Day 3: Explore Hartland & Clovelly...

Experience - North & South Coast of Devon

Day 3: Explore Hartland & Clovelly...

After a lovely breakfast and a leisurely start to the day, perhaps spend this first day of your break on the Hartland Peninsular.

Hartland Point has the most spectacular sheer cliffs over 300 feet tall, topped by a solitary lighthouse that has saved many a vessel from the jagged black rocks below. This must be one of the most stunning stretches of coast line in England and your holiday information pack will show the best walks on the peninsular. On a clear day looking out to sea, the island of Lundy seems almost close enough to touch and the wild flowers are a delight to behold.

Just to the south of Hartland Point lies Hartland Quay which was an important port right up to Tudor times. The quay was built at the bottom of some fearsome cliffs in the 16th Century, partly funded by the mariners Raleigh, Drake and Hawkins, perhaps from smuggling profits! Sadly the quay was washed away by storms in 1887, but some of the buildings remain including the Quay Building. More recently the Quay has been used as the location for a number of films including Treasure Island….The smuggling atmosphere is still there!

About a mile inland from the quay lies Hartland Abbey, built around 1157 and has the distinction of being the very last to be dissolved by Henry VIII. Henry gifted it to his “Sergeant of the Wine Cellar” (!) and it has been in the hands of the same family ever since. It has seen significant alterations on several occasions and effectively the abbey remains are now incorporated into a beautiful 18th Century House. As the house has never been sold it contains a fascinating collection of pictures, furniture and porcelain collected over many generations.

Having seen how the fabulously rich used to live, in a beautiful house, why not drive on now to see how the humble fishermen used to live, in the fabulously beautiful village of Clovelly. This tiny fishing village, just a few miles along the coast from Hartland Point, is truly one of the most delightful places in all of the Southwest! The high street nestles in a steep cleft in the cliffs with the whitewashed cottages clinging to the rocks on both sides. Because it is so steep the only means of transporting goods used to be donkeys pulling wooden sledges! Herring fishing was its main trade from Elizabethan times and it is recorded that on one day donkeys pulled 400 sledges of herring up the hill! However the fishing trade declined from the 1830’s when the herring shoals began to move away and was replaced by tourism. This was greatly boosted in the 1850’s and 60’sby the author Charles Kinsley who wrote his book The Water Babies there. Today tourism remains the main trade but fishing, diving and boat trips are still available from the quay. Clovelly is privately owned (it has been since 1738) and policy of the owners has always been to retain its old character, so it is beautifully kept unspoilt by fast-food restaurants and holiday homes…… a wonderful oasis of the past in a modern bustling world!

There are breathtaking walks around Clovelly included in your holiday information pack and, if you wish, we can also organize other activities like fishing, golf or surfing around the peninsula.

When booking your holiday with Classic Escapes discuss your leisure interests with your dedicated holiday organiser.

Naturally we will also pass on our lunch and evening meal recommendations, making reservations for you as appropriate. We keep up to date on where’s best!

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