Clovelly and Hartland Cottages
West of Bideford the coast changes as you enter North Devon’s best kept secret, the Hartland Peninsula. Instead of dune backed sands the coast becomes wilder and more rugged - and absolutely stunning. Deep, wooded combes follow meandering paths to the sea. Waterfalls tumble over rock shelves on to sea rounded pebbles, while low tide occasionally reveals expanses of sand for the dogs and the best rock pooling ever for the little ones. Try Bucks Mills or the National Trust’s Peppercombe Valley for walks to these rarely visited shores.
Clovelly tumbles too, like a waterfall over cobbles. Its pretty cottages cling to the side of the steep-sided valley as the village’s ‘main street’ meanders down to the harbour. It’s unbelievably picturesque, popular and car-free. The streets are steep so don’t be surprised to see the locals taking their shopping home on sledges. They used to use donkeys for the purpose. Today you can visit them as they live a burden-free life. Once you reach the bottom there’s not much else you need to do other than grab a pint or an ice cream and sit on the harbour side. The views back up the hill are magnificent.
Heading west onto the Hartland Peninsula is always an adventure. The lanes are narrow (but never impassable), the beaches remote and the countryside gorgeous. Hartland village, with its tiny village square and local shops is a good place to stop for fresh and local supplies, while Hartland Quay - an exposed point with a sand and rock bay, wild rock formations and huge cliffs - offers the very best vantage point for sunset and great walks along the coast. And there’s a pub there too, in case you need a refresher.
Inland from the Quay there’s a chance to visit the area’s finest home, Hartland Abbey, which sits in a beautiful meadow a mile from the cottage at Blackpool Sands. You’ll recognise it from the movies! It’s been used many times as a film location.
Hartland Point is another great starting point for coastal walks (or a cream tea). In a few minutes you could find yourself on an isolated cove or stopping for a picnic on your own deserted piece of coast path. Just remember to bring your camera.
See below our full list of holiday cottages available in Hartland and Clovelly.