Braunton and Saunton
Braunton is the gateway to the northern coast. Its proximity to North Devon’s famous beaches, like those at Saunton Sands and Croyde Bay, is reflected in the surf culture of the town. The Braunton and Saunton area are the ideal places for those that love watersports, not only are there the numerous surf shops, where you can hire a board, or join in with an organisation that takes sessions or tours around the coast. You can even discover the roots of the region’s surfing origins at the Museum of British Surfing.
The Biosphere and Natural Landscape (AONB)
Situated in the heart of North Devon’s Natural Landscape (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the village also incorporates Braunton Burrows which comprises of England’s largest sand dune system (a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts) and one of only two surviving examples of medieval open strip farming systems in the country. Braunton village is a great base to explore this amazing part of North Devon, there are lots of places to discover.
Saunton is predominantly famous for its beach, Saunton Sands, which is situated at the heart of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve. As well as being a world-class family beach, with wide open space, toilet and shower facilities and dog-friendly access to boot, Saunton is also renowned for some of the best surf in the country. It’s a great place for beginners to start, with gear hire and lessons easily arranged. Saunton Sands also has access to a Landeez all-terrain wheelchair, allowing everyone to enjoy the beach.
The North Devon Biosphere Reserve is one of just 669 biosphere reserves from around the world. It was the first one to be established in the UK, where it now joins six other sites, all of which are ecologically diverse and are designated as sites of significant interest, both scientifically and culturally.
The North Devon Biosphere Reserve is located in one of the prettiest areas of North Devon and not only takes in Braunton and the rich landscape of Braunton Burrows, but also reaches out towards Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. The sand dune system in the middle of Braunton Burrows makes up the core of the Biosphere and is the largest sand dune system in England.
The coast at Saunton also falls into the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers the majority of the coast in this area. You’ll find lots of ways to explore the area via footpaths and cycle trails including the South West Coast Path which goes the length of the Natural Landscape (AONB).
If you’re in the Braunton/Saunton area for longer than a few days, there are weekly parking passes available and you can hire deck chairs, beach huts or even a pedal cart to explore the beaches. Once you’re exhausted from walking, water sports, exploring the Biosphere or the Natural Landscape (AONB) or making sandcastles, stop by one of the many coastal cafes, pubs or restaurants for a scenic drink or bite to eat. These are great venues to watch the sunset and we can guarantee that the sunset is worth stopping to watch.