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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


Clovelly is, without argument, Devon’s showpiece harbour village. A cascade of photogenic flower covered white cottages, tiny alleys and tea shops tumble down the side of an impossibly steep hill into a tiny, curved stone harbour lined with lobster pots. The village is privately owned, car free and lived in year-round by permanent residents, thanks to rules protecting it against second homes.

Reached by a torturously steep cobbled street, known as ‘Up-a-long’ or ‘Down-a-long’ depending on which way you are walking, narrow alleys reveal pubs, tea shops and finally the famous stone pier. Visit the church with a fine Jacobean Pulpit, and memorials to the village’s most famous resident, Charles Kingsley, his former home now the Kingsley Museum. The Quay itself dates back to the 14th century, built of sturdy granite boulders, backfilled with small stones - a sturdy barrier from the winds and ocean beyond creating a safe haven for fishermen.  In more recent times, tourism has replaced the fishing industry, with some of the great names in English literature writing from here, from the Romantics, Kingsley and even Dickens who rather aptly penned a message from the sea here.

Clovelly really does standout as one of the most unspoilt, pretty fishing villages in south west England. Motor vehicles are banned from the village, making it a joy to explore on foot.  Well worth staying overnight as you can wander in peace, soak up the scenery and atmosphere of this unique place once the day trippers have departed. If you are late departing the following day you will spot your bags going back up the cobbled street on wooden sledges which are the only way of moving heavy items now that the donkeys have retired.

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