Croyde Bay, a small beach village located on the Devon coast of Braunton in England is known as. This is the place I hold dear because it was where I spent my first five years of marriage with my husband.
Friends and family were surprised that I lived so far from major cities. There are many things to do in Croyde. This is a great getaway for couples, families and friends.
About Croyde in Devon, England
Croyde Village, as well as other locations, in North Devon, sees a significant increase in population during the summer months, when all the holiday parks, hotels, and campsites are full of holidaymakers.
Croyde’s permanent residents go from 700 to well over 5 times during busy days. Summer is great, but I also enjoy the quiet and tranquility of Winter in Croyde.
Continue reading to find my guide to the best things you can do in Croyde Bay
Croyde Bay is where?
Croyde is found on the North Devon Coast, England, United Kingdom. Devon is also known as “Two Coast County”, which is why it has so many beaches and coastline paths. Many of its most popular spots are on the western coast, where Croyde beach can be found.
Croyde Bay is a wave that rolls in from the Atlantic Ocean. It is just south of the Bristol Channel. It is approximately 4 hours (220 mi) west of London and just over 2 hours away from Bristol.
Exeter, the nearest city to Croyde, is located on the other side of the county and is approximately 1 hour and 20 mins away.
Parking can be a little tricky in Croyde, a small English village that experiences a large influx of summer visitors.
Croyde Bay: Where can I park?
Public Car Parks can be found at both ends of the beach and behind the village hall. All of these lots have parking fees. In summer, it is difficult to find free parking in Croyde Village.
- The Baggy Point end is where you will find two main parking lots. One will be to your left at Ruda holiday Park, and the other one will be just before Baggy Point. This one is owned the National Trust. A very limited number of parking spaces are available for short stays right next to the Ruda bus stop.
- The other side of the bay has Down End Car Park. This small cafe, called the Drop Inn serves small meals and take-out ice creams. This end of the beach has no street parking.
- Croyde Village has a Council car park that offers 71 spaces. This includes one spot for disabled people and one spot for motorhomes. This car park is located in the middle of the village, just behind Croyde Village Hall.
- You can also find 5 short-term parking spaces along the main road.
- Billy Budds and The Thatch have their own carparks for patrons.
You will be within walking distance to the shops, restaurants, and bars if you are actually staying in Croyde.
Where to Stay
You can choose from a variety of accommodation options close to Croyde bay Devon. You can choose from B&Bs and cottages as well as camping, hotels, and other accommodations.
Croyde Bay Holiday Resort
Four-star hotel with self-catering resort. It also has cottages, lodges, and its own beach access. The lodges are of a high standard and have 3 to 4 bedrooms, a 3 metre deck and open-plan kitchens. The resort offers indoor swimming, mini golf, and playing fields. It also provides dog-friendly accommodation.
Croyde Bay Resort offers direct beach access. The accommodation backs on to the sand dunes, and the resort extends over to Croyde Beach. UNISON members receive 15% off when they are members.
For the busy season, there are multiple campsites. The season typically begins in April/May, and runs until October.
- Surfer’s Paradise – owned by Ruda, and the nearest campsite to the beach. It has very limited facilities and no power outlets. However, it backs up to Ruda’s main holiday park.
- Bay View Farm is a Croyde campsite featuring a fish and chip shop. This campsite is located on the Bay’s lower end and offers berths for tents and caravans, as well as glamping huts.
- Ocean Pitch – Located near Baggy Point this campsite offers great views of the waves from its upper pitches. This campsite is a single long field. It’s all about the view. They also offer surf-inspired street food from Biffen’s Kitchen. You can also rent surfboards and stay in a few cute glamping pods that face the sea.
- Freshwell Camping is located near Ocean Pitch in Baggy Point. They describe themselves as “a field with views” and it’s a great view, as it covers Croyde beach, and the incoming Atlantic Surf. In the summer, they have food pop-ups from traders such as Hippy Happy Hoppers or New Coast Events.
- Cherry Tree Farm is a long-standing campsite in Croyde village that’s perfect for families. The beach and village are just a short distance away. There’s plenty of space for your tent.
This luxury Aparthotel offers stunning views of Saunton Beach, Braunton Burrows and the surrounding area. This luxury hotel is designed for the high-end market and boasts stunning views and well-furnished rooms. This is a great place to stay if you are looking for walks along the beach or visiting Saunton Golf Club. It’s only a short drive away from Croyde.
The Thatch, also known as “Croyde’s famous Freehouse”, is a large pub that feels intimate. There are fire pits and two patios where you can enjoy your cider or food in nice weather. If you want to stay in the heart and soul of the village, they have a few rooms inside the house. The rooms include breakfast and are a short walk from the beach.
Saunton Sands Hotel
Saunton Sands Hotel, a 4-star Art Deco Hotel with a stunning view of Saunton Beach, is a 4* Art Deco Hotel. The hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool, inland and sea facing rooms, and some self-catering apartments. Source Spa and Wellness, their brand-new spa, is the ideal place to relax.
Marsdens, Choice and Air Bnb and Devon Cottages
There are many cottages available to rent in Croyde and Devon. There are many sizes of properties in the village. Some even have a hot tub!
Ruda Holiday Park Croyde
Cascades is a caravan, lodge, camping, and touring holiday park that also includes a fun pool. Ruda, the largest holiday park in the region, offers evening entertainment, as well as a fish and chip shop, arcade, and the Cascades swimming pools with water slides!
You can find glamping, pre-erected tents, and regular tent and caravan pitches. There are also lodges and static caravans.
Top Things to Do in Croyde:
These are the things I do when I return to Croyde in Devon. These are my top picks for Croyde Bay activities. I have a detailed guide below.
- Enjoy a drink at Thatch. Thatcher’s Cider is my favorite!
- The Kings Arms is a great place to eat. You can usually find good seafood specials at The Kings Arms.
- Take a walk along the coast. Baggy Point is just one of many options.
- Get coffee and avocado toast in The Stores.
- Croyde surf hire
What to do
Croyde Bay has so many activities to keep you entertained during your holiday. There are many adventure activities, such as coasteering and surfing, or walking through the Braunton Burrows UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Enjoy a day of adventure coasteering around Baggy Point. You can explore the rocks and jump into hidden pools to see the cliffs used for training for the D-Day Landings of WW2. (Baggy Point was thought resemble Pointe du Hoc, Normandy).
- Coasteering Croyde
- Coastline Sports
Croyde is known for its surfing beach. It’s one of the most popular in England. There have been quite a few British contests held there. If you are not an experienced surfer, it is worth taking a lesson or renting equipment. Summer can be very busy and the sea can have strong currents so be cautious! From March through September, the RNLI lifeguards are on the beach every day. They also patrol the beach during weekends and half-term in October. They are available from 10am to 6pm.
- Croyde Surf Academy is based in Down End Car Park
- Walking on Waves – based at Croyde Bay Resort
- Surf Southwest offers regular discounts online
- Surfing Croyde Bay is based at the Old Cream Shop in the village
The ocean’s temperature ranges from 10’C/48’F in April to 17’C/63’F August. Wetsuits are recommended for surfing. However, you will see some bodyboarders only wearing their swimsuits during the summer. In the summer, waves average 3 feet in height, but can reach up to 4 feet on sunny days.
Things to Do Nearby: North Devon Day Trip Ideas
Clovelly is an idyllic fishing village that dates back to a bygone age. No cars are allowed on the cobblestone streets. Shop for crafts and enjoy the best seafood. Clovelly is a great day trip for all the family. It’s also one of my favourite places in North Devon. Clovelly costs PS7.95 for adults, PS4.60 for children and PS21.50 per couple. The festival hosts a seafood and lobster festival every year, along with other events.
Lynton & Lynmouth // Valley of The Rocks
Lynton and Lynmouth can be connected by a water-powered funicular railway. This is an amazing way to travel between these villages at the edge of Exmoor. The cost of a single trip on the Lynton or Lynmouth Cliff Railway is either PS3 for an adult or PS2 for a child. Return trips cost PS4 per adult and PS2.50 per kid. You’ll find a variety of tea rooms, pubs, and seaside gifts in the villages. Valley of the Rocks is nearby for one of the most beautiful coastal walks you can do.
Woolacombe is the place to be!
Woolacombe beach is one of England’s most beautiful beaches. The beach is lined with beach huts in bright colors and has parking with a great view. The Red Barn is a surf-focused pub that overlooks the ocean. It can be found in the village. The village is located on the beach, and offers restaurants, pubs, and mini-golf.
Take a ferry from Lundy Island
The M.S. Take the M.S. Oldenburg ferry from Ilfracombe, Bideford or Bideford to Lundy Island. This tiny island off North Devon Coast is home to only 28 people and is teeming in wildlife. Although you can camp here overnight, it is best to book your accommodation in advance. Day tickets cost PS40 for adults, and PS21 for kids. A helicopter can also fly from Hartland and Lundy, making it a faster journey.
Things to Do in Ilfracombe
Ilfracombe was once a popular seaside resort back in Victorian times. You can’t miss Verity by Damien Hirst, or fish and chips at the seafront.
- Ilfracombe Aquarium
- Ilfracombe Sea Safari
- Tunnels Beaches
- Ilfracombe Princess Cruises
Things to Do in Westward Ho!
Only town in England with an exclamation mark in its name. Westward Ho! It is close to the South West Coast Path, and home to Royal North Devon Golf Club, the oldest golf course of England. A nice place to enjoy a drink is the Pierhouse, which has a great view of the seafront.
Things to Do in Barnstaple
Barnstaple is North Devon’s largest town. You will find plenty of activities for kids and families here.
- Let’s Go Super Bowl! Indoor bowling for rainy days
- Tarka Trail – Rent a bike, or walk the Tarka Trail which begins in Braunton.
- The Quay Indoor Softplay
- Skern Lodge Outdoor Activity Center
Things to Do in Bideford
Bideford’s main stone bridge is known for its arches. However, not everyone realizes that each arch is unique. This is where the Mayflower, the famous sailing vessel that made its way from Plymouth to Massachusetts, USA stopped. You can visit Bideford today for a stroll along the waterfront, or for many other family-friendly activities at nearby theme parks.
- The Milky Way Adventure Park
- The Big Sheep
- Hockings Ice Cream
Visit one of the most stunning national parks in the country. Enjoy close encounters with Exmoor wild ponies, birds, and deer!