Clovelly, Devon


A picture postcard, quaint, coastal village of white cottages clinging to the steep cliff edge. A narrow cobbled street runs between the cottages, almost stacked one on top of each other, down to the old harbour. The stone pier is a feat of 16th Century engineering, in defiance of the might of the Atlantic Seas, and provides the only safe haven for boats between Appledore and the National Trust Harbour at Boscastle in Cornwall. 

 Colourful flower displays in window boxes, and on cottage walls, add to the spectacle of this unique village in the summer.

Below are illustrations from early 1900's post cards. You will see that Clovelly has changed very little to this day. Visitors receive a warm welcome from this small community, which has ancestry going back to the Doomsday Book and beyond; sense the atmosphere as you walk back in time. Men from Clovelly sailed on the famous ships of history with the likes of Sir Francis Drake and Frobisher. 


Literary Connections

Westward Ho!, by Charles Kingsley - Charles Kingsley's father was the rector of Clovelly between 1830 -1836. The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley - inspiration for this children's classic was drawn from Charles Kingsley's younger days in Clovelly

A Message from the Sea, by Charles Dickens, 1860.

Past Times

Clovelly was much reliant on fishing with a substantial fleet of boats. Today fishing is on a smaller scale as the huge shoals of Herring and Mackerel are now memories and a part of seafaring history.


Clovelly is a privately owned estate with an admission fee payable at the Visitor Centre, covering car parking facilities, an audio visual presentation and entrance to the Kingsley Exhibition.