Route Highlight

The Surf Shore

The enormous beaches at Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough offer miles of sand stretching into a hazy distance between grassy headlands. They’re huge flat spaces for any number of watersporters, swimmers, families and sunbathers. The surf can be exciting but it can be a long walk to reach it at low tide.

Croyde has the nicest village but the beach is smaller, creating more challenging, funnelled waves. It’s usually the haunt of serious surfers, while beginners prefer Woolacombe.

Walkers and wildlife spotters love the wood boardwalks through Braunton Burrows UNESCO Biosphere. It’s full of rare flora and fauna… and leads to the atmospheric sandy headland of Crow Point at the estuary mouth.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

The Taw and Torridge

At the mouth of the Torridge, Appledore’s charming maze of pastel-painted fishermen’s cottages offers views (and water taxis) across the Torridge to grander captain’s houses at Instow on the east shore.

Westward Ho!

The first beach since Bude is a two-mile sandy stretch. It leads from the family-friendly candyfloss and go-karts at Westward Ho! town to the wild and windy headland at Greysands facing Saunton Sands on the far side of the estuary. 

Ilfracombe

North Devon’s biggest resort is a mix of peeling Victoriana, kiss-me-quick seaside tartiness and contemporary chic, set amid steep cliffs, rocky inlets and sandy coves. Highlights include Damien Hirst’s controversial harbourside statue, the hidden Tunnel Beach and St Nicholas’s Chapel on Lantern Hill – Britain’s oldest lighthouse.

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