About Saunton & Braunton

With three miles of golden sands, backed by impressive sand dunes, Saunton Sands is an enchanting beach sure to inspire.

Due to its West-facing location on the North Devon Coast, the beach benefits from fantastic breakers and surfing conditions, attracting surfers from miles away. With fantastic facilities including toilets, a shop, cafe and equipment hire, its easy to see why this is one of the most popular beach resorts in the area.

The charming winding streets of England’s largest village, Braunton, are within a short drive. For those who prefer to travel by foot, the coastal path is within easy reach and the scenic Tarka Trail is closeby offering a fantastic selection of cycle paths and footpaths from which the beauty of the area can be appreciated. For a day of peace and serenity, catch the ferry from neighbouring Illfracombe to Lundy Island, a peaceful retreat home to some of the areas rarest flora and fauna.

About Saunton & Braunton

Local Food & Drink

Locally caught fish is among the most popular of local fayre. Squires Fish Restaurant is possibly the best place to sample the local catch and is popular with both locals and holiday makers.

The Williams Arms, a beautiful 16th century thatched tavern, is famed for it’s fantastic carvery of local meats and fresh seasonal vegetables making it popular for Sunday lunch.

Slim Jims Restaurant offers gastronomic delights where main courses which are poached, baked, steamed or grilled ensuring a guilt free dinner for those watching their waistline.

Attractions for all the Family

Saunton Sands beach, is the main draw to the Braunton area but this is not the only attraction. Illfracombe is accessible by a scenic 10 minute drive and is home to the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, a fantastic family attraction combining beautiful gardens, exotic animals and dinosaur replicas including the England’s full-size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex.

For a truly rustic Devonshire experience head to the Big Sheep in Bideford, home to sheep racing, shepherd comedy routines and dog and duck trials.

Thrill-seekers are well catered for at Bideford’s Milky Way Adventure Park, an all inclusive day family fun. Roller coasters, indoor play areas, regular shows and the gruelling assault course ensure there is something here for everyone, geardless of the weather.

Local Shopping

Braunton is two distinct areas; the old village with its narrow streets and curiosity shops, and the new town with a good selection of delicatessens, craft and gift shops. Saunton's popularity with surfers has resulted in a good selection of surf shops in the area offering equipment, attire and all essentials for a perfect day at the beach.

The neighbouring town of Barnstable is only a short drive away and has a larger selection of shops. Green Lanes Shopping Centre is home to 40 high street names including New Look, BHS, Topman and Topshop and a great selection of independent stores for those unique gifts.

Atlantic village, North Devon’s largest shopping centre, is within a 16 mile car or bus journey and offers a shopping experience for all of the family. It's home to various high street names including Cadbury World and Edinburgh Woollen Mill, there is a great choice of shops ideal for treating yourself of the loved ones at home. And with the on-site Atlantis Adventure Park complete with indoor & outdoor play areas, trampolines and mystery maze, the children just won’t want to leave.

History & Heritage

The history of Braunton dates back to the sixth century when a Welsh missionary, St. Brannock, founded a parish in the area. A township grew around the parish know as Brannockstood. Over time the area became known as Brauntona and by the end of the nineteenth century, had become known as Braunton. St Brannock’s church is remains intact to this day and is a popular tourist attraction as well as a place or worship.

Lundy Island, a peaceful, un-spoilt oasis of unique flora and forna, can be reached by ferry from the nearby towns of Bideford and Illfracombe, and is a haven for artist and photographers looking to capture its encapsulating beauty.

Nearby Barnstable plays host to Arlington Court, a spectacular National Trust property home to Jacob Sheep, Red Deer, Peacocks and Devon’s largest colony of lesser horseshoe bats. Arlington Court is also home to the Trust’s largest collection of horse drawn carriages and visitors can act like the lord of the manor by indulging in a carriage ride around the grounds.

The Tarka Trail, a series of paths following Tarka the Otter's journey in the book of the same name, takes in the beauty of the area and bicycles can be hired to explore the route.

Saunton Sands Beach

Saunton Sands is three miles of sandy beach facing west and is backed by impressive sand dunes. It is cut-off to the south by the estuaries of the rivers Taw and Torridge. The beauty of the area has been captured in various films including Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ music video.

The beach benefits from excellent surfing conditions, whilst the sheer length of the beach provides ample room for groups of surfers to find an un-crowded area of surf. Saunton Sands is also a family-favourite due to the facilities which include toilets, a shop, takeaway, cafe and watersports equipment hire kiosk. The beach is easily accessed from the road and dogs are welcome.

Entertainment & Events

Situated in North Devon, Braunton and Saunton are surrounded by small villages and towns with their own customs and traditions, ensuring a lively calendar of events. The North Devon Festival in the summer celebrates the cultural diversity of the area with an eclectic selection of music, art and performance with over 200 events taking place in 50 towns and villages in the North Devon Area.

The Gold Coast Oceanfest is held in June in Croyde, a scenic 20 mile drive from Westward Ho. The event is a celebration of music, sport, and environmental awareness and features live music, international artists and sports workshops.

Local Activities

Saunton Sands attracts surfers from afar looking to catch that big wave. With surf schools operating on the beach, complete beginners can look forward to standing on their boards very quickly.

Saunton Sands boasts two highly rated links golf courses which are both featured in Golf World’s top 100 courses. The Royal North Devon Golf Club, England’s oldest established golf links, is considered to be one of the finest links courses in the country and is within a 15 mile drive.

The North Devon area is home to beautiful countryside abd is best explored by foot or bicycle. The Tarka Trail, a series of foot and cycle paths following the literary journey of Tarka the Otter, covers some of the most inspiring scenery the area has to offer.

Travel to Saunton

By car – Exit the M5 at junction 27 and proceed along the A361 following signs for Saunton and Braunton.

By Rail/Coach – Railway services operate between London Paddington and Barnstable, changing at Exeter St. Davids. There is a regular bus service from Barnstable to Braunton. Braunton is also served by National Express coaches.

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