Saunton Sands and Saunton Down

Saunton Sands is a long sandy beach stretching for 3 miles from the Saunton Hotel on the Croyde Road to Crow Point where the Taw and Torridge Estuaries meet. At low tide the expanse of sand is considerable as the beach shelves very gradually producing slow breaking waves loved by surfing long borders.

At the back of the beach lies Braunton Burrows, a warren of sand dunes that are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of the rare habitat. A great place to explore, especially when the wild flowers are out, but beware – you can easily loose your sense of direction and get lost!

Saunton is also famous for being one of the beaches used by the American’s to train for D Day and you can still find concrete implacements used to train troops in firing bazookas. Each year in June there is an event to commemorate D Day with mock landings and lots of military vehicles. It is also still used today by the military based at nearby RMB Chivenor where the marines are based.

Overlooking the beach between Saunton and Croyde is Saunton Down which provides a fantastic view point in all directions. To the north you can see as far as Morte Point and Woolacombe, to the west is Croyde and beyond that out to Lundy Island, to the south you can see Westward Ho and out to Hartland Point, and beyond to Dartmoor in the far distance. And finally to the east you can see Braunton and Exmoor in the distance.

You can do a great circular walk from Croyde round the Downend headland to Saunton on the coastal path, then back over Saunton Down to your starting point.