Croyde is sun, sea, surf and sand. Simple as that.But that short sentence wouldn’t give you a detailed description of what Croyde is like, and persuade you to go there on holiday, or would it?
Croyde is famed for having one of the finest surf beaches in the world, with high profile surfer’s regularly visiting to catch some waves. The record holder for the biggest wave ever surfed, Andrew Cotton, is a regular visitor, and professional surfer Lyndon Wake also runs a surf school down by the entrance to the beach.
But Croyde is far from being a celebrity circus; it has a raw, natural charm that is encapsulated by its many pubs and restaurants in the evening. You will be instantly attracted and welcomed by the strong sense of community here.
Can you tell me more about Croyde beach?
Croyde beach is guarded at either end by large headlands, making it a sheltered haven for beach lovers, and sunbathers. Naturally its popularity can’t go unrecognised and during the summer months the beach will be awash with locals and tourists. Many of whom will choose to relax and soak up the rays, but if you are looking to be a little more adventurous, then Croyde beach can offer plenty of activities and water sports.
On the beach, there are several beach volleyball nets and courts for you to enjoy. This is a great way to keep the kids entertained and interact with other beach goers. Occasionally there will also be some small football goals for a kick around. If you have forgotten to bring a beach ball or any other equipment, then the Croyde Beach Shop and Cafe is ideally located for a last minute purchase.
Down by the water’s edge you can experience the famous North Devon waves. Surf lessons are readily available for beginners and can be booked in advance or on the day. For experienced surfers, just grab your board and hit the waves. A lifeguard will be on patrol between May and September to ensure water safety is adhered to. There are a variety of water sports that can be experienced, but of course you will be dependent upon the weather as to which are available.
At either end of the beach you will also find little rock pools, always a popular spot with young families. Here kids can splash around to their hearts content, and create lasting memories of North Devon.
Croyde beach is also a very popular spot for walking the dog, however dog access is only permitted between October and April. But if you are visiting during the summer months, there is plenty of open space around the beach, where you are permitted with your pet, including the South West Coast Path.
Food and drink is also readily available at the beach entrance. The Beach café serves both hot and cold food, and the shop is always fully stocked with ice creams.
And as you approach Croyde from Saunton (on B3231), on the right hand side is Down End Car Park, the largest car park in the village and open all year round. Parking is charged on a hourly rate. It's close proximity to the beach makes it a popular place to park for beach lovers, walkers and surfers alike. Plus there is the added benefit of a surf academy, toilets and a beach shower.'Drop-in' for a coffee at their newly renovated shack, The Drop In - enjoy a choice of hot buttered toast, bagels, bacon sarnies, just what you need after a morning surf or an invigorating walk on the beach.
Where can I eat and drink in Croyde and the surrounding areas?
Croyde is a charming little village equidistant from both Braunton to the south and Woolacombe to the north, meaning quality local restaurants are in plentiful supply. The Thatch in Croyde village itself is a wonderful restaurant and pub serving spectacularly good pub grub. As the name suggests, the building is a delightfully preserved thatched property, complete with large beer garden and outdoor seating. Inside you will be treated to a warm North Devon welcome, and a varied menu which is competitively priced. (Don’t forget to give a few of the local ales a try!)
Billy Budds is just a couple of doors down from the Thatch and equally popular. They serve a good selection of burgers, pizzas and fish and chips. It is also worth noting, they have a separate Tapas menu, which is well worth a try.
Next to Redwood Surf Shop, you will find another of Croyde’s highly esteemed restaurants, Blue Groove. Locally sourced seafood and Exmoor reared meats are freshly prepared, and there is ample seating both inside and outside for those warm summer’s evenings.
Nearby, Braunton offers a wide selection of restaurants for you to handpick from. The Corner Bistro, The Riverside and At One Dining Room, come highly recommended from us. Woolacombe is only a five minute car ride in the opposite direction, with several quality foodie establishments in the heart of the village. Not forgetting, Barricane Beach Café, the secret Sri Lankan restaurant down by the beach.
What attractions are close by?
North Devon has several quality family attractions well worth visiting. The Big Sheep was voted Devon’s attraction of the year for 2013/14, and can boast quality attractions, live shows and family entertainment. The Milky Way is another top attraction, offering a high octane, adventurous day out, packed with rides, slide and shows. For something a little more reserved and peaceful, Tiverton Canal offers you the unique opportunity to take a horse-drawn barge down the canal. Or why not head out to sea on the Ilfracombe Princess for your chance to see dolphins, seals, turtles and much, much more.