18 December 2019

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Clovelly Estate is home to the Rous family and has been for over 400 years. Since Elizabethan times it has remained in private ownership. Consequently this has helped preserve its originality and atmosphere. The village remains a fully functioning working fishing village, clinging to a 400 foot cliff, overlooking Bideford Bay. Hence it has had no motorised vehicle access since the 1920’s  on its steep cobbled streets, just the donkeys and sledges.

Donkeys always used to be the main form of transport for centuries. These days the main role for them is to give children rides during the summer or posing for photographs in the street, whilst enjoying their retirement. The man-powered sledges transport all goods to and from the village, from groceries to furniture. Consequently, as you can imagine moving house in the village is a very difficult and demanding proposition. Hence this might partly explain why there are multi generations of families that are living here today.

Clovelly Visitor Centre

For opening times, special events and things to do at Clovelly please go to there website or call the visitor centre.

Clovelly Visitor Centre, near Bideford, Devon
EX39 5TA

Tel: 01237 431781

Welcome to a different world.........

It clings to a 400 foot cliff in North Devon and has no vehicular traffic on its steeply cobbled street, just donkeys and sledges.

Visiting Clovelly is such a special experience. It is a beautiful picturesque fishing village, steeped in maritime atmosphere and history and was once owned by the Queen of England.

Its flower-strewn cottages “tumble like a waterfall” down a cleft in the cliff to the ancient working port.  There are breathtaking views down-a-long the traffic-free high street. The street is unique with just its donkeys and sledges. And the working harbour, with its 14th century quay, is another scene to be captured as a treasured memory.

Annual Events

Lentsherd on Shrove Tuesday. Children run down the cobbles, dragging clattering tin cans. The aim is to chase bad spirits away and drive the devil into the sea.
Find the Easter Chicks is a popular event for children with prizes.
Seaweed Festival in May or June is the only one in the UK to celebrate all that is great about seaweed. It has immense health and nutritional benefits.
Maritime Festival in July is packed with a great programme of activities for all the family.
Gig Regatta in August is an exciting and strenuous event.
Lobster & Crab Feast in September celebrates Clovelly’s famous and sustainably caught lobsters and crab.
Apple Day in October is another enjoyable event for children, full of games and crafts.
Herring Festival in November is another main event when the “silver darlings” start to come along our coast.