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Northwest Devon: The Cornish border to the River Torridge - A view from our expert author


Clovelly North Devon England UK by Juneisy Q. Hawkins Shutterstock
Clovelly © Juneisy Q. Hawkins, Shutterstock

The ever-changing wood and cliff scenery from the coast path is sublime; the region’s most charming fishing villages are here.

This ‘wild west’ of the county is perhaps my favourite part of North Devon. Here there are no sandy beaches (unless you count Westward Ho!’s low-tide sands) but the ever-changing wood and cliff scenery from the coast path is sublime; the region’s most charming fishing villages are here (Clovelly and Appledore), as are the splendid Hartland Abbey, some good gardens (Clovelly Court, Docton Mill) and a clutch of villages whose churches are crammed with curiosities. And talking of curiosities, there is even a Gnome Reserve.

Charles Kingsley and Sir Richard Grenville share the honours of being the region’s favourite son. Kingsley’s name is everywhere, though few 21st-century readers appreciate his flowery, moralistic prose (he wrote The Water Babies and Westward Ho!), whilst Grenville, who met his death when his ship,The Revenge, tackled a vastly superior Spanish fleet, is mainly celebrated in his home town of Bideford.  

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