About Croyde beaches, Devon
Devon’s epically beautiful north coast is wilder, jagged and more remote-feeling than the south; perfect for blowing away cobwebs, escaping the daily grind, and having memorable adventures. The north coast of Devon is also the place to head for extreme sports and to fall in love with surfing in Croyde.
Croyde is Devon’s surfer magnet with a sublime stretch of beach, pounded by rollers and serviced by a pretty village packed with surf shops and cafes. Nearby Westward Ho! has been awarded a Blue Flag and the 3.2km (2 miles) of golden sand is an important address for kite surfers. Another beach worth a visit in the area is Blue Flag Woolacombe; another pristine stretch of gleaming sands, with hut and deckchair hire, and lifeguards on duty in summer.
Beyond the beach:
A great place to explore away from the beach is the unfeasibly quaint, privately owned coastal village of Clovelly. It has an admission fee to get in, however, it is inhabited by tenants, so is no mere tourist attraction. Instead it has retained its picturesque 19th-century character, with pebble-lined streets clustered around a pretty little harbour. Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, lived here and you can visit his former home, now the Kingsley Museum.
Surfing is huge along this part of the coast – there’s the North Devon Surf School (www.northdevonsurfschool.co.uk) at Westward Ho! and Croyde is Devon’s most famous surf magnet, where schools and facilities abound. You don’t only have to surf though, sailing and windsurfing are other tempting seafaring options.
For North Devon at its hippest head over to the busy resort of Ilfracombe and the Damien Hurst-owned 11 the Quay (www.11thequay.com), which combines a smart restaurant with a more informal brasserie.