With the arrival of December and the start of the Advent season, it's a great idea to get into the seasonal spirit by attending a few Christmas events as a family. Give yourself a break from shopping, decorating the house, cooking and rushing around and enjoy the more pleasurable side of the season by attending the delightful Christmas Magic in Clovelly event, which is held each year on the first Sunday in December.
Best Time to Arrive at the Christmas Magic in Clovelly event
The event starts at the Clovelly Visitor Centre at around 3:30pm with a procession led by a brass band which really sets the scene in this historical village. However, to make the most of your visit, it is wise to arrive at least half an hour before to make sure of convenient parking and to get a good viewing point along the route of the procession. It can be chilly, even in Devon in December, so I would advise dressing up with plenty of layers, just in case.
Admission to the village is free after 3pm, for those just attending the Christmas Magic in Clovelly event, but if you want to spend the day there, the usual admission charges apply as this is a privately owned village.
There is also a charge for car parking for this event, but all proceeds are donated to the local RNLI, so it goes to a very worthwhile cause, supporting the local lifeboat.
Donkeys at Clovelly
There are plenty of craft workshops to visit in Clovelly and do some Christmas shopping, but one particularly seasonal thing I would recommend is a visit to the Donkey Stables in the village. These donkeys still haul sledges up and down the steep streets, carrying visitor's luggage to the Red Lion and the New Inn as well as transporting local shopping, coal or even furniture up and down the streets. You may even be able to pose for a family photograph with them.
Procession, Carol singing and fireworks!
The beautifully lit parade of walkers with lanterns makes its way down the historic cobbled street to the harbour. You can almost imagine Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit making an appearance, fresh from Dickens' Victorian novels!
This is a really festive family event and everyone joins in with the well-known Christmas carol singing led by the Torridge Male Voice Choir. Their harmonious lead really sets the tone for a rousing sing along of carols which we may only sing once a year, but somehow manage to know all the words! Santa of course is in attendance and everyone gets the chance to put in their requests extra early.
Part of the pleasure of the Christmas Magic in Clovelly event is the food. As well as the usual excellent fare served up in the local pubs and cafés, there is a steaming hog roast which provides delicious roast pork and all the trimmings, crammed into a freshly baked roll. Delicious! There are also the usual side stalls selling hot punch, mulled wine and melt-in-the-mouth mince pies ‐ probably the first of many you will sample this month, but the first ones are always the best!
At around 5pm as darkness descends and the cottage windows light up, the switch is thrown and the whole village and harbour are lit up with colourful Christmas lights. The day finishes with a fantastic fireworks display which lights up the darkening sky over the scenic harbour. It's a great way to start Christmas!
Have you ever visited Clovelly in winter when it is lit up after dark? We'd love to hear about your visit and what you would particularly recommend for new visitors to do.