We've joked for a while that Marple is cut off from the world due to a curfew at night caused by the one main route being closed from 7pm.
Heading back from a day out today we saw signs for the village of Clovelly. Optimistically, we thought we might round the day off with a meander around a lovely coastal village just as the rain had receded. We may even have bought a few things for tea later. We didn't, as it would have cost us £23.40 just to enter the village and it was 4.30 in the afternoon. I'm sorry but this is just appalling.
The owners justify this by saying the following:
"It has cobbled streets" - so does Nelson.
"It is famous for its donkeys" - so is Blackpool.
"It is privately owned" - is it? The houses might be, the nasty looking visitor centre may be too, the car park may be as well. But the roads down to it aren't.
A quick search into the background to this found a fairly strident view that this amounts to a rip-off. Like this from Devon Link.
Then there's this from Wikipedia:
Visitors are told that revenues raised from the entrance fee are used to fund the constant maintenance of the village's cottages and cobbled street. However, there are discrepancies to these claims, and indeed to the justification of charging a fee to walk down the village street. The street is owned and maintained by Torridge District Council, therefore the claim that funds from the village are used to maintain the street are questionable. Additionally, critics of the post-1988 management claim that the Clovelly Estate Company has no legal basis in imposing a charge for visitors simply wishing to walk down the street (and not to visit or make use of other facilities such as the museum or film show), because it is a public street owned by the council. Likewise, visitors are stopped from walking down the road to the harbour in order to avoid using the visitor centre and paying for admission. This practice is legally unenforceable as it is a public road and any person may therefore use it free of charge.
So the owners want people to enjoy the village but pay for its upkeep, but they haven't had it protected through the National Trust, which we're members of. Maybe we'll go back for a guerrilla raid tomorrow.