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50 Things to do in North Devon #2



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Visit a quaint fishing village

-  Famous the world over. This 16th-century fishing village clings to a 400 foot cliff -



Flower-strewn cottages & working harbour

Clovelly is a 16th-century fishing village that clings to a 400 foot cliff, and is famous the world over! Once owned by the queen, it has candy-coloured streets and one of the prettiest harbours you'll find. Steeply cobbled, flower-strewn cottages tumble down the hill to the 14th Century quay & working harbour. This fairytale village is so quaint that vehicles aren't able to drive into the village, instead sledges are used to transport goods. This used to be the job of the sturdy 'Clovelly donkeys', but these have now retired and can be seen in their meadow at the top of the village.

If you are looking for one of the best things to do in North Devon, we highly recommend visiting Clovelly! Explore the Visitors Centre to delve into the village's history, take clifftop walks, discover the secret waterfall, visit the lovely craft shops, and meet the Clovelly donkeys - discovering Clovelly alone or as part of a guided tour. A small entry fee applies to enter this small, private village - currently £7.95 per adult and £4.60 per child, with special prices for families. Dogs are welcome, too.

Take a peek...




Visiting Clovelly

Clovelly is about an hour's drive from Woolacombe, but there is so many things to do in Clovelly, North Devon that it's well worth the trip. You could easily spend a full day here.


  1. Walk along the clifftops, the beaches and through the village
  2. Go crabbing from the harbour wall and in the rockpools
  3. Stroll along Hobby Drive - created by returning soldiers from the Napoleonic wars, the drive winds through the woods, so you'll see lots of fauna and flora as you go
  4. Say 'hello' to the famous Clovelly donkeys in the meadow
  5. Take a step back in time in the Visitor's Centre
  6. Book a craft workshop (silk printing, soap making and pottery are all available)
  7. Shop for souvenirs in the independent shops and eat fresh seafood
  8. Take a guided tour
  9. Visit the Lifeboat Station (open to visitors in summer)
  10. Explore the gorgeous Clovelly Court Gardens (included in your village entry fee)

Clovelly also has a secret cave where legend has it that Merlin, the Arthurian magician, was born. Take a walk down to the harbour and the Red Lion hotel, stroll across the pebbly beach past the Lifeboat Station, and along the shore to the 'magical' waterfall. Behind the waterfall lurks this legendary cave. Happy hunting!

(from Woolacombe)



Top tips

From those in the know...

Located near Bideford, you can easily take a few little driving detours to discover more things to do in North Devon. The driving route passes by a few places worth visiting - we recommend a quick stop off at Heartbreak Hotel Coffee in Braunton for the best doughnuts you'll ever gobble (Friday - Sunday only) and a visit to the cute village of Appledore for walks along the sunny, south-facing quay on the way. Head to Clovelly for a few hours, then take a leisurely visit to Saunton to watch the surfers ride the early evening waves at Saunton on the way back. We've put together a roadtrip from Woolacombe, for a full-days adventuring:


Alternatively, you can actually walk to Clovelly along the South West Coast Path, starting out at Steart Farm, Bucks Mill. The walk is 5 miles long so you may like to get the bus back. Here's the walking route:


Before you visit check out the village's calendar - Clovelly is home to some fantastic annual events (free to attend).