We first came across the name “Clovelly village” by chance as we passed a poster. We’d never heard of the place before but it looked stunning on the advert. We actually didn’t have much of an agenda on this holiday so we wondered whether we should go see it.
We booked our trip to north Devon pretty much at the last minute. We’ve umm’d and ahh’d over that part of the UK for a long time but the long drive from the north west has always put us off a bit. This time though we had gotten so sick of all the rain, we decided to go for it as it looked so much nicer weather wise in the south.
So off we went to north Devon and stayed in wonderful Woolacombe for a few days and Clovelly village became part of one of little road trips whilst we were there.
The very pretty Clovelly Village
Clovelly village is a very unique little fishing village. It’s a very steep place build on a 400 foot cliff in North Devon so mostly everything that’s not on the harbour or quay stands on a slant. It’s a very beautiful place that’s been privately owned for a long time, full of cobbled streets and about 178 steps to the quay, which dates back to the 14th century. The streets are lined with the most gorgeous houses all standing proud from the day they were built with little tea shops mingled in between. No vehicles are allowed down the streets and only donkeys or sledges are used to transport goods. It really is like stepping back in time and it is just gorgeous.
Walking through Clovelly village with kids
We were pleasantly surprised to find that children under the age of 7 go free so we only had to pay for two adults (£7.25 each). The money is used for the upkeep of the two museums within the village and any restoration work that’s needed on the houses. Then you’re free to wander about and take the long walk down.
Is Clovelly pushchair friendly?
You should know that the cobbled streets were never designed to take a pushchair, so if you do happen to have a toddler with you, you might find it a bit of a challenge in parts. We decided to brave it and it took a while to do the long walk down as the wheels would get a bit stuck on a random cobble so we had to lift it a few times. It’s not something you could do by yourself for long periods, although I did meet a couple of locals who had done it solo very regularly in the past!
About halfway down we saw some other tourists pulling their pushchair on a sledge and letting their toddler walk. Wise people. We were less daft on the way up and let the toddler walk up and burn lots of energy off. It was so much easier to just carry the folded baby jogger up and let him walk and as there were no cars he was perfectly safe and we just had to make sure he didn’t tumble or smack his face on the floor. There are warnings though about the streets becoming slippy when it rains so I wouldn’t recommend letting a small child roam free on the cobbles when they’re wet. And I would say the same applies if you need a wheelchair.
The scenery and the quay
The scenery on the way down is really pretty. You get to see stunning views of the Bristol Channel on your way down and there are plenty of benches dotted about where you can have a rest and a natter with other tourists doing the same thing.
There’s also a few little tea shops that serve cream teas if you feel you suddenly need a very nice scone or a cup of tea. The main restaurant is located at the top of the village, near the entrance and we decided that’s where we’d enjoy some Kelly’s ice cream and some nice cakes so used it as bribery to make both boys walk back to the top again. Not that the toddler needed any bribery but Z, the 6 year old going on tween, did a bit.
There is a little pastie shop and a hotel at the bottom of the steep walk and the tide was out so we enjoyed a good sit down on the quay with our Cornish pasties and admired the views of the gorgeous boats and the sea. The beach is a mostly rocky one but very beautiful, and we found ourselves just sat about for over an hour looking out at it all whilst we had a late lunch. It must look amazing when the tide is in. I wondered if two trips to this one place might be needed. One in daytime and one after dusk. They must show you such a different picture.
The walk back up and the Jeep service
Unlike me, If you pay attention when you buy your tickets, you will find that there is a jeep service that will bring you back up again from the quay if you can’t beat the thought of walking the 178 cobbled steps uphill. I only realised halfway up when a tired out lady told me she was going to get a lift back to the top. There’s a small charge for it but it’s an excellent thing to use if you don’t feel up to the walk. In hindsight, I’m glad I did the walk both down and up but I’m pretty sure I would have been tempted to dive into the jeep if I’d known about it.
I think Clovelly was one of my most favourite places and I’m so glad we walked past the poster. We almost didn’t go when we saw it was full of cobbled streets thinking it would be impossible with a pushchair. It isn’t the easiest with any kind of wheels on there but I’m really glad we ventured and got to see it. These are just some of our photos from our day there….