Unveiling the Charm: A Guide to Discovering the Enchanting Village of Clovelly

The picturesque Clovelly village is nestled along the rugged coastline of North Devon, England. With its timeless charm, cobblestone streets, and breath-taking sea views, Clovelly is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty, visiting Clovelly is like stepping back in time to a simpler era. If you’re planning a trip to this enchanting village, here’s a guide to help you discover all it has to offer.

Discovering the Enchanting Village of Clovelly
Discovering the Enchanting Village of Clovelly
Discovering the Enchanting Village of Clovelly

Clovelly is located approximately 50 miles west of Exeter and can be accessed by car or public transportation. If you’re driving, follow the signs to Bideford, then take the A39 towards Bude until you reach the turnoff for Clovelly. Parking is available at the top of the village, and from there, you can either walk down or take a Land Rover service for a small fee.

Exploring the Village

As you descend the steep cobbled streets of Clovelly, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a bygone era. The village has a unique traffic-free policy, with goods being transported by sledges and donkeys, adding to its old-world charm. Take your time wandering through the narrow lanes lined with whitewashed cottages adorned with colorful flowers.

Visit the Clovelly Harbour

At the bottom of the village lies Clovelly Harbour, a picturesque haven where fishing boats bob in the gentle tide. Watch as local fishermen unload their catch of the day or take a stroll along the quay, soaking in the tranquility of this idyllic spot. Don’t forget to visit the Clovelly Lifeboat Station, which has been saving lives at sea for over 150 years.

Exploring the Village
Exploring the Village
Exploring the Village

Discover the History

Clovelly is steeped in history, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn about its rich heritage. Visit the Clovelly Court Gardens, a restored Victorian walled garden filled with exotic plants and stunning views of Bideford Bay.

Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley, a beloved author and cleric, found inspiration in the picturesque coastal village of Clovelly in North Devon. This quaint fishing village nestled on the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic coast captivated Kingsley with its charm and natural beauty. It is said that the magical aura of Clovelly seeped into his soul, influencing his literary works with its untamed landscapes and rugged coastline.

Kingsley’s connection to Clovelly runs deep, as he often drew parallels between the resilience of the villagers and themes of perseverance in his writing. The winding cobbled streets and cliffside views of this idyllic village provided him with a canvas upon which to paint tales of adventure, courage, and exploration. It is through his experiences in Clovelly that Kingsley crafted narratives that captured the essence of life by the sea.

Explore the Kingsley Museum, housed in a former schoolhouse, where you can delve into the village’s past through exhibits on fishing, smuggling, and local life.

Enjoy Local Cuisine

Exploring the Village
Exploring the Village
Exploring the Village

After working up an appetite exploring the village, be sure to sample some of Clovelly’s delicious local cuisine. Head to one of the village’s charming pubs or cafes for a traditional Devonshire cream tea or indulge in fresh seafood caught straight from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Coastal Walks

For those who love the great outdoors, Clovelly offers some spectacular coastal walks with breathtaking views of the rugged North Devon coastline. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on the South West Coast Path, which winds its way along towering cliffs and secluded coves. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and seabirds that call this coastline home.

Top Tips

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the cobbled streets can be uneven.
  • Check the weather forecast before your visit and dress accordingly, as the coastal location can be windy.
  • Bring a camera to capture the stunning scenery and quaint village streets.
  • Consider purchasing a souvenir from one of the local shops to support the village’s economy.


Visiting Clovelly is like stepping into a postcard-perfect English village frozen in time. With its cobbled streets, historic charm, and stunning coastal views, it’s no wonder that visitors return to this hidden gem time and time again. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, Clovelly has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, embrace the slower pace of life, and prepare to fall in love with the enchanting village of Clovelly.

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