Clovelly – Welcome to a Different World
Imagine life without cars. In Clovelly you can. Come along to this picturesque, historic, fishing village, steeped in maritime atmosphere, once owned by the Queen of England.
As one of Devon’s major tourist attractions you’ll enjoy a unique experience of a bygone age, when people lived a more tranquil way of life.
The breathtaking views, traffic-free street unique with it its donkeys and sledges and the working harbour are scenes to be captured as a treasured memory.
The award-winning Visitor Centre, modelled on a traditional Devon long barn, is where you'll find the historic film show, shops and a popular café restaurant. You can sit out on the terrace to savour the fresh sea air and views of Bideford Bay.
Your modest entrance fee to the village, one of the lowest in the West Country, covers the following:
a film show introducing you to Clovelly’s fascinating history
two museums – the Kingsley Museum and the Fisherman’s Cottage
Clovelly Court Gardens
Visit during one of our annual festivals (such as Seaweed in June, Maritime in July, Lobster & Crab in September and Herrring in November) and there's no extra charge. Please visit www.clovelly.co.uk for all events and dates.
A substantial part of your fee contributes to Clovelly’s ongoing building maintenance programme. All restoration work is carried out to rigorous standards, with slate being replaced with slate, and oak with oak. It is an expensive process, but it ensures that the village retains the unique charm and character that captivates so many of our visitors.
Open all year round, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day is free.
Summer opening times: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For other opening times, please contact Visitor Centre Reception: 01237 431781
Clovelly Visitor Centre
It is full of fun for all ages, packed with all sorts of activities and entertainment. Come and enjoy the live music, street entertainment, event-themed arts & crafts, children’s activities, Punch & Judy, face glitter and lots of games. There are also a variety of stalls selling food.
Watch the exciting Clovelly Cup yacht rally, starting at 2pm. It is an amazing sight to see the yachts setting off to race across the bay. Visit Bideford Sea Cadets on the quay to learn how to become a sea cadet. It is definitely a day to remember!
This is a great weekend for all the family, packed full of fun and action.
On Saturday there’s a very popular 2 mile sponsored swim from Bucks Mills to Clovelly, starting at 9:00 a.m. Adults battle their way through the currents all the way.
Sunday is an entertainment-packed day. ATC Gun run up the cobbles in the morning and there will be lifeboat operational displays during the day. There are food, info stalls and a BBQ with entertainment for all, including tug of war, games and competitions. The Lifeboat House will be open and there’ll be an exciting rescue display in the afternoon by Clovelly’s volunteer lifeboat crew. So come along! You’ll love it.
Friday 14th August
The Red Lion Harbour Bar Menus will include foods, such as Soda breads, Homity pies, Rice puddings and Walton pies. And there will be live music in the evening with Tamsin Ball singing at 8 pm.
Saturday 15th August
Throughout the day, there will be live music, party food in the street, plus arts and crafts, games, exhibitions in the museum gallery, parades down the cobbled street, film screening of bombs, barns and books in St. Peters Chapel and so much more!
Gig racing is exciting and strenuous. You're assured an exhilarating day watching the racing. So come along and cheer on the crews as they brave North Devon's waters!
Clovelly celebrates its famous, sustainably caught, lobsters and crabs. Live folk music, quay kitchens, cookery demonstrations, a magnum of champagne prize draw, delicious lobster and crab dishes, craft stalls and beer tasting. Plus street theatre, walkabout magic, balloon modelling and craft activities.
The National Lobster Hatchery will be exhibiting baby lobsters before releasing them into the sea at the beginning and end of the day. They are best known for their lobster stock enhancement programme. They rear baby lobsters from eggs, the most vulnerable stage of their life cycle, before releasing them into the sea.
Bring a bag of apples, have them pressed at the Visitor Centre, taste the juice; bring more for pasteurisation and bottling. On entry to Clovelly, children can enjoy apple games and crafts, apple bobbing and stamping. There'll be a farmers market plus a fun harvest hunt with spooky stories (pre-book your place), and Animal encounters with South West Animal services.
Clovelly Herring Festival always falls in November. It’s the time of year when our historic village celebrates the coming of the great “Silver Darlings”, better known as herring. We celebrate and promote this tasty, nutritious fish whilst supporting sustainable fishing. The Maritime historian and writer, Mike Smylie, attends with his “Kipperland” exhibition, which is devoted to the history of all things herring. Mike also turns the herring into delicate-tasting kippers and bloaters in his smokehouse for sale.
Flaxland will provide their exhibitions and demonstrations. An opportunity to discover how the flax plant is used to make a vast range of goods. On the quay, kitchens serve a variety of delicious herring specialities along with beer, gin and cider tastings, local food and craft stalls. And throughout the day there will be live music, street entertainers, face-painting, art workshop, an exhibition of Clovelly herring fishing, tasters & recipes, and children's activities.
Christmas lights in the village makes this such a magical time at Clovelly. It starts at 3:30 pm in the afternoon. A local brass band leads the procession down to the harbour with festive Christmas carols sung along the way.
There’ll be a hog roast, hot dogs, Christmas grog and other refreshments available at the Harbour and Lifeboat Station. Then Father Christmas will make a surprise visit. After the Carol Service lead by a local vicar and sung by a local choir, the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour lights up. It’s a fantastic sight! Then there is a grand finale of fireworks to finish off the festivities.
Enjoy a lunch barbecue and hog roast on the quay with FREE entrance into the village all day and live music. It should make the perfect follow-up to your Christmas Day!
Party away until the New Year bells chime. There will be fires and gunpowder to illuminate the quay and celebrate another year's passing, plus a disco. You'll find it a thrilling way to welcome in the New Year in an atmospheric village setting.