Clovelly: A Real-Life Fairy Tale – Holly Goodchild

Since the age of five, I had seen these sun-drenched villages of stone and sea only as distant fantasies, which I could only approach by leaning my face against the covers of fairy tale books. fairies, which I had already gone through thousands of times. . So when ten years later I found myself at the center of one of these fairy tales, I was absolutely amazed. I found myself with an atmosphere of sunlight, stone and sea all at once flooding towards me, weaving through lovely gardens and charming thatched cottages; I found myself smothered in sweet and salty and delicate scents; I found myself in Clovelly, an actual fairy tale.

Clovelly is a port village in North Devon, loved by iconic British personalities like Charles Dickens, and the UK’s 3rd trending travel destination on Airbnb, for good reason – an enchanting cobbled village, brimming with a magnificent 400-foot cliff, overlooking a picture-perfect, salty sea, what’s not to love?

Well, I have to admit that when I first read about this supposed “trendy travel destination” I had some doubts: surely there can’t be much to do in a small, edge of the country? Can’t I find a village like this, which doesn’t charge an entrance fee, in any other countryside? Am I just supposed to believe that the perfectly modeled images pasted on Google are really what I’m going to see coming out of the sweaty depths of my car?

But, like the heat of Cornish pastry melting on your tongue, those doubts were instantly dissolved.

What struck me first was the landscape. It may have been just luck, but on this day I could assure you with the utmost certainty that the cerulean features of Clovelly’s sky surpassed even those pasted on Google. The air, plagued by the absence of traffic or vehicles, gave off a sense of tranquility that no Airbnb review could have even slightly recreated. From the donkey stables to the bustling confectionery to the gleaming cobbled path reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, every corner of this small village was bursting with color and character.

So much character, in fact, that my family even broke out in mini squabbles over where to go next:

‘The pasty place smells so good, let’s go!’

“But we have to try pottery first!”

‘Not before we head for the port!’

Luckily for us, there was no rush, as our entry fee (£4.95 for under 16s, £8.50 for overs) gave us access to this fairy tale land. not only for the whole day, but all week! So we managed to spend over three hours venturing into every cottage and garden, munching on fudge and pâté and staring at the horizon until every tree and leaf was smothered in orange sunlight. .

So, looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Head to Clovelly. Looking for a place with enough history to intrigue adults, but enough cottages and color to captivate children? Head to Clovelly. Looking to fulfill your childhood fantasy of finding yourself wandering a seaside village – please head to Clovelly, the real-life fairy tale.

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