Day 062: Hartland Quay to Clovelly

Distance: 10.31 miles

Ascent: 2997 feet

Weather: Light Rain, Sunny Spells

Accommodation: red Lion, Clovelly


Well this morning Vicky my host from last night was joining for the walk to Clovelly. The temperature was above freezing, and we set off from Hartland Quay in light rain. I soon learned that Vicky was like a mountain goat up the hills, and I stuck to my own pace catching her up at the top of the hills.

There were several ups and downs towards the beginning of the day, and at the bottom of the first of these Blackpool Mill there was a cottage with an incredibly rickety roof that appeared to defy gravity.

Just shy of Hartland Point there was a memorial to The Glenart Castle. This was a hospital ship sunk just over a hundred years ago (26th February 1918), during the first world war and led to the loss of over hundred and fifty lives.

At Hartland Point there is a lovely lighthouse that has now been decommissioned and is in private hands. It is rumoured that Damien Hirst owned it for a couple of years but sold it due to issues with the access road.

From Hartland Point the path flattens out for several miles before dropping down to Mouthmill Beach. The sun had come out and the vista along the coast from the beach was stunning. We had several steep climbs at the end of the day taking us into the Clovelly Estate. This is stunning little village which is privately owned by one person and unless you are staying in the accommodation there is a charge of £7.50 to enter.

Well that is the end of the walk part, and it was great to walk with Vicky for the shortish walk today.

Well for the second part of the diary. Since the cold weather this part of the country has been completely out of water, due to a burst water main that they could not seem to find (they may have just found it), and therefore the water board had turned the water off. Water bowsers have been set up in the major villages and people are panic stocking up. About 11 this morning half way through my walk someone from the New Inn rang up to say that they were going to close the hotel due to water issues, I explained my situation and said we could discuss when I got to Clovelly as I had no other possible locations. On arrival at Clovelly not only were they incredibly rude and giving differing and ridiculous reasons for not letting me stay (2 of them given below) in the room I had booked a few weeks ago, but they flat refused to provide any help even though I said I was happy to take the room without any shower/flush etc. Also, a local at the bar decided it was clever to laugh and slag me of due to my predicament. This triggered me quickly into a mental health low, and I was physically twitching and knew I just had to get out of the New Inn. I decided to head down to the quay to chill out where I passed the only other option in Clovelly, The Red Lion. They were not taking new bookings (but had accommodated any booked guests who still wanted to stay)  but the manager understood my situation and sensibly/kindly let me book a room. I am very grateful for this.

‘You can't stay as no heating due to water issue’, central heating is on a closed system so no new water needed so a completely fictitious reason. Plus I was happy for the room to be cold as long as dry.
‘Our public liability doesn’t cover us without bathroom facilities’, I almost laughed at this one.

The whole New Inn situation had really wound me up and took me a couple of hours to calm down. But now I have calmed down I am on my rest day which this week I really need, in a lovely room, hopefully the water will come back on tonight, and I can now relax.

So, walking wise a successful day and in fact a very successful/satisfying week given very tough weather conditions. And in fact, barring the New Inn incident a scenic days walking and Clovelly is a nice location for my rest day.

charles compton