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A visit to Clovelly’s Herring Festival is a great day out whilst staying in North Devon.  This years was on 16th November and in addition to getting the opportunity to see the beautiful and unspoilt village with its famous cobbled street (made famous in the Hovis advert) you can sample the foodie delights on offer…

Clovelly was once a major centre for herring fishing and our annual Herring Festival is held to promote these tasty, nutritious ‘Silver Darlings’ and support carefully managed fishing as carried out by our local fishermen.

The village once depended on the harvest of herring, which are caught in superb condition for a short season off its coast.  Records go back over 400 years and in 1749, there were a hundred herring boats in the port.  When fishing was good, 9000 herring could be landed at one time. Those days of massive catches are long gone and there remain just two herring fishermen who still employ sustainable fishing methods using drift nets and long lines.

Maritime historian and writer, Mike Smylie, will return with his ‘Kipperland’ exhibition, which is devoted to the history of the herring.  He will also be turning herring into delicious and delicate-tasting kippers and bloaters in his smokehouse.

There will also be net making, flax processing and a curragh on show provided by ‘Flaxland’.

Enjoy a wide variety of herring dishes in the quay kitchens or at the Harbour Restaurant, (visit to view the menu), cookery demonstrations, live shanty and sea song singers (Flash Jack, Tavy Tars and Rakes Adrift), stilted Seagulls, other local food and craft stalls, a photographic exhibition of Clovelly herring fishing and National Trust event-themed, free craft activities.

Standard admission charges include all entertainment.

Clovelly Herring Festival featured in:

Countryfile Magazine
Channel 4’s River Cottage series