The Northam Burrows Country Park is a great place to get outdoors! Based near Bideford, the Burrows Country Park is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is home to a diverse range of natural habitats, including a salt marsh, open grassland, rocky shore and sand dunes; it is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, from vivid lichens to coastal birds.
Something to see all year around
In the summer season, be sure to visit the Northam Burrows Centre (located towards the north of the beach) to discover more about the wildlife, or even join one of the free family events run by the team there; events range from rockpool rambles and nature walks to sandcastle competitions and treasure hunts!
The visitor centre is open until September, but the park itself is open all year around and there is a fully accessible bird hide so you can enjoy various migrating birds whatever the season.
Northam Burrows also has its own interactive audio trail to follow, accessed by smartphone – look out for the QR codes located across the 253-hectare space.
Head to the beach
The burrows is an extension of the vast, sandy beach that stretches down from Westward Ho! and sits at the mouth of the Taw and Torridge Estuaries.
The Burrows area backs onto the famous pebble ridge which frames the edge of Westward Ho! beach, giving wide scenic views across Bideford Bay. The ridge has been created by the natural process of long shore drift, which makes it one of the main reasons that this area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Beyond this there are dunes, which forms the burrows and are rich in various flora and fauna, among which you can find lizards, moths and during the spring months, rabbits. It is a picturesque beach area to visit and offers several opportunities to get active; from walks along the coast path, to trips around the site, to bird watching to kite-surfing. It’s a great dog-friendly area too! So, your four legged friends can enjoy the great outdoors too!
Don’t forget though, as pretty as it is and as great as it is for a walking location, it isn’t a bathing beach, the tides come in too fast!
Activities to suit everyone
If you like a round of golf, the Burrows is home to the oldest golf course in the UK, with the added charm of sea views and the odd horse or sheep grazing the common land. The course, the Royal North Devon Golf Course is over 150 years old and has some of the oldest linked in the country. If you’re more into finding out more about the history of the sport to perfecting your swing, you’ll also find the Golf Museum at the club house where you can find out more about the heritage of the course.
It is a great place for photographers, whether an amateur or a pro, you can spot some stunning views of Appledore and the Kipling Tors.