Family Day Out in Clovelly
What a gem of a place! I knew nothing of Clovelly before discovering a flyer whilst staying in a cottage in North Devon. Clovelly is a little fishing village that is traffic-free, other than donkeys and sledges to deliver supplies and the odd Land Rover to deliver hotel guests to their accommodation.
We were delighted to discover no charge for the car park. Then we were a little taken aback at the £20 admission charge to visit the village. However once we had made our way to the picturesque historic harbour, we justified the expense.
Accessibility to Clovelly
The journey down to the village involves a very steep hill that winds down to the harbour (about 400 feet down). It was sunny and lovely the day that we visited, but I imagine it could be very slippy on a wet and miserable day.
I wouldn’t recommend this place to people with accessibility issues. We did see a couple of parents with buggies, but it didn’t look much fun. Most wheelchair users would find this place a nightmare. We had a chat with a man in his eighties who had retired to Clovelly. He makes the walk up and down the hill each day to keep himself fit. I think this would be a challenge for older people that struggle to walk far.
Our kids and grandparents managed the walk pretty well. We took our time and enjoyed the views as we entered this pretty village. We also had an ice cream and a drink on the way.
Things to See in Clovelly
There are some lovely shops in Clovelly including gift shops, art shops and sweet shops. We bought some small sweet gifts including Clovelly specific items like notepads and pens and also more generic items. The Water Babies book is for sale in a few shops as this was written by Charles Kingsley who spent a lot of time in Clovelly. A small museum in the village is dedicated to him.
There is a short film explaining the history of the Clovelly. It is quite interesting for adults and short enough for kids to sit through. This runs every few minutes in the main entrance and gift shop. There are lots of lovely cafes, pubs and restaurants.
There are museums and craft workshops, including a fisherman’s cottage museum that you can walk through and see how a typical village house would have looked in the 1930’s. My young kids quite enjoyed the walk around cottage. There was a sweet art gallery/shop showing various materials and techniques which you could also purchase.
Donkey stables are located at the top of the hill with the offer of rides for little ones.
There is a lifeboat station that we wanted to look round, but we were told this was not an option as the staff were too busy. We did notice a bunch of guys drinking tea and chatting inside so that was a shame.
At the bottom of the hill beyond the harbour, there is a beautiful stone beach. Our kids loved finding pretty stones and it was very relaxing to sit and enjoy the sea view.
If you fancy a visit to Clovelly, check out the Clovelly website.
If driving to Clovelly, you should be aware that your Sat Nav may not recognise the village of Clovelly as there are no roads for cars in the actual village of Clovelly. There are plenty of signs in and around Bideford.