Tag Archives: braunton

Walks at Crow Point

If you stay at the Gallery Lodges Braunton, then don’t forget your bikes and take this epic evening bike ride out to Crow Point from the Lodges down beautiful ancient lanes, dirt tracks, beaches and a private toll road.
Bays, beaches, inlets, boats,swans, and bags of wild flowers and wildlife are in abundance here alongside views over to Appledore and Bideford and up to Barnstaple.
The Gallery Lodges walk to Crow Point Braunton
The Gallery Lodges walk to Crow Point Braunton
You can hire bikes in Braunton if you forget them or use the nearby car parks to walk this stunning coastal walk. You can also do this walk directly from the Lodges also if you really want to stretch your legs by cutting through the ancient and rare Great Field Habitat on the edges of the Braunton Biosphere a UNESCO Site.
The Gallery Lodges walk to Crow Point Braunton
The Gallery Lodges walk to Crow Point Braunton
The Gallery Lodges walk to Crow Point Braunton
The Gallery Lodges lie on the edges of this rare habitat of the Braunton UNESCO biospehere and look over a Marshland SSSI reserve and another SSSI of ancient woodland. (SSSI is a site of special scientific interest for its unspoilt flowers and natural habitats.).
You can book the Gallery Lodges at www.thegallerylodges.co.uk and visit the Art gallery of Pete Caswell the owner, www.petecaswell.co.uk.

Walk from Saunton Sands Hotel to Croyde via Down End

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.

Croyde Beach
Croyde Beach
Saunton Sands Hotel to Croyde Walk via Down End
Saunton Sands Hotel to Croyde Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Start of the walk, heading to Down End along the coastal path.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Beautiful little inlets.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Views at Down End into the sea.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Great Bench at Down End.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Down End View from the bench – just great.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Looking back at the surf wistfully wishing you had a board with you.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Views out across Saunton Beach from the path.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Saunton sands beach, view from above Saunton Sands Hotel. A beach of great character and contrast with ever changing moods, light and colours.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

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.

Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End
Croyde to Saunton Sands Hotel Walk via Down End

Views back over to Croyde from Hill top.

Cafe back at Down End Car Park and Croyde.

Braunton To Croyde Walk from The Gallery Lodges

This walk starts from the Gallery Lodges. Cross the main road, walk up West Meadow Road, turn right at the top and look for the alley on the left. Left at the top of the alley and you are on the path. Free maps at the Gallery Lodges so you don’t get lost.

Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges

Views looking back to Braunton, the estuary and Great Field as you climb the lane.

Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges

Views from the hill top over the other side to Croyde, Putsborough and Woolacombe.

Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges

View over Croyde Bay

Views over Croyde Bay and Lovely descent through the woods into Croyde

Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Braunton To Croyde Walk from the Gallery Lodges
Croyde Beach
Destination Croyde Beach

Head down into Croyde through the lanes. Stop off in the village for refreshment.

Easy Option Catch the bus back, or better catch the bus to Croyde and do the walk backwards.

Mid option. Retrace your way back using a slightly different walk for the Croyde side.

Long Option – Walk through the central path to the beach and back round the headland to Saunton Sands Hotel and back along the beach, through the dunes and back down sandy Lane and Moor Lane to the Gallery Lodges. This can also be done by parking at Saunton below saunton Sands Hotel or on the laybys and starting the walk from there making for a mid size walk.

Croyde Beach
Croyde Beach

Braunton Burrows and the Gallery Lodges

Take a short trip to the Braunton Burrows when you stay at The Gallery Lodges.

We have free maps of this area in the lodges so you can explore it all.

Set off up the big dune, akes a good landmark for finding your way back
Set off up the big dune, makes a good landmark for finding your way back
Sahara Desert in Braunton
Sahara Desert arrives in Braunton

One of the largest sand dune areas in Europe and a Unesco Biosphere reserve, its really worth a visit.

In the Dunes view over to Saunton Sands Hotel
In the Dunes view over to Saunton Sands Hotel. Keep going and you get to a really deserted section of Saunton sands Beach – Beautiful.

You can walk, cycle or drive to the start where there is a reasonably priced car park, about 1.5 miles away.

Big Dune and the gun placement still there from WW2. Feels like you are in the Sahara Desert sometimes
Big Dune and the gun placement still there from WW2. Feels like you are in the Sahara Desert sometimes. The DDay landings were here in a big way before the real event in France.

Take a walk from the car park and walk to a deserted stretch of saunton sands beach or do a loop to Crow Point. On the way – wild flowers, water slacks,  WW2 relics from the DDay  landings and the odd real life army excersize.

Savannah grassscape everywhere with lots of tracks to get lost
Savannah grass-scape everywhere with lots of tracks to get lost

The area is home to a large number of resident and migratory birds along with the estuary. It is a superb place to bird-spot and hear the plethora of bird song. Throughout the seasons you will see all the different migratory birds as they pass through. Many of the birds you can also see at The Gallery Lodges as they feed in the meadows marshland and woodland which surround the lodges which encompasses 2 SSSI reserves. As if this wasn’t enough of Birds and wild flowers there is also the Braunton Marshes wetland system which adjoins the estuary and inlet to Braunton. More, there is more still, but that’s another blogg page.

Wild Flowers in abundance May June July depending on the weather
Wild Flowers in abundance May June July depending on the weather
If you're a fan of orchids you will find them carpeting areas of the dunes and plenty of variety.
If you’re a fan of orchids you will find them carpeting areas of the dunes and plenty of variety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should end up like this if you get it right. take a drink with you and even a pic nic
You should end up like this if you get it right. take a drink with you and even a pic nic
The flowers even grow in the old gun emplacement in the middle of Big Dune
The flowers even grow in the old gun emplacement in the middle of Big Dune

 

The Final Frontier as you reach the beach after the walk accross the Dunes
The Final Frontier as you reach the beach after the walk across the Dunes. We cheated and cycled but it is very tricky on the sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Last the beach and you can see there is no one here usually. Cycle to Saunton Sands Hotel from here for coffee and then back to The Gallery Lodges along the road.Go the other way round Crow point, but the sand gets a bit hard going. Possible but hard work…..could be worth it though!

Saunton Beach near Braunton
Saunton Beach near Braunton

 

 

 

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Looking out to sea from the Dunes on the way back to the car park or walk up to Saunton Sands Hotel and catch the bus back to The Gallery Lodges .

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Alternative route to Crow Point.
Crow Point at Sunset
Crow Point at Sunset
Estuary at Crow Point at Sunset
Estuary at Crow Point at Sunset

Tarka Trail and cycling at Braunton and Saunton

You can start the Tarka Trail straight from the door of The Gallery Lodges. Cycling is really beautiful in the area around the new luxury lodges at Braunton near to Saunton. If you come to visit then do bring your bike. Free maps at the lodges for all the cycle routes in the area.

Moor Lane as you leave the Lodges at Braunton
Moor Lane as you leave the Lodges at Braunton

The most famous route is the tarka trail which you can start right from the door.  The Tarka trail proper starts 1.4 miles from the Lodges but the best bit of the trail is the trail before you get there. If you take the back route to the Tark trail it is about 3 miles through the back lanes (very scenic) or the quick way through Braunton which is shorter but less scenic.

The American Road extension to the route
The American Road extension to the route

From the gates to the entrance of Pete Caswell’s Art studio where you will set off from, you cycle down Moor Lane where you approach the dunes through quiet country lanes with Wheat and Barley fields surrounding. Before you have even turned a pedal you pass on the right two SSSI reserves of ancient woodland and a special wetland habitat, Swan Pool.

Swans on BrauntonMarshes
Swans on BrauntonMarshes

Asparagus and market gardening dot the landscape and the sea air  is bright and fresh. Dave the local farmer, opposite the Lodge’s entrance farms the asparagus and much of the amazing crops you see growing. At the bottom of Moor Lane hang a left onto Sandy Lane and head along more fields of asparagus and cauliflower with views of the dunes to the right. Depending on the time of year you might get treated to poppies and wild flowers in the fields or Daffodils which line the hedges from when this area was a major daffodil growing land.

Ancient landscape of the Marshes and Braunton Great field near to the Lodges
Ancient landscape of the Marshes and Braunton Great field near to the Lodges

The Braunton Burrows biosphere through which you cycle is a very special area of rare dune habitats and wet lands, profuse with wild flowers, orchids and many migrating wild birds. So on the way to the Tarka trail you might just want to stop off here. ( see later guide on this as this forms another bike trip or walk  in itself)

Braunton Great Field a medieval field system
Braunton Great Field a medieval field system

Take the next left and the scenery changes again into wetlands and marshes which is Braunton Marshes, part of the Biosphere which also has Europe’s biggest sand dune reserve. Swans, rare birds, yellow irises can often be seen.

Yellow Irises on the Marshes along the way
Yellow Irises on the Marshes along the way

Keep going along this road. Look out to the right and you will see the toll road off to Crow point, another cycle ride for later on ( keep going straight on for the Tark trail). At the end of the road you come to a roundabout. To your right you see the Tarka trail which will take you to Barnstaple past the pub on the estuary and a lovely garden centre. From Barnstaple you can travel onto Northam and Bideford and Appledore. At certain times of year there is a ferry from Northam to Appledore which can add a fun dimension to your trip.

If you go left at this island you can go to the local Tescos, which makes this probably the most scenic trip to Tescos you can find.

We have free maps in the Lodges of the Tarka Trail and the local area for cycling, walking and exploring.

Boats moored on the inlet near the start of the Tarka Trail
Boats moored on the inlet near the start of the Tarka Trail

The Tarka trail will take you from Barnstaple onto Bideford and then onto Torrington and Meethif you are super fit.

Bikes can be hired in Braunton & Barnstaple.

From Braunton a cycle trail heads North also but its not a great trip so see my guide on cycling to Wolacombe and Morte Hoe later on.

Detour out to Crow Point on the way to the Tarka Trail
Detour out to Crow Point on the way to the Tarka Trail

Saunton Sands Beach near Braunton

Saunton beach is 1.8 miles by car from the Lodges at Braunton. There is an amazing view of this beach from the main road to Croyde. Nearby is Saunton Sands Hotel and Saunton sands Gof Club.

Try out Pete Caswell’s Luxury Lodges at Braunton which you can stay in near to Saunton Sands Beach. These Lodges are beautiful and more like a luxury Hotel suite teleported into a wild flower meadow than anything else. Check them out The Gallery Lodges 

Saunton Beach near Braunton
Saunton Beach near Braunton

Its a stunning beach with big vistas and big skies. Its great for a cycle ride. There are many great bike rides here, bring your bikes for coastal cycling.

Cycling at Saunton Beach
Cycling at Saunton Beach

Backed by the largest dune system in Europe, The Braunton UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Walks along the beach, through the dunes and to the estuary.

Saunton Beach and the Braunton Sand Dunes
Saunton Beach and the Braunton Sand Dunes

Amazing reflections on the sand

Saunton Beach and the Braunton Sand Dunes
Saunton Beach and the Braunton Sand Dunes

Great long boarders beach of world class standard with a mellow peeling wave. Bring a board or hire one at Saunton Sands.

Saunton Beach in the evening near to Braunton
Saunton Beach in the evening near to Braunton

Gig racing at the popular Saunton Sands beach.

Gig Racing at Saunton Beach near Braunton
Gig Racing at Saunton Beach near Braunton

See Pete Caswell’s paintings of Saunton Sands beach on his website

www.petecaswell.co.uk

see video of Pete’s art studio and paintings