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While you are here make sure you visit the glorious beaches on North Devon's Gold Coast. Bideford is an ideal base for exploring other tourism hot spots such as Croyde, Ilfracombe, Woolacombe and Mortehoe. From Bideford take the A39 to Barnstaple then follow the signs to Braunton along the A361. A trip across the new Taw Bridge provides a birds-eye view of Barnstaple, North Devon's main town and commercial centre. The A361 runs alongside the Taw Torridge Estuary and cuts through some spectacular countryside. The large imposing "Castle" on the left, the Tarka Inn, was originally called Heanton Court and was once home to families descended from King Edward IV. The gateway to the Gold Coast is the colourful village of Braunton reputed to be the largest village in England. At the traffic lights turn left for Croyde along the Saunton Road (B3231) or right to Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. The Braunton TIC on Caen Street has all the information you will need for your trip to the Gold Coast. The B3231 continues past the Saunton Sands Hotel which overlooks a five mile stretch of beach backed by some lofty sand-dunes. This is Braunton Burrows which was awarded the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2002, the first site in the UK to receive the international accolade. The championship links course of the Saunton Golf Club, established in 1897, is also located here. The road eventually winds its way along the coast and swings right down Hobbs Hill into Croyde Bay. Croyde is a quintessential Devon village full of pretty whitewashed thatched cottages. It may have an olde-worlde charm but, like Woolacombe, it is definitely a modern, vibrant holiday venue with a good mix of traditional art & craft galleries, gift shops, tearooms, cafes and ice-cream parlours, lively pubs, bars, restaurants and surf oriented shops. There is also long established garage, general stores and post office. The hub of the local community as always is the village hall which was built in 1952 and hosts a variety of events. It is also the venue for Croyde's Deckchair Cinema. The "North Devon Surf History" Film will be showing on Sundays throughout the summer. There is a good selection of self-catering holiday cottages or caravan and camping facilities. Ruda Holiday Park, located a few short steps from the beach, has a wide range of accommodation including touring and camping, caravan holiday homes, luxury lodges as well as beachside apartments. It is therefore a fantastic place to stay for families, surfers and walkers. The local horse riding stables are open all year round for group or individual tuition, hacks, beach rides or woodland rides and there are plenty of companies offering surfing lessons or hire of equipment. High above the beach is the South West Coast Path and Baggy Point which so inspired the novelist Henry Williamson who lived for a while in the nearby village of Georgeham. Croyde is a fantastic resort with safe bathing for children and is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards during the summer season. In June Croyde Beach is the venue for the Gold Coast Oceanfest a three day sport and music festival. Experienced surfers from around the world enjoy a Croyde Beach Break and we hope you will too.
Useful Links: The National Trust own 240 acres of land to the north of Croyde beach towards Baggy Point which provides several popular coastal walks on the South West Coast Path heading towards Morte Point and Bull Point. Baggy Point itself offers fine walking round the point and cliffs, popular with Rock Climbers. Walking maps are available at the National Trust Car Park. For more information about the area visit North Devon AONB - Braunton Burrows North Devon Biosphere Reserve - Croyde Village Hall - Explore Braunton click here to download walks
Croyde & Baggy Point photo copyright Pat Adams Croyde break photo copyright Pat Adams
Croyde Beach Holidays photo copyright Pat Adams
Croyde Village photo copyright Pat Adams Croyde Village Hall photo copyright Pat Adams
Croyde Beach photo copyright Pat Adams Looking over to Ruda photo copyright Pat Adams
Croyde Bay lifeguard photo copyright Brett Adams Croyde Break photo copyright Brett Adams Swim between the flags photo copyright Brett Adams
Surfing Croyde Bay photo copyright Brett  Adams Croyde Bay Runner photo copyright Pat Adams
Croyde Surfer photo copyright Brett Adams Fun in the surf Croyde Photo copyright Brett Adams
Surf Lessons on Croyde Beach photo copyright Brett Adams Silver Streak - Croyde photo copyright Pat Adas
Surfboards at the ready photo copyright Pat Adams
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