Is a quote about Clovelly from the author and social reformer Charles Kingsley who wrote The Water Babies and Westwood Ho from over 150 years ago and since then the village has hardly changed.
In the summer SD and I were at an event which had a charity auction. One of the lots was for entry to Clovelly village in North Devon.
My first visit to Clovelly was about 4 years ago and I loved it so I persuaded SD to bid for the tickets and on Saturday we headed up the Atlantic Highway from our holiday in Cornwall and spent the day in this beautiful place.
Kingsley came to the village in 1831 at the age of 11 where his father was curate and then rector until 1836.
Clovelly is set deep into the North Devon hillside with a single cobbled high street edged with traditional whitewashed cottages festooned with fuchsias and geraniums.
The High Street known as Up-along or Down-along wends its way dropping 122m (400ft) in 0.8km (half a mile) to the impressive 14th century quay and harbour.
Traffic is banned from the high street and visitors park at the top of the hill by the Heritage Centre but there is, for those who find the walk back up too steep, a landrover service to ferry visitors back up via the back road.
Clovelly was once a busy fishing port famed for it's mackerel and herring and although fishing has declined it's still a part of village life. In the past this coastline was rife with smuggling and piracy and notorious for shipwrecks and so, since 1870 Clovelly has had it's own lifeboat.
As the high street it too steep for motor vehicles donkeys were used for centuries as the main form of transport to ferry everything by sledge. The donkeys are no longer used for heavy loads but they are still an integral part of life in Clovelly and children can enjoy rides in the summer.
When you get down to the harbour you can stroll along the pebbly beach past the lifeboat house and along the shore to the waterfall pouring out of the cliff face.
There is a cave behind the waterfall where legend tells that Merlin the Arthurian magician was born but the source of the waterfall is slightly more prosaic. A stream used by the village for drinking water once flowed down the village street but when mains water was installed the stream was diverted and emerged further down the cliff as the waterfall.
Clovelly has been associated with just 3 families since the middle of the 13th century and prior to that it was owned by the King.
In 1242 it was acquired by the Giffard family who were of Norman origin. Walter Giffard came to England as one of Duke Williams closest advisers.
In 1370 ownership passed to Sir William Cary through marriage and purchase and Sir William is best know as reputedly being the builder of the original pier or breakwater. the Carys continued to live in Clovelly for the next 11 generations until their line died out and Clovelly was sold by the widower of Elizabeth Cary in 1738 to Zachary Hamly who's descendants still own the village and much of the surrounding land.
There is so much more history to Clovelly that I haven't included in this post but really, the best way to experience it is to actually visit if you can.
It is a unique and beautiful place.