From the centre of Croyde, walk south and turn right down a signed footpath next to Billy Pudds pub, past Meadow Cottage. Walk straight on towards the dunes. When you get to a gate, take the path straight ahead and walk out towards the sea. Bear right on this sandy path until you come to Croyde Sands beach. Turn left, then at the far left of the beach follow a stone ramp off the beach.
Pick up South West Coast Path acorn markers and follow the path around the next bay, then up steps off the beach. Turn right at coast path marker, signed to the Tarka Trail. Turn the corner to see Saunton Sands stretching out in the distance.
Turn left and walk uphill to the road. Turn left at the road, walk 20m and then cross carefully, picking up a path that runs just above the road. Go up steps and carry on above the road as more views open up over Saunton Sands.
The path descends as you pass behind the Saunton Sands Hotel. Turn right, cross the road and head down to the beach, following the acorns. Spend some time exploring the beach.
Retrace your steps back behind the Saunton Sands Hotel, cross the road and go back through the gate. Take the path straight ahead, over a stile, and zigzag uphill on a path through trees and scrubland. As you climb higher the views get wider over the beach and dunes. Climb a stile at the top walk out onto the down, with views over the River Taw and Torridge.
Turn right and follow acorn signs. Go through a gate, then continue through the next field. At the bottom of the farm track, go through a gate and follow the track past Saunton Court. Bear right past garages along the lane, then turn left up Hannaburrow Lane. Bear left, at houses, on to a bridleway and go through a gate.
When you reach a crossing of five tracks take the second gate on the left and head towards the radio mast. Climb a stile in the corner of the field and continue straight ahead to a stile in the corner of the next field. When you reach a lane, turn right then continue straight ahead on to the main lane, ignoring the footpath that turns right.
When the path forks turn right, signed Croyde, then keep on the lane as it turns right then left. Continue on the road, bearing right until you’re back in Croyde.
Sand and dune walking and coastal paths, which can be steep in places.
How to get there
By car: Croyde is 10 miles west of Barnstaple. Heading south, exit the M5 at J27 on to the A361 through Tiverton. Turn left onto the A39 then right on the B3233 to bypass Barnstaple, then continue on the A361 to Braunton, turning left, through Saunton, to Croyde. There’s a car park near the post office in the village centre, and another near the beach.
By public transport:
Buses from Barnstaple, which is connected to Exeter by the Tarka Line.
14 Hobbs Hill, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1LZ
Blue Groove Restaurant
2 Hobbs Hill, Croyde
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 139.
Grid ref: SS 444 393
South West Coast Path
The Bakehouse Centre
Caen, Street, Braunton
% 01271 816400