Gwennan Rees

Blogger and Illustrator

North Devon Photo Diary; May 2017

North Devon Photo Diary; May 2017

Clovelly, North Devon. 

Clovelly, North Devon. 

Be warned; this photo diary is very photo heavy. I mean the clue is in the title but like, this one more than probably any I've done before - North Devon is just so gorge. 

Last weekend from Saturday to Monday Joss and I nipped 3 hours down the motorway to North Devon to spend a few days away from it all and celebrate 7 years of being together. I've been to North Devon before a good few times but Joss hasn't really and tbf I just chose it cos it had a cheap premier inn and wasn't too far away to travel. I'm a cheapskate what can I say. 

On Saturday we shared the driving down to Devon because sadly we both love to drive a road trip so have to fight over who does it and we got there mid afternoon. Devon is just over the water from the part of South Wales we live in but alas, there's no tunnel that we can just nip through. 

After dropping our luggage off at the hotel we basically got straight back in the car and drove a further 45 minutes further up the coast (we were just outside Bideford) to the village of Mortehoe. 

When I was thinking of things to do on the weekend I knew we wouldn't have that long to spend out on Saturday evening and I also knew we'd probably be knackered so I had a look at the good old National Trust website. There aren't a lot of properties on the North Devon coast to visit but there were a LOT of walks on offer. 

The National Trust owns a lot of coastline which not a lot of people know and Morte Point in the village of Mortehoe is just one of them. Basically they might own the coastal paths or a beach and maybe the car park and the website provides you with some walks and directions. 

I v quickly became obsessed with the idea of a little walk, not too long cos I lol don't want to do exercise and also we didn't have a lot of time, and taking some photos of cliffs and the sea and preferably I wanted a chance to feel like I was on the edge of the earth. 

Mortehoe didn't disappoint. 

You park in the car park in the village and walk in between the pub and the church through a windy lane and through the National Trust signposted gate and off you go. You can basically make it up as you go along as there are actual coastal paths (pictured above) and mown grassy tracks but it's not easy to work it out and work out where you want to go. The walk we printed off the website we loosely followed until I started up 'LET'S JUST SEE WHAT'S OVER HERE' and we ended up traipsing along for about 2 and a half hours. 

We wandered, we were windswept, we explored rocks and cliffs and looked for caves and we went round the 'back' of the point and then it was basically us and the sea. I got my photos, it was grey and atmospheric and I felt like there was nothing else in the world-that cliff face onto the sea was the end of the world in my view and it was bloody glorious. 

Ok so admittedly I got insanely hungry by the end of it and foolishly sent us up an almost sheer cliff face in my quest for food which nearly killed us off but hey, girl gotta eat. We finished the evening up with a traditional seaside chippy in the village and drove back to the hotel where we watched TV and generally slobbed out. 

Sunday I woke up to sunshine blaring through the window and the realisation it was already 10am. You know one of them sleeps where you're like a zombie and you wake up all confused? It was one of them, obvs the fresh air sent me comatosed. 

After the laziest morning ever with some breakfast and shit Sunday morning TV we popped in the car down the road to the village of Clovelly. I've been before, although I didn't remember hardly anything but I knew Joss would be into it. It's such a unique little village built in a harbour in the middle of two hills and it (and it's houses) are owned by one family. 

I won't go into the history, you should genuinely visit and watch the films and visit the museum but it's a traditional little fishing village, all cobbled stones and traditional tiny houses and shops and there's no cars and each house has a sled to bring their shopping down and they still have donkeys that used to work for them. It's adorable.

We spent all afternoon in Clovelly in the end, we watched the films on the history of the village and we spent some time in the museum-and even more time in the old sweet shop deciding which fudge to buy (FYI we went sea salt cos duh.) We weren't in any rush so we just wandered, stopping to take lots of photos of the view and trying not to slide down the cobbles. Joss had a pasty on the way down whilst I contemplated a cream tea and by the time we got to the harbour it was a baking hot day. If you're wondering, I was wearing a leather jacket and I nearly melted and made Joss carry it on the way back cos I'm the best GF like that. 

We sat for a long long time at the very end of the harbour wall burning, people watching, taking photos looking back up the village and trying to muster up the energy to walk back up.

Oh he takes a good candid photo when I was turning back round doesn't he? He's learning.

The trip back up the village basically killed me. You need to be FIT to get back up there especially as some of the cobbles are slippery (good shoes are a must) and the weather definitely hindered us, as lovely as it was. 

We made a lot of stops on the walk (climb) back up, I had a pasty instead of a cream tea after lusting over Joss', Joss had an ice cream and he even managed a slushie in celebration when we got back to the visitor centre. Definitely keep a few shops and sights back for the way to the top so you have an excuse to pretend to want to stop when actually you need a break before you pass out. 

After leaving Clovelly (make a stop at the court gardens at the top before you go) we went back to the hotel and just ate at the on site restaurant cos lol too lazy I had the dreamiest Belgian waffle ever and we settled down to A Million Ways To Die In The West for about the hundreth time.  

Monday was v much a less cultured day but definitely a more 'Joss' day than the rest had been. He loves to learn, he loves to see things, he loves to read all the signs of info wherever we are and he loves a zoo so I took him to Exmoor on Monday before we went home. 

We checked out late morning and got to the zoo at about 1pm, starting with dinner (cheesy chips and nachos FYI which were insane) and we were done by about half 4 so it's not huge but good for an afternoon. 

It was insanely hot again on Monday and we had an ice cream or two as we were wandering round and we saw these tiny baby meerkats that I absolutely fell in love with. I don't mind a zoo because Joss spends so long reading all of the info I wander off and get a chance to use my camera and pretend I'm a wildlife photographer. 

All in all, a top sunny weekend and a welcome get away (not leat because it was all topped off with THAT Blogosphere award shortlist announcement). It wasn't long enough, especially with weather that nice but it was so good to just o away, explore somewhere new and just have some time away from real life. 

100% recommend North Devon for Clovelly and for it's coastline (and it's seals) which are ideal for walking and exploring and photographing. Thank you Devon, I'll be back - for the 38248236736th time. 

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