Wow. My folks had enjoyed this place decades ago. Now it was my turn to visit. Unlike other places they had raved about (and had disappointed us to varying degrees), Clovelly was much, much better than we imagined.
My other half and I were driving from Bath to Port Isaac and Clovelly was to be our sight seeing activity on the way. We had researched it and knew that you had to park at the top and pay - so that wasn't a problem. I must say that is seems to be a good idea, because Clovelly is kept so well. However, in saying that - the top part, where you buy your tickets is not a place to spend much time. It is far too commercial. We just bought our tickets and scampered through - down to the real attraction - the village.
My tip would be to take your time on the way down and have a good look around. Don't be in a hurry to get to the bottom.... the real joy to this place is in admiring the quaint houses and side lanes on the way down. Actually, there is no way you can hurry going down, the cobblestones are absolute killers. I have never seen such cobbly cobbles. You need good comfortable shoes and just take tiny steps. I knew Clovelly was steep - but they weren't kidding - it was steeper than I imagined. Don't be put off though. On the way down, I was a bit worried about getting back up.... but for some reason it is easier and quicker to walk up, than it is to totter down.
Everything is cute. The donkeys (in the past they would have had a hard life pulling things up the hill - these days all they do is pose for photos with tourists - you need to pay a little towards their upkeep)... the gardens are cute, the houses are cute... the view is gorgeous.... you want to take a photo of everything... a local cat is sitting in the sun... you need to take it's photo.... it is that kind of place... infectious. You get envious. You want to live there... Just take loads of photos and soak up the atmosphere.
The harbour is nice to sit and have a coffee or a snack. The tide was out when we were there, so lots of fishing boats on the pebbly shores make for more great photos.
When you wander back up the hill, make sure you go to the tiny little Chapel and also have a look in the museums. It all makes for good viewing. Explore the little lane ways and just enjoy.
I was really sorry to leave Clovelly - it had been a great outing and I would recommend it to all - except if you have a problem walking, this is not the place for you. But there are lots of seats, and low walls around the place - so you can rest and then move on again.
Otherwise - I don't think anyone would be disappointed in a visit to Clovelly Village. Just gorgeous (except for the commercial entrance way - but just ignore that).
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