour call Jana on 0797 413 4701 or email info@clovellyvillagetours.co.uk

And if you wish to take home a souvenir as well as your memories then the award-winning Clovelly Visitor Centre has a range of gifts on offer as well as a café.

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