Falconry at The Hoops

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a bird of prey swoop out of the sky and land on your fist?

The Bird of Prey Experience is based in the picturesque village of Clovelly in North Devon and offers a variety of experience activities for all ages in the stunning surrounding countryside.

Beginners can experience holding a falcon, hawk or owl on the fist and taking them out in the field to practise basic handling and training skills.

Those wishing a more advanced program can spend time with a Master Falconer and receive expert tuition in basic bird management and training methods, how to keep a bird of prey and how to make some of the necessary equipment.

If you are on holiday in North Devon why not visit Clovelly and enjoy a Hawk Walk along the coastal paths or around the Clovelly Estate.

If you want to experience the art of hunting with these wonderful raptors you can spend some time enjoying the amazing skills of our Harris Hawks hunting on the site of the oldest Iron Age Fort in Europe, the Clovelly Dykes.

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Needing a getaway to recover from a really pressurized winter, we opted to stay at the Hoops for three nights in March. The weather was wonderful, but it was tempting to stay in - our room was under the thatch in the oldest part of the hotel and featured fireplace, panelling, stained glass and a very comfy half-tester bed with tapestry hangings. Window seats and a top-notch en-suite completed the picture. It's very quiet, despite fronting the road.? The inn itself had very friendly staff for whom nothing was too much trouble, a cosy bar and a restaurant, both with lots of nooks for a secluded meal. The bar menu was comprehensive and the restaurant fare stylish - but we found we could mix and match from both menus no matter where we decided to eat. There is a characterful 'snug' and a library space too. Breakfast was gargantuan - a huge choice of dishes including local kippers and smoked haddock with poached eggs, and as a touch of luxury at no extra cost smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.

?We loved it all and would go back again any time!? A stream runs through the garden, and wild birds keep you entertained. It's a great place to tour from, coast and moor and historic towns all within easy reach.?It's not cheap as a one-off at a published rate around 200 a room per night with breakfast, but there are often good deals to be had for three night stays: we paid a total of 195 B&B for three nights in a 'best' room.

- via Tripadvisor