Situated on the north coast of Devon perched on a 400ft cliff a four-hour-plus drive from our county, the fishing village has its roots all the way back to the days of William the Conqueror
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The term “hidden gem” can sometimes be overused, so when you find out about somewhere genuinely off the beaten track it is a must-see.
While Surrey has plenty of these, if you fancy a family holiday in the UK further afield then you could look no further than the picturesque settlement of Clovelly.
Situated on the north coast of Devon perched on a 400ft cliff a four-hour-plus drive from our county, the fishing village has its roots all the way back to the days of William the Conqueror when he gifted the estate to his wife. It remained in the hands of royalty until the 1200s when it was acquired by the Giffard family but remained unknown to the wider world until the mid-19th century.
Now open to visitors, one of the more unique features of Clovelly is that you have to pay just to gain admission, with the standard charge for an adult at £8.75 and £5.10 for kids. The village’s official website explains this cost helps pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the village which has no vehicular access, reports Get Surrey.
But with its steep streets full of cobblestones that are tough to navigate, you may be wondering how on earth supplies can be delivered to a village which is pedestrian-only. Luckily villagers have an ingenious system which involves sledges which can be seen leaning against many of the cottages.
Outside goods are dropped off at the car park at the top of the hill and delivered to residents and businesses via the sledges. This is how rubbish is disposed of too with them being hauled down the hill to the village’s harbour where it is shipped away.
As well as entry to the village, the admission fee also gets you entry to Clovelly Court Gardens, the on-site museum and all other general facilities. There are great food and drink options too with The Harbour Restaurant offering stunning views over the bay which will take your breath away.
You can even stay overnight at The Red Lion Hotel where there are 19 rooms of various sizes on offer and you can mingle with locals in the adjacent Snug Bar in the evening. Come the morning you’ll wake up to the sights and smells from the hustle and bustle of the harbour below.
And what’s more, there is even a waterfall tucked away to the east of the uneven big pebbled beach. It is a slight trek and it is advised to wear some sturdy shoes. The walk from the top of the village to the waterfall takes about 90 minutes.
There is also a Land Rover service which ferries visitors up and down via a back road, for those not wishing to negotiate the steep hill on foot. Be mindful this only runs from Easter to October on a restricted service from 10am to 4.30pm.
For more information on Clovelly and to book your stay, visit its website here.