Tarka Trail


Croyde to Saunton

Panoramic view of Saunton sands and Braunton Burrows


Location: Saunton Sands
OS map: 139 Bideford, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple
Length: 6 km/3.7 miles
Length of Tarka Trail section: 2.5 km/1.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Sat nav postcode: EX33 1LZ


  • Stunning views of the Bay and Braunton Burrows
  • Walk along Croyde beach
  • Dog friendly

There are some steep climbs to be aware of on this walk. There are sections where the public footpath crosses private farm land where dogs need to be on leads, but for the majority of the walk it is safe to have your dog off lead. Please note that dogs are not allowed on Croyde beach during the summer months, so you may wish to take the main road back into Croyde.


Croyde is one of the most popular villages in Devon for families, surfers and walkers. The village is charming with its thatch and cob buildings, surrounding hills, sand dunes and beautiful beach. There are many places to stay, eat and drink and little shops to explore.

Saunton is less developed than Croyde with the amenities centred round the beach car park.

From the top of Saunton Down you have one of the best views in North Devon looking over Bideford Bay and Braunton Burrows, one of the biggest dune systems in the UK. It is the core of North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

There is a public car park located in the centre of the village but this walk starts at Billy Budds pub in Croyde.

The Route

This walk takes you along Croyde beach and the South West Coast Path before climbing steeply up and over Saunton Down before looping back into Croyde through woods and country lanes.


From Billy Budds follow the footpath to the beach and then turn left. Follow the Coast Path along the beach and cliffs to the road just beyond the old Coastguard lookout. Turn left along the road back towards to Croyde and cross when you see the footpath sign on your right. This path will take you to Saunton where there is a beach shop, café and restaurant. Cross the road to visit the beach and amenities or follow the footpath up the hill marked ‘Public Footpath Croyde’.

When you get further up the hill turn right to pass behind the abandoned building – sign posted ‘Coast Path Saunton’. Follow the track until you see a footpath sign pointing over the hill and then look out for signs leading you through the field (they are attached to 7ft posts with yellow paint).

On the other side of the hill you join a wooded path that will take you all the way back to the village.

Croyde to Saunton
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