South West Coast Path – Day 2/9

Walked from: Hartland Quay, Devon

Walked to: Clovelly, Devon 

Date: 21 February 2016

Distance: 13 miles 

Weather: 30 mph winds…

Home for the night: New Inn Hotel, Clovelly

I’m staying in the lovely village of Clovelly (pronounced Clo-ve-lee) tonight. Dickens wrote about it back in the day, and as he wasn’t bad at the whole writing thing AND as it’s still accurate today, here’s what he said: “The village was built sheer up the face of a steep and lofty cliff. There was no road in, there was no wheeled vehicle in it, there was not a level yard in it. From the sea beach to the cliff top two irregular rows of white houses, placed opposite to one another… rose like the sides of a long succession of stages of crooked ladders.” The villagers carry everything they need in and out on plastic crates that have been turned into sleighs. Trust me, this is not a place you want to be wearing heels. 

Getting here involved a few detours (long cuts?) off route, due to the unpromising combination of high winds and cliff edge walking. Thank to a couple of downloadable OS 25:000 maps I had a merry jaunt through some very muddy country footpaths, and even passed the Lundy Island Helicopter base (yes, I did have the shipping forecast stuck in my head for a while after that). 

I attempted to get back on the coast path route after the very rugged looking Hartland Point, but as I rounded the corner by the nearby radar station a blast of wind reminded me in no uncertain terms why it wasn’t a great idea – back cross country I went, down some lonely lanes and across some pretty – and pretty muddy – fields. Got back on route by the woods at Brownsham, and a descent and ascent of the cliffs at Mouthmill (picture below) was thankfully sheltered by the trees acting as a windbreak. 

My walking day was done by 2.30pm, so after a shower (and an attempt to scrape some of the mud off my waterproofs) I went for another walk down – and then back up again – the village. Everything apart from the pub / hotel that I’m staying in was shut, but I imagine it has a little more to say for itself in the summer, and regardless of that, it really is gorgeous. This really is a fantastic part of the world; I’ll be back. 

Photos: Snowdrops near Blagdon Farm / view back to Hartland Point / Mouthmill beach / Clovelly / Clovelly’s version of cars / modern day donkeys!


About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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1 Response to South West Coast Path – Day 2/9

  1. Ana says:

    Great photos! Love the plastic crates.

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