Clovelly: cascading village on Devon's coast

Beauty Spot

Clovelly: cascading village on Devon's coast

Clovelly is a very picturesque seaside village in North Devon, which belongs to a private individual. Due to its steep cobbled main street, which descends down to a small harbour, donkeys were traditionally used to transport goods from top to bottom. Clovelly's location, traditional architecture, and views over the Bristol Channel attract numerous visitors.

An entrance fee is charged to enter the village. At the top of the hill there is a visitor centre. Admission also includes entrance to two museums, Clovelly Court gardens, and an audiovisual history guide.

The South West Coast Path National Trail runs from the top of the village. The village is currently owned by John Rous who inherited it in 1983. He is part of the Hamlyn family, who have been the landowners since 1738.

The village main street is not accessible by motor vehicles and the lack of vehicular access has led to deliveries being made by sledge and donkey - a tradition that continues, not as a tourist attraction, but as a matter of practicality.

The privately owned village has been associated with only three families since the middle of the 13th century. The estate is run by the Clovelly Estate Company, currently led by John Rous, a descendant of the Hamlyn family who have owned the village, estate and manor house, Clovelly Court, since 1738.

The estate comprises around 80 cottages, two chapels, two hotels, woodlands and about 2000 acres of farmland. The village encourages tourism and this has been financially very successful.

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