A more dramatic setting to enjoy local food and drink is hard to imagine! The Wreckers Bar, open all day and all year for drinks, meals, snacks and coffee, is located right on the Atlantic water at Hartland Quay, perched on the edge of this wild and spectacular bay with soaring granite cliffs all around. Part of the Hartland Quay Hotel which was once the former Customs & Excise buildings, the Wreckers is directly on this most ruggedly beautiful part of the SW coast path. You can arrive by foot from Clovelly, Hartland Point, Welcome or Bude and, as it’s at the bottom of a twisty hairpin road that winds dramatically down from the cliffs above it’s also easily reached by foot, bike, car or horseback along sheltered lanes through the lovely rolling Devon countryside.
However you arrive, the Wreckers offers the warmest of traditional pub welcomes. There’s lots of seating outside to enjoy the spectacular view, the weather in all its extremes and the famous Hartland Quay sunsets and skies, which, with no land nearer than America, seem to go on forever. Inside the pub is packed with relics and artefacts from this area’s rich wrecking and smuggling heritage inside and out and the traditional bar is cosy and warm, with real fires on cold days.
The full pub range of food and drink, plus coffees, ice creams is on offer and, in the summer, there’s a little beach shop and the Smuggling Museum. On the menu are local ales and ciders, good pub grub including fish straight from the sea and local meats and produce, plus a great range of snacks. Children are genuinely welcomed and catered for and well-behaved dogs are welcomed in the bar.
This is a unique and not-to-be missed place to visit whatever the time of year or weather. It’s a wonderful refreshment stop, a vibrant day out surrounded by the lively bay and beach and a truly magical place to be on balmy spring and summer evenings with endless sunsets and the Hartland Town Band playing right by the water. In colder weather enjoy the crisp clean air and striking autumn and winter colours and be awed by the stormy power of the wind and waves crashing against the granite cliffs and pounding on the beach before retreating inside for warming food and drink, a chat with the locals or a game of cards or dominoes by the fire.
To learn more about this very special place see The Hartland Quay Hotel & Wreckers Retreat Bar website.