Ocean Mist Window Cleaning Services took a well earned family day off which lead us to the Lobster & Crab Festival in Clovelly. The weather was unexpectedly hot (bad move wearing a fleeced sweatshirt with nothing underneath!) but the vibe was a chilled as ever. We have always been fans of Clovelly..but after having enjoyed this festival we will be back much more. This place is so unique and special it really does feel like you are stepping back in time.
Clovelly set into a steep hillside, is one of the most famous maritime villages in the world. Clovelly has a single cobbled high street winding its way down the hillside to the ancient Clovelly harbour. Traditional whitewashed cottages festooned with flowers and themed gardens - the street drops 122m (400ft) in 0.8km (half a mile) as it winds its way through Clovelly's 16th century cottages to the harbour.Traffic is banned from the 'high street' with visitors parking at the top of the hill adjacent to Clovelly Heritage Centre. For a small fee, a Land rover service ferries visitors up and down the steep hill via a back road, to the harbour side Red Lion Public House (more about that later)The Clovelly Heritage Centre has a cafe and souvenir shops to grab that little memory of this unique little village. To understand the history of Clovelly, you can watch the 20 minute audio-visual film to make the most of your visit however throughout the cobbled streets you will find much to read and look at it.
An annual event, the Lobster and Crab Festival is a celebration of their links to the sustainable fishing of Lobster.As we meandered down the cobbled street there was a real smell of excitement in the air. Bunting flapped in the gentle humid breeze and huge crowds were starting to build. As we neared the harbour we could hear the sounds of folk music and the buzz of the families down on the pebbled shore.At last the beautiful sight of the harbour became clear and a feast of activity was upon us. Cookery demonstrations with tastings, plenty of freshly cooked lobsters and crabs, beer tasting, craft tents for the kids and a packed Red Lion pub over flowing with happy customers.Children's entertainment provided by stilt walking Lobsters (now that's some clever Lobsters) walkabout magic and balloon modelling by local legend Dave Hendy and free face painting for all the kids.The National Lobster Hatchery, exhibited baby lobsters before releasing them into the sea and the worthy RNLI talked to passers by about the importance of supporting them (they receive no government funding yet helped save 25,000 across the UK in last year!!)After having a look at what the stalls had to offer we sat down on the pebbles and enjoyed cool pint of 'Clovelly Cobbler' while the kids paddled in the water. It was truly a lovely atmosphere and one we felt really lucky to have on our door step. With a fresh lobster purchased and destined for our cooking pot later that evening, we strolled towards the queue for the Landrover service to take us back up to the top of the village. We weren't the only ones who were hoping to cadge a lift and by this point the kids were getting a bit hot and bothered (our 3 year old has a heart condition so tires quickly). We decided that by the time we had waited for our turn we could probably walk it back to the top. The road that the land rover takes was just in front of us and we thought that would be quicker than walking towards the crowds that were coming down the cobbles. Well...wasn't that bad judgement! We are not the most frequent of walkers and it absolutely killed us! Plenty of people visitors do this walk regularly..and enjoy it! So don't let us put you off!Once we got to the top we all jumped in the car, sweating and worn out but full of happiness in our hearts having had such a wonderful trip to Clovelly.
We would encourage anyone to visit Clovelly and to check their Facebook page regularly for any special events. We paid £20 for a family ticket and we feel that it really is worth it. Perhaps pack a lunch or treat yourselves to lunch at The New Inn or Red Lion? Good walking shoes are a must and if you have any mobility issues mention it to the visitor centre on arrival.We have planned to go back for their New Years Eve event..maybe we will see you there.
You can see a video from our day at our Facebook page -