Things to do in Clovelly Devon: A Complete Guide

By Discover More UK


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Clovelly in Devon is an idyllic cliffside fishing village which has existed as a community for around 1000 years!.

It’s a popular place to visit in North Devon not only because it’s beautiful, but also it’s completely unique. It’s a privately owned village without vehicular access, perched on a cliffside which is only accessible on foot.

Clovelly is one of several fishing villages in Devon but is well worth visiting due to its unique nature, picturesque high street and harbour. Despite its size, there is plenty to do and a wealth of history you can learn about while you’re there.

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How much does it cost to visit Clovelly?

fishing village on the cliff above a harbour with green water
Clovelly Harbour

Because Clovelly is a privately owned village as part of the Clovelly Estate, access is ticketed at the following prices (2021):

Adult ticket = £8.25

Child ticket = £4.80

Family ticket = £22.25

Tickets to the village include:

  • Parking
  • Entry to the village
  • Entrance to Clovelly Court Gardens
  • Entry to the Fisherman’s Cottage and Kingsley Museum
  • Audio-visual experience
  • General Facilities

If you’re wondering how to visit Clovelly for free, it’s unfortunately not easy. The money for entry is very much needed to fund and maintain the village in its historic and precariously perched position on the cliffside. The funds are also used to keep it the beautiful place that it is for tourists to visit.

If you’re walking to Clovelly along the Southwest Coast Path, you’ll come into the village via a different route from the Visitor’s car park. So that could be an option if you’re perhaps visiting during the off-season when the path is not monitored. But you should bear in mind that you’re given a wristband at the visitors centre when you arrive. If you don’t have that then you can’t enter the museum or gardens.

Where is Clovelly?

Clovelly, England can be found on the North Coast of Devon, a 20 minute drive from Bideford to Clovelly itself.

If you’re coming from Cornwall, Clovelly is 30 minutes drive from Bude.

The village can also be reached on foot along the Southwest Coast path on Hartland Devon Heritage Coast.

Who owns Clovelly village?

The history of Clovelly is an interesting one. I highly recommend visiting the Clovelly village museums which are home to so much information about the village and area.

William the Conqueror originally owned and gifted the village to his wife in the 11th century. After which time, it remained in Royal hands and was relatively unknown until the publication of Charles Kingsley’s novel, Westward Ho!, published in 1855.

After the novel’s publication, visitors started to go to Clovelly for holidays. Christine Hamlyn inherited the Estate in 1884 and she and her husband renovated many of the village buildings and cottages. The village is still in the same family today.

The manager of the Kingsley Museum is so helpful and as a resident of the village can also give additional valuable insight into life living in the village today.

Best time to visit Clovelly, Devon?

Clovelly is beautiful all year round. Although you’re more likely to get good weather conditions in the summer you should also expect much bigger crowds in the summer months too.

It’s highly recommended to stay in the village if you’d like to experience it without the crowds either before or after the village opens to the public each day.

Alternatively, arriving at 9 am as soon as the village opens and walking straight down to the village High Street is most likely to guarantee you some quiet time exploring. The crowds and coach tours arrive from 10 am onwards.

Cobbled street in Clovelly

Places to stay in Clovelly

Hotels in Clovelly and places to stay in the village are limited and you won’t find any private rentals like Airbnbs in the village!.

There are a couple of hotel options:

The New Inn Hotel

The Red Lion Hotel

There’s also a B&B option – Harbour View Cottage on the high street too.

Accommodation is limited and can be at a premium in the peak summer months.

Alternative options are to stay at nearby Bideford or Westward Ho! which both have a range of accommodation options for a variety of budgets and groups.

This beautiful holiday rental in Westward Ho! is a stunning self-catered option with an incredible view!

The holiday park options are great for young families, or the Westbeach Resort is a great modern hotel for a really reasonable price.

Things to do in Clovelly

Clovelly High Street

You can’t miss the high street on your visit, it’s the main street you’ll reach when you walk down from the visitors centre.

The High Street is steep, narrow and completely cobbled so good footwear is highly recommended!

You’ll find many of the famous photo spots and pictures of Clovelly, Devon along the High Street as well as access to the main attractions.

Walk down the High Street all the way until you reach the water to admire the beauty of the whole village.

cobbled street clovelly
Clovelly cobbled street

Kingsley Museum and Fisherman’s Cottage

The museum and Fisherman’s Cottage museum are next door to each other on the High Street. Entry is included in your entry ticket to the village.

Kingsley Museum is small but home to all the information about the history of the village, its ownership and how it works today. The staff are extremely welcoming, knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions you have about life in the village.

The Fisherman’s Cottage is a replica of a traditional fisherman’s cottage in the early 20th century and can be found next door to the museum.

Cottage Tea Rooms

The Cottage Tea Rooms are an opportunity for a traditional British tea but also worth visiting for the views from the outdoor seating area.

Walk around the corner and head for the seating at the very end of the seating area for the most stunning views of the ocean and coast.

Clovelly Harbour 

The heritage harbour area can be walked all the way around on the harbour wall, past the Red Lion. It’s a great position to get a vantage point of the whole village and how spectacularly it is perched on the cliff face.

The pretty white cottages and boats bobbing in the harbour are extremely picturesque.

Visit the Clovelly Donkeys

You won’t fail to notice how steep the main cobbled street is in Clovelly. Many local residents still use the sledges to bring their supplies, belongings or shopping up and down this steep street.

But once, the Clovelly donkeys were used for the same task.

Now the donkeys are no longer owned by the Estate and instead are looked after by a lovely couple who run the donkey sanctuary at the top of the hill in Clovelly so you can meet these friendly animals and even adopt a donkey!

Boat Trips

There are several options for boat trips from Clovelly run by locals, including motorboat trips and fishing trips. Check out the boat trips page here for more information and contact details on boat tours.

For more options for boat tours on the North Devon coast, see the boat options available from Ilfracombe in Things to do in Ilfracombe.

The Red Lion pub & restaurant

If you’re looking for places to eat in Clovelly, the Red Lion cannot be missed. As well as being a hotel, there is an onsite pub and restaurant called The Harbour Restaurant.

Food is sourced locally from the sea or the surrounding estate. Fresh fish, crabs and lobster are all caught daily in season and supplied to the dining establishments in the village. Meat is also locally sourced from Devon.

Booking ahead to eat at the Harbour Restaurant is highly advised, especially in the high season.

After your meal, move into The Harbour Snug and Bar for an after dinner drink and enjoy the stone floors, exposed wood beams and incredible views across the bay.

Clovelly waterfall

At low tide, taking a walk down the beach is a must and the waterfall is a great point of interest to aim for.

Take care on the pebble beach as the stones can become extremely slippy.

This is a great activity for the whole family and perfect for dog walking too. Just be aware of tide times.


For a small village, there are plenty of shopping options available!

Clovelly silk, soap and pottery are just a few of the famous handmade items made in the village and available for purchase.

There is also the option to take part in silk making and pottery workshops during certain months of the year, these can be booked in advance.

The General Store is a great place to stop by if you’d like some smaller souvenirs like postcards from Clovelly.

Clovelly Court Gardens

You will have driven past the Court Gardens as you arrived before reaching the visitors centre car park.

Entry to visit the Clovelly Court Gardens is included in your ticket to the village. Or you can visit just the gardens for a lesser fee of £4. They are open all year round from 10 am – 4 pm.

The gardens are at their most beautiful in the spring and summer months when they’re in full bloom.

The Court Gardens are an amazing example of Victorian Kitchen Gardens and the produce growing there is used to supply the Red Lion hotel restaurants.

Visiting Clovelly: Summary

Clovelly is the perfect addition to a North Devon itinerary and is a beautiful and unique place to visit throughout the year, this guide can help you plan your trip and things to do in Clovelly.

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