Clovelly Court Gardens
Clovelly Court Gardens

Clovelly Court Gardens is a beautifully-restored Victorian kitchen garden adjoining Clovelly Court manor house on the Devon coast. Within the walls of the garden are a range of traditional fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, peaches, melons, apricots, citrus, vines, a fig tree, chillies, and much more.

Fruit trees have been trained to form espalier and cordon arrangements along the garden walls. A lovely footpath joins the garden to the seaside village of Clovelly - a place where time has stood still, and no motor cars are allowed.

The unique microclimate of Clovelly, created by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the sheltered location of the village on the Bristol Channel, allows exotic and tender plants to grow within the garden walls. The garden is further protected by an avenue of tall lime trees lining the drive to the Court.


The gardens are usually open at the same time as the village itself. A ticket to Clovelly village from the visitor centre allows free entry into the gardens. You can opt to walk from the village parking area or take the trail, a walk of less than 10 minutes. There is also space to park along the main drive to the house. The garden is immediately beside Clovelly Court and the medieval church of All Saints.

Inside the walled garden
Inside the walled garden

When we visited there was no one taking admission, just an honesty box beside the garden gate. Since we had already paid to visit the village we walked straight in, pausing to take a laminated garden guide from a dispenser by the gate.

Note that although the gardens are part of the Historic Houses Association, they are not free to enter for HHA members, though, as mentioned above, admission to the village also gives entry to the gardens.

The main garden focus is on fruit and vegetables, many grown with the aide of the 19th century restored greenhouses that take up much of the upper garden. There are 5 Victorian greenhouses, and they retain their original manual levers to control ventilation. They really are quite impressive, though you have to peer in through open doorways into the interiors.

Produce from the garden is grown not only for the manor house but to supply local businesses including the Red Lion pub and the New Inn in the village. Visitors can also buy bedding plants and herbs as well as garden produce.

Aside from kitchen garden and greenhouses there are wide borders, ablaze with rich colour on a summer day, and a variety of traditional plants trained to grow up the garden walls. Through several gates in the wall you can catch glimpses of the manor house, which is privately owned and not open to the public.

The garden and historic church make a wonderful addition to the Clovelly visiting experience. Don't just visit the village and skip the gardens and church!