Clovelly, North Devon


Could this be the only inhabited village in England where you have to pay to get in? It’s worth it.



Clovelly used to be a fishing village and in 1901 had a population of 621. It is a cluster of largely wattle and daub cottages on the sides of a rocky cleft; its steep main street descends 400 feet (120 m) to the pier, too steeply to allow wheeled traffic. The quaint street is lined with houses, a small number of shops, a cafe and a public house. All Saints’ Church, restored in 1866, is late Norman, containing several monuments to the Cary family, Lords of the Manor for 600 years.

Unusually, the village is still privately owned and has been associated with only three families since the middle of the 13th century, nearly 800 years. The scenery has been captured by artists for its richness of colour, especially in Clovelly Court and along The Hobby, a road cut through the woods and overlooking the sea. The South West Coast Path National Trail runs from the top of the village and the section from Clovelly to Hartland Quay is particularly spectacular (edited from Wikipedia).



No brakes..

As there are no cars in Clovelly, or delivery vans, anything brought into the village is carried by sled. There’s clearly a knack to it.



The favoured design appears to be a pair of bread baskets attached to a couple of wooden runners.



We picked our way down the hill on the cobbled street, past idyllic cottages with burgeoning and colourful gardens.



 Historic mode of transport?

Posing for tourist photographs now, these former beasts of burden have an easier life.



 The street actually passes through a building at one point..

It’s not difficult to see why there are no cars. A beautiful glimpse of the harbour beyond.



The harbour wall



Oft frequented look out point



Made it. Looking back from the top of the harbour wall.



The lower part of Clovelly village.

Unless you happen to have access to a boat, the only way now is up. Clovelly is a place that requires stout comfortable shoes and a reasonably healthy constitution. A land rover service operates from the beach, taking an alternative road back up the hill. But we did it the hard way, after an ice cream of course. Toffee fudge and clotted cream. Oh my.



 Half way..



Another refreshment stop.

There was no delay… She must have been having a good day.



Crinodendron hookerianum

Not hardy throughout the UK, but no worries here. I’m tempted to risk it.



The kitchen garden, Clovelly Court

Ticket price to Clovelly includes a look around the manor house kitchen garden. Oh to have a greenhouse as spacious as this. Peaches, oranges and lemons, grape vines… And in the vegetable beds, not a slug nibble in sight. If there had been a gardener around we’d have asked..



 In the formal garden, a rather ornate wall

 Chloris recently suggested that I plant Erigeron karvinskianus in my terraces wall. She was right.



 This diminutive fern too. I think it is Asplenium trichomanes, the maidenhair spleenwort.



All in all, a rather nice way to end the day.