It’s a perfect day at The Gallery Lodges, Braunton: sunny and beautiful. The sea is warming up and the surf is on it’s way, but for now we are happy to be taking in the views from dry land. Here is a short walk we enjoy when the beaches and car parks are open.
Just 2 minutes drive up the road from the Lodges we park on the small grassy area behind St Anne’s church at Saunton. This is the start of one of our favourite short walks.
We take the track up past the stunning historic manor house and gardens through carpets of blue bells and wild garlic.
Climbing up the steep open field track, we pause and take in the views back towards Braunton.
In late summer this is also a great spot to look our for field and horse mushrooms.
At the top the vista of Saunton Sands and the sand dunes comes into view, along with the distant Hartland Peninsular.
We keep walking beyond the ruined house and take the final brow to look over at Croyde Bay, before back tracking to find the stile leading to the stepped path, through the trees down to Saunton Beach. Here’s our chance to stop for a coffee and a cake, or squeezed in a pasty at the beach cafe. Rested and refreshed we head back on the coast path linked to the car park exit road. 400m back along the main road we cut thourgh St Anne’s church yard and back to collect the car. Now you would think we couldn’t eat any more and life just couldn’t get better.
But then we took a short trip round the headland to Croyde for the Saturday night Sri Lankan curry -Tambapanni.
Booking for the Lodges at www.thegallerylodges.co.uk or pm me.
If you want to know where this stunning walk in you will have to visit us at the Lodges or at the art studio www.petecaswell.co.uk
Updated 1 May 2020.
Yum – Probably the coolest & tastiest day out you can have.
Opens around 5pm to 7.30pm and serves up the most amazing Sri Lankan curry you will ever have in the UK.
Sit on the beach to eat a delicately and fragrantly spiced curry while watching the setting sun and lapping waves.
Meat or Veggie options, served from the beach hut on Barricane beach. Take a bottle of wine and your sunnies.
Then top it all off with a stunning walk round Morte Point.
About a 20 min drive from the www.thegallerylodges.co.uk to Woolacombe.
This place is my favourite curry stop in the UK and beats all the others hands down, providing the weather is ok though.
One of my favourite mornings is to get up and set off up to Combe Martin about a 20 minute drive away.
Then take what I consider is the best breakfast in the world.
Its a little unimposing cafe near the beach called the Harbour Deli, on the left as you walk down the High Street to the beach.
A cooked breakfast and a coffee here costs about £5 and it is always perfect and great value.
Then after a great breakfast stock up on all the homemade cakes which I usually spend all morning drooling over.
They do a bread pudding which will feed an army and a selection of traditional home bakes your gran would be proud of.
Having consumed all these calories there is a perfect hill opposite to walk them off. Head up to Hangman’s peak and then back through a beautiful little stream back to the village, a couple of hours should do it.
A detour off to Wild Pear Beach (Can be steep a tricky at the bottom where the steps sometimes wash away – be careful) is an added bonus and a chance to eat all those cakes. Check out the maps in the Lodges for directions.
If you visit in July August you will get the treat of your life with the hills resplendent in the most beautiful purple heather and sweet scented yellow gorse. The flowers will be busy with butterflies and bees too.
Simply magic when set against the jaw dropping cliffs plunging into the Bristol Channel and the chugging white clouds. Can’t beat it!
I your lodge you will find copies of the croydecycle maps, which are great walking maps with handy annotations giving details about the paths and area. For this walk you can use the Combe Martin and Hunter’s Inn Map.
Lynton and Lymouth in North Devon is one of the most stunning coastal trips you can take from the Gallery Lodges.
Its about a 40 minute drive and is best suited to non beach days.
The advantage of this area and the closer Hunters Inn is they offer a variety of walks sheltered from the South Westerly Winds and rain.
At Lynton the walk up to Watersmeet where there is a National Trust Cafe is in a steep wooded valley and the walk along the river is perfect on any day.
On wet and windy days this can provide the perfect escape from the weather and give you a superb walk for you money, and you may barely notice the weather above with the stunning sculpted oaks and crystal clear waters rushing by.
You can approach this walk from the car park at the bottom at Lymounth or at the National Trust car park at the top which gives a shorter walk.
Combine this walk with a walk through the Valley of the Rocks at Lynton and a drive from Lynton through the valley of the rocks along the coast road to Hunters Inn and Combe Martin.
Stunning but narrow so avoid with large cars or if you can’t reverse or in very precious cars.
This walk is also great on a sunny day as well and the harbour is a real treat to look round.
Other great walks are Hunters Inn where you can walk to the beach at the end of the river about 3 mile return and fairly sheltered. Combe Martin up to Hangman and back, great views.
Probably one of the most stunning coastal cycle rides in England. You can start the ride at the Hunters Inn at Heddon Valley in Exmoor National Park.
You can extend this ride by starting at Combe Martin, Ilfracombe or for really long ride from The Gallery Lodges at Braunton.
Starting at The Hunters Inn you may need a stiff drink to tackle the steep climb out of the valley. To avoid this park at the parking areas nearer to Lynton.
Once you have climbed the hill through the woods you get great views across the hill tops to the coast
Soon you reach the coast and the stunning vistas begin of the amazing North Coast.
Woody bay is a fun detour if it s hot for a swim, or hang on for Lee Bay further on.
The descent down to Lee Bay near Lynton (not the one near Wolacombe which is a great ride also) is a real treat and if like me the main focus on the trip is a great cafe don’t rely on the beautiful cafe at Lee Bay. They have quite a short season. But don’t worry there is a more reliable cafe just a mile up the next hill with a lovely garden with large portions of pudding pies.
Once down in Lee Bay climb up through the Valley of the Rocks past the Lee Abbey Christian retreat, probably the most scenic place to try your hand at some religious pursuits.
At Lynton check out the historic cliff railway and if you need to stretch your legs further descend the steep road into Lynmouth.
The way back is a real treat as from Woody Bay you take the old Victorian Carriageway which hugs the cliffs and bluffs all the way back to the pub at Heddon Valley.
From Heddon Valley there is also the stunning short walk out to Heddon’s Mouth Cove.
If you get it all right you get your rewards right here at the splendor of the Victorian Era Hunters Inn, which together with the Victorian Carriageway and Woody Bay formed the start of a very ambitious Victorian Holiday Resort to rival Ilfracombe.
Cycle ride starts at The Gallery Lodges and climbs over the tops through the back lanes into the views open up over the ocean.
Then the stunning drop down into Woolacombe. High speed and great fun but be careful. Then stop for a tea in Woolacombe or head back to Putsborough.
Extensions to this ride, from Woolacombe could go further North up to Mortehoe, Lee Bay, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and back via Mullacott Cross then taking the long downhill all the way back to Braunton. Feeling fit then follow the coast road on the North Coast right up to Lynton, what a stunner, but a lot of ups and downs and a long way.
You can just about do this trail on a road bike but needs care and less speed. Stone trail pictured here, you need to go on the edge to avoid the bumpiest stones.
Heading up towards Putsborough.Trail gets a bit narrower here. After heavy rain could be tricky on your road bike, but I’ve done it. Worth it for the views.
Hang around at the beach cafe for the inevitable sunset at Putsborough. Paintings of these Putsborough sunsets at www.petecaswell.co.uk
If you come on another day it might look like this.
You could come back with your surf board and surf this magical beach the next day. Avoid bank holidays and busy weekends as the traffic can be a killer on the narrow lane access.
See if you can find this photo in the paintings below.
Take a look at all the paintings by Pete Caswell of this route by Pete Caswell on www.petecaswell.co.uk
See more paintings of Putsborough and Woolacombe at www.petecaswell.co.uk
As Autumn is here and winter is approaching you can get your first taste of the snow and a sneaky early season ski and snowboard at the Gallery Lodges in North Devon.
4 hours drive from London, pistes right inside the door and epic powder conditions on tap every day with bright sunny conditions. Sounds too good to be true?
But it really is check it out in the latest article by Pete caswell on skiing in North Devon
You can buy these beautiful skiing and snowboarding paintings and prints from www.petecaswell.co.uk
There are a few places to start this walk. Park at – Saunton Sands, below Saunton Sands Hotel or Croyde to make it a loop and cut back over the hill inbetween Croyde and Braunton.
As its cheaper to park at Croyde than Saunton sands, start at Down End car park, on way to Croyde.
Views over Croyde Beach at the start.
Start of the walk, heading to Down End along the coastal path.
Beautiful little inlets.
Views at Down End into the sea.
Great Bench at Down End.
Down End View from the bench – just great.
Looking back at the surf wistfully wishing you had a board with you.
Views out across Saunton Beach from the path.
Saunton sands beach, view from above Saunton Sands Hotel. A beach of great character and contrast with ever changing moods, light and colours.
View on the way back from Saunton Sands Hotel to Croyde.
Don’t miss the start of the walk back from the Saunton Side, its opposite Saunton Sands Hotel.
You can call in at Saunton Sands Hotel for food and drinks or try the cafes below the Hotel for cheaper refreshments.
Views back over to Croyde from Hill top.
Cafe back at Down End Car Park and Croyde.
You can do a long walk round Baggy point starting at the Gallery Lodges, but it is a long one, involving the Coastal Path – Braunton Burrows, Saunton Beach, Down End Headland and Croyde Beach. Best to drive to the National Trust Car Park at the far side of Croyde and start there. Free maps in the Gallery Lodges of the local walks.
The path to the headland, Baggy point.
Don’t look down, its a long way.
2 cafes at the start of the walk and one at Putsborough to keep you fueled.
Short Option, follow the headland path and then loop back on the slightly higher path on the Croyde side of the bay.
Longer Option. From the headland pick up the path to Putsborough and then loop back to Croyde using the paths over the top of the hill.
Views back to Croyde bay on way to Putsborough
Heading towards Putsborough.
Looking up to Woolacombe from above Putsborough. Dilema, do you drop down into Puts for the cafe or climb the headland to head back to the cafes of Croyde??
View of Croyde Headland on the way back to Croyde.
Nearly back in Croyde.