Enjoy Croyde – Devon. Here’s what to do, see, explore and eat!
Have you ever loved somewhere so much that in all honesty, you aren’t sure you want to tell anyone about it? Well, that’s how I feel about Croyde! This little gem is in North Devon and is an idyllic surf village that still offers old-world charm. There’s a stunning beach, fantastic hikes, surf schools and some lovely local shops. Accommodation is varied with something to suit everyone and did I mention the most amazing places to eat!
The ideal family holiday resort and surf location
Croyde is known as Devon’s surfing capital and rightly so. It offers a stunning sweep of golden sands with wonderful coastal walks. Nearby Braunton, Woolacombe and Ilfracombe mean you will have endless day-out options too.
Croyde, North Devon, England Facts
Croyde, North Devon, England
Parking available at the National Trust Car Park EX33 1PA
No dogs on the beach May - Sept but plenty of dog friendly walks!
Croyde has a large sweep of golden sands which makes it perfect for families and surfers alike. It’s fantastic for beginners as well as the keen surfers. There are plenty of places to hire surfboards or to book lessons – you won’t miss The Little Pink Shop on your drive or walk in. Surf at Croyde, and you’ll be making history as you enjoy time on the 18 miles of coast that is the UK’s first World Surfing Reserve.
For Serious Surfers – here’s what the surf report website Surfline has to say about Croyde!
One of the UK’s most popular surf destinations, this is a high-quality, hollow, peaky beachbreak, hemmed in by Downend Point to the south and Baggy Point to the north. The currents and swells conspire to produce heavy, low-tide barrels and excellent waves as the tide pushes in. The average surf here tends to be a bit smaller than in Cornwall, but six-foot Croyde can offer board-breakingly good Hossegor-like conditions. Gets crazy busy in small summer waves.
Where to eat
My number one recommendation for eating in Croyde is Biffen’s Kitchen at the Ocean Pitch campsite. Biff offers a variety of surf destination cuisines made with locally sourced produce and cooked fresh. Breakfast and dinner are offered from early April to the end of September. For me, it’s all the added extras on your dish that make Biffen’s Kitchen so special – asian slaw, togarashi edamame, pinkled onions – even corn dust!
For something more traditional – how about a cream tea at the Sandleigh National Trust Cafe. Set in an allotment, it’s a perfect stop off at the end of a walk to the National Trust’s Baggy Point.
Where to stay?
There really is something for everyone in Croyde. If you have a tent or campervan then Ocean Pitch Campsite should be your first choice. Benny and the team are super friendly and welcoming and there’s a relaxed and happy surf vibe. The facilities are amazingly set up for beach lovers or surfers with great facilities including all you need to wash up your pots and pans or your wetsuits! With Biffens Kitchen on-site, it’s our favourite surf campsite – but be warned – it books up quickly! For a luxurious cottage getaway – try Ocean Cottages They have a fantastic array of places to stay in and around Croyde.
Baggy Point is an impressive rocky headland with dramatic cliffs and fantastic views towards Lundy Island. Park up at the National Trust Car Park and follow the easy access path along one of the circular walks.
Following the South West Coast Path is another great option. The path is England’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath and stretches for 630 miles. Take a walk over to Woolacombe, or up past Saunton and along the estuary into Braunton.
Bucket list hike
With a little extra effort, you can take on the highest sea cliff in England and the highest point on the South West Coast Path – Great Hangman! Although the top of Great Hangman isn’t particularly notable – the stunning walks up the summit are really worth the climb. I took two Stagecoach buses from Croyde to Braunton and then onto Ilfracombe to start my hike. My finishing point was Combe Martin – a small seaside resort in a sheltered cove, where Exmoor meets the sea.
Over in Braunton, you’ll find the charming Museum of British Surfing Started in 2003 with donations from the family of Britain’s first professional surfer, it has staged touring exhibitions at museums all over the UK. It’s believed to be the largest and most comprehensive collection of surfboards and related memorabilia in Europe. I really loved their new exhibition for 2023 – The Women of British Surfing – a fantastic exhibition to get women and girls of all ages fired up about surfing! Run by volunteers and with a bargain entry fee of only £2 – what’s not to love!
Want a break from surfing and hikes? Then take it easy at the Croyde Craft Market in the middle of the village open most Thursdays and Bank Holidays – you can find them on Facebook too. You’ll find perfect surf-inspired decor for your home, wearables, beautiful hand-crafted jewellery and some yummy treats to take away.
All inclusive Croyde
England’s first official surfing centre specifically for people with disabilities, opened in Croyde this year. The ‘Adaptive Surfing Hub’ enables users to engage with surfing through modified equipment allowing them greater independence, comfort and confidence. What an inspiring way of ensuring more people can access all that the ocean has to offer!
So there you have it – all there is to love about Croyde! Think of me when you go and enjoy this lovely little spot. After all, it’s good to share.