About the Golden Coast area of North Devon
- this is the westward facing coastline of North Devon: a coast of vast sandy beaches and rocky headlands.
This coast, eroded by great seas and the prevailing westerly winds screaming in from the Atlantic in winter storms, is interspersed by the headlands of more resistant rocks at Down End, Baggy Point (NT) and Morte Point (NT). In summer, and on calmer days out of season, the beaches are popular with young families and surfers.
Saunton Sands, just under four miles long, is the southermost; backed by 2,000 acres of sand dunes some of which are over 100 feet high. The tide covers a gently shelving beach of golden sand, which at low tide is 600 yards wide. The beach is privately owned and the carparking charge pays for beach cleaning and other services including some well-maintained toilets; apart from a beach shop and quality cafe among the dunes, and the four star hotel on the hill above, there's little sign of man's influence - the long beach is bordered by the sea to the west and south, dunes to the east and rocky Down End to the north.
Beyond Down End is Croyde, a partly thatched village half a mile inland from its relatively small, sandy beach, again bordered by dunes: the beach is 600 yards across. North of Croyde is the wonderful Baggy Point, owned by the National Trust: freely accessible, Baggy provides a lovely setting for a gentle walk from the northern side of Croyde Beach, there are many seats to sit upon and gaze wistfully at the waves and distant Lundy isle.
North of Baggy is Woolacombe Sands, over two miles of golden beach, backed by sand dunes belonging to the National Trust. The southern end of Woolacombe Sands is known as Putsborough, this is a popular beach for young families, it has a stream flowing across it which can be fun to dam or divert. The central part of Woolacombe Sands is not suitable for water sports as tidal currents can be treacherous, but the northern end, at Woolacombe itself, offers extensive areas for bathers, with separately designated surfing stretches. The smaller beaches and coves around Morte Point (again National Trust) offer many different, even unusual, features well worth exploring.
All the National Trust lands on this coastline are freely accessible - please put a few coins in their collecting boxes or alternatively pay to park in their carparks at Woolacombe Warren (the sand dunes behind the beach, accessed from Woolacombe) or Croyde Bay (at the end of the road running around the northern side of Croyde Beach).
Hills View, Braunton. Tel: 01271 812398.
A large Georgian house set in extensive, south-facing, mature gardens, only 3 or 4 minutes walk from Braunton village centre (pubs, restaurants, shops, museum, library, tourist information centre, regular buses). 3 miles from Saunton Sands (three mile long beach); 800 yards from Tarka Trail Cycle Path (34 miles long off-road cycle route) and 'Otter Cycle Hire'. Self-catering cottages also available.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy £27.50-£30.00; double room £65.00.
Bedrooms: 1 double, 1 twin. Bathrooms: 1 en-suite, 1 private.
Parking for 4. Open: All year round.
26 Church Street, Braunton. Tel: 01271 812872.
An 18th Century cottage-style house, with lots of character, in the old part of Braunton, near the parish church, taverns and river. Small, sunny front garden, ancient cobbled courtyard to the rear. Limited off-road parking available.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy from £27.50; double room from £55.00. Dinner: by arrangement.
Bedrooms: 1 double, 1 family(4). Bathrooms: 1 en-suite, 1 public.
Parking in the street. Open: All year round.
Little Thatch Annexe
19 South Street, Braunton. Tel: 01271 815328.
Self-contained thatched annexe to a pretty 17th Century cottage, in a quiet spot - only 200 yards from the centre of this large village. Easy walking distance to the taverns, shops, restaurants and museum.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy from £35.00; double room £60.00.
Bedrooms: 1 double. Bathrooms: 1 en-suite.
Parking: in village carpark, ticket costs reimbursed. Open: All year round.
Large, 18th Century cottage, in quiet street, with walled garden, close to the centre of Braunton. Off-road parking. Just 150 yards to the village centre for shops, restaurants, etc. Two miles to Saunton Sands (3.75 mile long sandy beach), Braunton Burrows (2,000 acres of sand dunes) and Saunton's two championship golf courses. Close to Tarka Trail cycle/path (34 miles of estuary-side off-road cycling) and Cycle Hire.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single room from £27.50; double room from £55.00.
Bedrooms: 2 single, 2 double. Bathrooms: 2 en-suite, 1 public.
Parking for 3. Open: All year round.
Saunton Sands Hotel
This four-star hotel on North Devon's spectacular coastline overlooks the three mile golden sanded beach and across Barnstaple Bay to Clovelly and Hartland Point. Sporting facilities include heated indoor and outdoor swimmingpools, sauna, solarium, fitness suite, snooker, table tennis, squash, tennis and putting. Hair and beauty salon. Children's playground and OFSTED registered playroom. Saunton's championship links golf courses are within 800 yards. Croyde village, with its thatched cottages, taverns and quaint shops, and Croyde Beach are within a mile's walk, over Saunton Down. Self-catering apartments also available.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single room from £101.00; double room from £202.00 - £424.00.
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast per night: single room from £122.00; double room from £244.00 - £478.00.
Bedrooms: 12 single, 24 double, 28 twin, 13 family suites, 14 self-catering apartments. Bathrooms: 94 en-suite.
Parking ample free. Open: All year round.
Croyde Bay Holiday Village is owned and operated by Unison: anyone can take a holiday here, but members of Unison get special deals.
Croyde Bay Holiday Village
Croyde, Braunton. Tel: 01271 890890.
Bed & Breakfast, Half Board & Self-Catering. Carvery, Omlette & Pasta bar. UNISON, Senior Citizen and Single parent discounts. Free entertainment, Kids Club membership, Adventure Playground Creche & soft play area. Heated indoor pool, spa, sauna, gym, tennis courts. Direct access to beach.
110 half-board chalets and 31 self-catering cottages. New Hotel Suites: luxury en-suite bedrooms.
Hotel Suite - Bed & Breakfast per night: £42.00 - £73.00 per person, depending on time of year.
Summer Chalet - Dinner, Bed & Breakfast per night: £42.00 - £58.00 per person.
Self-Catering Cottages (sleeping up to 6): from *£60 per night November to March only.
Bedrooms: 110 consisting of singles, twins, doubles & families. 2 wheelchair accessible.
Bathrooms: all en-suite.
Parking for 200. Open: 21 Mar-1 Nov (cottages available when holiday village is closed*).
A south-facing 17th Century farmhouse, on a 140 acre sheep farm, nestling in its own quiet valley. Less than one mile from Putsborough's lovely sandy beach, and a few hundred metres from the hamlet's duckpond and watersplash ford. Combas is a 700 metre walk from the Manor Inn in Croyde village. Just over one mile equidistant (by car) from Croyde (3 pubs, shops, beach) and Georgeham (2 pubs and post office).
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy £39.00-£65.00; double room £60.00-£74.00.
Bedrooms: 2 double, 2 family(3,4), 1 children's room. Bathrooms: 3 en-suite, 1 private.
Parking for 8. Open: All year round (except Christmas).
Bed and Breakfast from £50 per person, per night.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast from £68.50 per person, per night.
Woolacombe Bay Hotel
Woolacombe's premier hotel, set in 6 acre gardens, right beside 2 miles of golden sands. Now a four-star hotel. Guests have free unlimited use of indoor heated pool (and outdoor pool heated June to September), sauna and steam room, squash, tennis, gym, aerobics studio, short mat bowls, approach golf course and snooker. Creche, baby listening, adventure playground, children's club. Superb cuisine.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy £65.00-£106.00?; double room £98.00¹-£285.00².
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast per night: double room £138.00¹-£325.00².
¹ seven night stay in low season. ² two night weekend in high season.
Bedrooms: 1 single, 24 double, 10 twin, 24 family(3,4,5). Bathrooms: 63 en-suite.
Parking for 80. Open: All year round (closed 2Jan-10Feb).
33% discount to regular customers - see website
COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Woolacombe, EX34 8NR. Tel: 01271 862841.
Country House Hotel standing in 40 acres, including extensive landscaped gardens. Indoor swimming pool. Sauna, jacuzzi, games room. Tennis court, putting course. Restaurant (open to non-residents) offering lunches, cream teas and two and three course dinners. 3¼ miles (9 minutes) to Woolacombe Beach.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single room £52.00-£75.00;
double room £96.00-£149.00, superior double £116.00-£190.
Dinner: £23.50 (three course). Non-resident price: £28.50.
Bedrooms: 1 single, 12 double, 2 twin, 1 family(6). Bathrooms: 16 en-suite.
Parking for 20. Open: All year round.