Whitewashed cottage and pebbled High Street
Clovelly harbour
One of the famous Clovelly donkeys

Clovelly Guide


Discover one of the most famous villages in the world...Picturesque Clovelly is set into a steep hillside, the single cobbled high street winds its way past traditional whitewashed cottages down to the 14th century quay at the bottom.

Clovelly is one of the most famous villages in the world. The single cobbled high street winds its way down the hillside through traditional whitewashed cottages festooned with fuchsias and geraniums.



Unusually, the village is privately owned and has been by the same family since 1738. Their policy is to care for Clovelly and keep it in the style of the mid C19th. This involves much quality maintenance using traditional materials and craftmanship. Part of the modest entrance fee contributes to this work. This National Trust-like preservation of the whole village is what provides so much pleasure to its visitors, who treasure the atmosphere, the picturesque charm and the stunning views.

Traffic is banned from the high street with visitors parking at the top of the hill adjacent to the Visitor Centre. The high street drops through the 16th century cottages to a small harbour and for a small fee, a Land Rover service ferries visitors up and down the steep hill via a back road.

Clovelly was once a bustling fishing port, famed for its herring and mackerel. Although fishing has declined, it is still a part of village life. In past centuries, this coastline was rife with smuggling, wrecking and piracy. It is also notorious for shipwrecks - so since 1870, Clovelly has had its own life boat.

There's much to see and do in Clovelly - you can see the famous Clovelly donkeys most days in the village, or at their stables. Visit Fishermans Cottage and see how a fisherman's family lived in the 1930's. Visit the Kingsley Museum - named after Charles Kingsley who lived in Clovelly as a child, staying at what is now known as Kingsley Cottage. He wrote 'Westward Ho!' while in Clovelly, and the village also inspired him to write 'The Water Babies'. There is a visitor centre with audio visual theatre, self service cafe, shops and picnic area.
Visit the craft workshops and buy hand-made gifts, or the delightful flower-adorned chapel dating back to 1870.

Take the landrover service, or ask the visitor centre for directions to Clovelly Court Gardens and Church, where you will find the ancient manor house to the estate, walled kitchen gardens and restored victorian greenhouses. The parish church of All Saints dates mainly back to the 13th Century and generations of village families are buried in its church yard.

There are two Hotels for a drink or bite to eat, as well as the cafe in the visitor centre, or bring along your own food and enjoy a picnic on our grassy picnic spot which boasts spectacular views.

Please call the Visitor Information Centre on 01237 431781 or visit the website (link above) for details of opening hours and admission prices.

Last Updated: 25 Apr 2017