North Devon is blessed with some of the countries best beaches, most look out towards the West and the Atlantic Ocean with the island of Lundy set on the horizon. There is plenty to do on our beaches, whether it be walking or water sports or just to feel and see Nature at her finest!
Multi award winning Woolacombe and Putsborough Sands is a 2.5 mile stretch of golden, gently sloping sandy beach, with glorious sand dunes to walk and explore.
Croyde Bay is popular with surfers all year round and is busy in the summer months with holiday makers.
Saunton Sands is 4 miles of golden sandy beach stretching from Saunton Ridge and the famous deco Saunton Sands Hotel to the mouth of the River Taw. Crow Point sits at the far end of Saunton Sands and is a great place to get away from the summer crowds. Behind Saunton Sands dunes is the world famous Braunton Burrows and Saunton Golf Club.
There are many superb walks, especially on the South West Coast Path (South West Way) which runs right past our cottages. It is the UK’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath along coastline at 1,014 km (630 miles) – much of which is owned by the National Trust.
The path runs along North Devon’s finest, golden sandy beaches and dramatic cliff tops, mostly located on the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including Putsborough and Woolacombe Sands, Saunton Sands, Westwood Ho and of course the ever popular surfing beach of Croyde Bay. There are some fantastic views out to the Atlantic Ocean, Lundy Island and Wales.
Away from our beaches there are castles and grand houses to visit, there are country towns and pastel coloured fishing villages to discover, and beautiful gardens to explore. Some of these include:
The wonderfully preserved Clovelly Village and Harbour, with its cobbled street leading past beautiful cottages down towards the harbour and its pebbly beach.
Lynton and Lynmouth two villages on the coast, one above the other, known by the Victorians as Little Switzerland. Lynton is an attractive village and 600 feet below is small harbour of Lynmouth. The two villages are linked by a famous and ingenius cliff railway which is well worth a ride. Walks include up the river gorge to Watersmeet and west along the coastal path to the Valley of Rocks with its wonderful scenery and flock of wild goats.
Country Houses and Gardens include Arlington Court, and Tapeley Park (gardens). There are also family days out like Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, Exmoor Zoo, The Big Sheep and The Milky Way.
There are a variety of water sports available in the North Devon area; from surfing, kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding, body boarding and swimming.
Surf schools offering tuition and shops renting out or selling all the necessary kit are nearby at Putsborough, Croyde and Woolacombe.
Other water sports available include jet skiing, boating, kayaking, diving, and coast steering.
There are many types of fishing available in the area, you can fish straight off the beaches or hire a boat in Ilfracombe Harbour for some sea fishing.
Coarse fishing is available at Riverton Fisheries or Slade Reservoir near Ilfracombe.
Trout fishing is available at Blakewell Fisheries or Dulverton Lake and River.
Fly fishing tuition is available locally. Ask for more information…
Horses are allowed on both Putsborough / Woolacombe Beach and Saunton Sands and the area has many bridal paths. There are horse riding stables in Croyde and Woolacombe, and the bridal ways of Exmoor are not far away!
Golfers are perfectly placed to enjoy a round or two on some of the best courses in the country – North Devon is blessed with some excellent courses. There are the twin courses of Saunton Golf Club, the East Course was established in the 1880’s and is in the Top 100 Courses of the World.
“I am a huge fan of Saunton” said Nick Faldo in a recent testimonial for Saunton Golf Club. “Framed by magnificent sand hills, it is a classic links course where the character of the terrain and the vagaries of a near ever-present wind combine to create a wonderfully absorbing challenge.”
Royal North Devon at Westward Ho! can rightly claim to be the cradle of English Golf. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest golf course in the country and is regarded as the St Andrews of England. The course is as tough as any of the UK’s better-known links and is ranked at number 69 in Golf Monthly’s Top 120 Course Rankings and it also features in Golf World’sTop 100 courses in the world that every golfer “must play”
This area is renowned as having some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, with Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks to explore and is host to the Braunton Burrows.
The Burrows is the heart of North Devon’s BiosphereReserve, the only UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in the UK. Braunton Burrows is a prime British sand dune site, the largest sand dune system (psammosere) in England. It is particularly important ecologically because it includes the complete successional range of dune plant communities, with over 400 plant species. The short turf communities are very rich in lichens and herbs, and the dune slacks are also rich. The many rare plants and animals include 14 with UK Biodiversity Action Plans. For example, this is one of only two sites in the UK for the Amber Sandbowl Snail Catinella arenaria, which is found on the wet dune slacks.
The Burrows are very special and are designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a National nature reserve, a SSSI, a Ramsar site, a Special Area of Conservation, part of the North Devon AONB and the North Devon Heritage Coast.