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From Elizabethan days, the fishing of herrings was the staple activity and the village prospered on this basis until the shoals began to move away in the 1830's and the season was much shortened. However, in the middle of the 19th Century Charles Kingsley returned to the village where he had been brought up when his father was rector and inspired by the atmosphere, wrote 'the Water Babies' and 'Westward Ho!' This and the Victorian love of the sea produced a tourism boom and by the end of the century ships were arriving from around the Bristol Channel to land excursionists by small boat onto the pebbled shore.

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Fuchsia Cottage, Clovelly Tel: 01237 431398
Pillowery Park, Burscott, Higher Clovelly, Tel: 01237 431668

Clovelly owes its present state of preservation to Christine Hamlyn who dedicated herself to renovating the ancient cottages, often leaving her signature CH and date. The usual tripper impact of motor traffic and commercialisation simply has not been allowed to enter or spoil Clovelly. The Clovelly Estate Company, which owns all of the buildings in the village and a few thousand acres around it, take responsibility for all the maintenance and is thus able to ensure that the results are a unique village, standing still in the midst of the 19th century in terms of its buildings and streets (and its donkeys) but with a community of the 21st century.

The village is traffic free and the main street, known very simply as 'up-a-long' and 'down-a-long', tumbles its cobbled way down 400ft of solid rock to the tiny harbour and lifeboat station, both protected by an ancient stone breakwater. It is a descent through flower-strewn cottages broken only by tempting little passageways and tiny winding lanes that lead off to the left and right and offer the prospect of discovering more peaceful, picturesque treasures of Clovelly.

Click on Tourism for information on the area, Attractions for what to do and where to go, Food and Drink on what to eat when you get there, Leisure... well relax and think about that one and the Town Centre to shop till you drop!


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