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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.

Croyde Headland Walk to Baggy Point from The Gallery Lodges

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.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

 

    Don’t look down, its a long way.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

 

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

2 cafes at the start of the walk and one at Putsborough to keep you fueled.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

Short Option, follow the headland path and then loop back on the slightly higher path on the Croyde side of the bay.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

 

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.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

Views back to Croyde bay on way to Putsborough

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

Heading towards Putsborough.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

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??

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

View of Croyde Headland on the way back to Croyde.

Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point
Croyde to Putsborough walk round Baggy Point

Nearly back in 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

When is a hotel not a hotel?

New Hotel at Braunton near to Saunton Sands Golf club.  In between Saunton sands and Braunton set in 7 acres of grounds are some new garden luxury garden suites in the ground of Pete Caswell’s art studio.

The Gallery Lodges
The Gallery Lodges

Its not exactly a hotel, but that is where the original concept came from. We selected the best ideas from travel accommodation  around the globe and designed these lodges to fit out dreams of a perfect stay.

Flower Meadows in the Spring and summer
Your hotel suite is in a Flower Meadows in the Spring and summer

The plan for the buildings was based on a hotel room, but not any room, a suite, not any suite, a garden suite in the grounds of a hotel. I love staying in hotel rooms they have a great atmosphere (in the right hotel) and they are kind of sexy for that weekend get away break.

King Size Bed
King Size Bed and views to the meadows.

Unlike a holiday house they don’t remind you of home so you can shut off much more easily, relax and get into the holiday mood.

Look at all that space and light outside your hotel room
Look at all that space and light outside your hotel room

Just like a luxury hotel room we fitted them out beautifully with marble bathrooms and high class fittings. A big King Size bed (Super King size in suite 2) to spread out on comfortable new mattresses.

King Size Beds
King Size Beds

Then there is the downside to a hotel room, the noise, the corridors, the room service interruptions in the morning, the lack of fresh air, the views of the car park,  getting up for breakfast, miniature rooms, and no where to make a quick snack, too cold, too hot, grumpy staff lack of parking…..Okay the list goes on and not all hotels have these downsides but we’ve all been there and been disappointed.

The lounge area with colourful paintings
The lounge area with colourful paintings

So when I designed these room, I made the bedroom so you could get to the bed from both sides, I put two windows in with great views to two sides and a nice high ceiling.  Usb ports for the phone and a nice big wardrobe. Then just like a hotel room suite I put in a colourful comfortable sofa for two, looking straight out through floor to ceiling French door over the meadows outside. With a hardwood deck outside you can stroll out without even putting your slippers on. Why bother with slippers, just heat the  floor, so we put in underfloor heating throughout and super insulated them so even in inter you will be nice and snug. Walnut floors and kitchen with oak doors and stainless fittings add a quality feel.

New Bathroom, walk in shower, marble tiles and oak floor underfloor heating
New Bathroom, walk in shower, marble tiles and oak floor underfloor heating

Over head we have a yacht sail to shade the deck should the sun get too intense, and by using hardwood and stainless yacht fittings you might get an inkling your on a boat, but without all that wobbling about (unless you’ve been on the booze again)

Hardwood Decking Area Outside
Hardwood Decking Area Outside

In the lounge area we fitted a nice little snack and drinks area for no charge, walnut cupboards and marble top with a little hob, toaster, kettle and full size fridge just in case you get hungry. In the corner is a small dining area and 32″ TV. Wi-Fi as well for free.

Kitchen area for snacks and small meals
Kitchen area for snacks and small meals

Well to get rid of the grumpy staff we omitted the reception area, just call in at the Art Studio for the key. And to stop you getting too drunk we removed the bar. To stop you getting to fat we took out the restaurant. Instead of a gym we gave you bit of exersize, a walk about 20 mins into Braunton to a large range of fun cafes, pubs and restaurants. This not only keeps you fit but walks off all that alcohol on the way back home to stop you getting a headache in the morning.

Parking outside the art gallery in spring with the Japanese Cherry blossom
Parking outside the art gallery in spring with the Japanese Cherry blossom

Room service went out the window so you can stay in bed all day without the cleaner joining you(however we do offer an optional bed change during your stay( for a small fee).

Children are banned so you won’t get squawking kids during the school holidays. 7 acres in all, fenced in securely with electric fences to keep the crowds away during the peak periods (its for the horses we have, but it does the trick at keeping the children and crowds out too)

Horses in some of the fields surrounding you hotel room
Horses in some of the fields surrounding you hotel room

Then I nearly forgot, the whole reason we built the lodges was somewhere to put my art collection in such lovely buildings. Just like a high class 5 start hotel with its little boutique art galleries and art projects, visiting artists etc, we did this backwards and the art gallery built the suites to house some of the best art work from the studio.

So if you have a little too much time on your hands or a bit too much money in your wallet, then you can indulge your self in a visit to the art gallery and see some of Pete Caswell’s beautiful art work from sunsets, yacht races to skiing and snowboarding paintings at all you favourite resorts in the Alps. You don’t even have to visit the gallery as we have thought of that as well. Each lodge has its own little display of Pete’s art to colour and brighten up you day. Pete’s paintings can be seen for sale on www.petecaswell.co.uk

Colourful large painting for sail of surfing at Saunton Sands Beach near Braunton.
Colourful large painting for sail of surfing at Saunton Sands Beach near Braunton.

Hotel Suite Number three is the ski lodge with all the latest skiing and snowboarding paintings (Do check first though as being an artist things are liable to change). If you are like me, in the middle of summer all you can think about is the first powder of the season. So here it is a lodge you can feel like you are skiing in all year without all the hard work.  http://petecaswell.co.uk/wp2/product-category/ski-snowboard-paintings/

Ski Painting blog http://petecaswell.co.uk/wp2/blog/

Courmayeur and Chamonix skiing painting in the French Alps looking up to Mt Blanc
Courmayeur and Chamonix skiing painting in the French Alps looking up to Mt Blanc

Lodge number two if for the inevitable getting older and less mobile. With a few assistive grab rails in the bathroom and a wheelchair ramp to the entrance and low threshold doors make mobility easier. All the thresholds are level with no nasty bumps or raised thresholds to trip you up. But wait there with a bit of clever design and custom manufacture we managed to discreetly hide all these extra features so you feel normal again with all those unsightly fittings spoiling the beauty of the bathroom. Take a look it looks beautiful.

I do hope you like the hotel garden lodges which I have built for you.  Are they a hotel room, a hotel suite, a lodge or a holiday let. I’ll let you decide.  In my mind they are a luxury hotel suite carefully placed and thoughtfully created in the middle of a beautiful hay meadow. If I stayed at a hotel again, this is how I would like it. They are chilled out with low fuss and hassle, peaceful and calming. Please help to keep it this way.

Croyde Beach Near to Braunton and Saunton Sands Hotel

About 2.5 miles by car from the Luxury Gallery Lodges at Braunton is the famous beach at Croyde. From the Gallery Lodges drive up the B3231 passing Saunton Sands Golf club, then past the Saunton Sands Hotel. Then just as you pass the Hotel, wow

view from Saunton Sands Hotel and B3231
view from Saunton Sands Hotel and B3231

what a vista as Saunton Sands beach, dunes and surf opens up on the left with views all the way to Instow and Appledore.

Croyde Beach Sunset
Croyde Beach Sunset

Croyde beach – Beautiful unspoilt beach with and dunes

Croyde Beach sunset
Croyde Beach sunset

Stunning headland walks around Baggy Point.

Croyde headland walks
Croyde headland walks

World class A Frame wave can be tricky and fast at Croyde. Surf is popular with surfers year round. Don’t forget to stop just past Saunton Sands hotel to check ho the surf at Saunton is working before checking out Croyde. Tides and swells work very differently at these two beaches.

Croyde surfs up
Croyde surfs up

Amazing sunsets at Croyde Beach near to Braunton

Croyde Beach Sunset
Croyde Beach Sunset

As well as the luxury Lodges at Braunton, we have a holiday house at Croyde for 4 persons to rent. http://croydeholidayhouse.co.uk/

Big waves at Croyde
Big waves at Croyde

See Pete Caswell’s paintings of Croyde bay at www.petecaswell.co.uk

Croyde beach, big waves and burning bracken
Croyde beach, big waves and burning bracken
Croyde Beach at Sunset and Wild Grasses
Croyde Beach at Sunset and Wild Grasses
Croyde Beach Vista
Croyde Beach Vista as the waves roll in

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