Connect with us


Why Croyde is driving the crest of a wave | Browsing holidays



Spread the love

Coutdated beers, crab sandwiches, superb seashores and rugged headlands. Croyde Bay on the North Devon coast is effectively definitely worth the trek to get there (a three-and-a-half-hour prepare journey from Paddington through Exeter to the closest station at Barnstaple), if solely to fall gratefully into the nice and cozy embrace of the village’s much-loved Thatch pub.

We first found Croyde 10 years in the past, in search of an alternative choice to Cornwall for an prolonged household vacation by the ocean. Since then, we’ve by no means been anyplace else. The primary glimpse as you around the headland by no means disappoints; large, white-tipped rollers gliding in throughout the sands, the dramatic define of Dishevelled Level stretching out in the direction of Lundy Island on the opposite aspect of the bay, as lovely in autumn as it’s in excessive summer season. Aside from just a few homes, scattered alongside the aspect of the headland, the seaside is unspoilt, saved by the road of dunes, designated as a web site of particular scientific curiosity (SSSI).

Breaking news: Croyde became part of the UK’s first world surfing reserve earlier this year.
Breaking information: Croyde grew to become a part of the UK’s first world browsing reserve earlier this yr. {Photograph}: Craig Joiner Images/Alamy

Croyde hit the headlines earlier this yr, when it grew to become a part of the UK’s first world browsing reserve: 19 miles of wave-lashed shoreline, with seashores to go well with everybody from novice bodyboarders to hardcore native surfers, who flock to the seaside within the autumn months, when the water continues to be heat and the waves at their most dependable. It got here as a shock to those that maintain up Cornish seashores, similar to Newquay and Polzeath, because the epicentre of the UK browsing scene – however then Croyde has all the time been a little bit extra below the radar.

Yearly, once we return, I fear the village may have modified, that some loophole will let the builders in. However a part of the enjoyment of Croyde is that it someway all the time stays the identical; the cupboard-sized Ralph’s Surf Store continues to be there on the nook, the Hub nonetheless does the perfect lemon crunch ice-cream and it’s all the time unattainable to stroll previous Saltrock with out popping out with not less than two T-shirts and a hoodie.

Surf’s up: walking to the beach.
Surf’s up: strolling to the seaside. {Photograph}: scooby53/Getty Pictures

This yr, our base for the week is the Previous Cider Barn, two sumptuously transformed barns with a raised backyard space, tucked away off the highway as much as Georgeham. Prior to now, we’ve stayed within the residential roads nearer the seaside, however there’s one thing pretty about being proper within the coronary heart of the village, and we quickly develop used to strolling alongside the excessive road in wetsuits and booties, earlier than the 10-minute stroll by means of the fields and previous the dunes to the seaside.

The stroll itself is gorgeous; totally freed from the sprawling vacation residences and memento retailers that flank so lots of our coastal resorts. As a substitute, the trail winds beneath timber simply starting to show, just a few homes seen by means of the burnt orange foliage, earlier than the dunes stand up and the primary glimpse of the ocean seems between the sandy slopes. Even within the blustery situations that characterise our first two days, the seaside is beautiful; waves roaring in, Lundy shimmering within the distance, gaggles of neoprene-clad surfers floating on the water like seals.

Olde England: thatched cottages in the village of Georgeham, near Croyde.
Olde England: thatched cottages within the village of Georgeham, close to Croyde. {Photograph}: dpe123/Getty Pictures

However there’s extra to every week in Croyde than merely being on the seaside. When the wind drops and the skies clear, we stroll round Dishevelled Level to the tip of the headland, the place clusters of birds cling to the clifftops, planning their winter migration, and Hartland Level is simply seen within the far south. It’s a straightforward two-mile loop, however there are many longer choices to Woolacombe or Saunton, with an everyday bus service from Braunton for non-circular walks. One afternoon we stroll out on to Morte Level with views in the direction of Woolacombe seaside (for those who’re fortunate you’ll be able to typically spot Atlantic gray seals near the shore), rewarding ourselves with Sri Lankan curry from the Barricane Seashore Café.

On our remaining night, we wrap up towards the cool autumn breeze, pack a bag with chilly beers and clamber up into the sand dunes to look at the sundown, the sky washed rose-pink, feathery trails of gold firing up because the solar sinks slowly under the horizon. The dunes are dotted with {couples} and younger households, picnicking on scorching chips and contemporary pasties, devoured with fingers nonetheless salty from the ocean.

Croyde will be the UK’s first browsing reserve, but it surely’s a lot greater than that; a beachy bolthole that’s as good for a romantic weekend as a household week of wave-lashed enjoyable.


Every week on the Previous Cider Barn prices from £1,175, sleeping eight (

Three different blissful seashores close by


{Photograph}: Ian Woolcock/Getty Pictures

Attending to Putsborough is just not for the faint-hearted; a slim, single-track highway from Croyde, with excessive hedgerows and few passing locations. The reward is a wonderful, totally undeveloped stretch of sandy seaside that rolls out to Woolacombe, with a buzzy seaside café and wonderful views out to Lundy. Parking is expensive, although (£12 a day in excessive season), so come outfitted to spend the day.

Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands
{Photograph}: Getty Pictures

An enormous swathe of sand stretching south from the headland that divides it from Croyde, Saunton is beloved by long-board and kite surfers, canine walkers and anybody who craves peace and house, even within the highest of excessive season. The seaside cabinets gently and has none of Croyde’s rips and undertows, making it supreme for younger households. The Saunton Sands lodge, perched excessive above the seaside, is a superb place to remain (


{Photograph}: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy

Extra of a traditional resort city than its surf-focused neighbours, Woolacombe attracts much more guests, but additionally gives a wider selection of actions and locations to remain and eat. Each sort of watersport is on provide – from kayaking and SUP to browsing and winging, with strolling trails from the centre of city up on to the spectacular cliff-edged coast.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *