47. Croyde Bay to Barnstaple

My first walk of 2015 and I needed to do a simple quick one day walk, so it was down to Barnstaple to carry on from my previous visit. I parked in Barnstaple taking advantage of  free street parking close to the Bus Station. I caught the 21A bus to Croyde Bay at a cost of £2.40. Today was a wonderfully sunny winters day, with a stiff breeze blowing.

Looking back at Croyde Bay

The bus stop at Croyde Bay is very close to the beach and in less than a minute of leaving the bus I was making my over Croyde Sand towards the far headland. Here I climbed up off the beach and continued around the headland below the main road for 400m. The path then ascended the small hill to join up with the main road. I slightly back tracked along the road to join the path on the far side of the road. The path continued above the road for the next 2 miles, contouring below Saunton Down.

Braunton Burrows
Remants of the old railway line
Looking up the Taw Estuary towards Barnstaple

Lundy was slightly hazy in the far distance, but I had a spectacular view of Braunton Burrows, a vast Nature Reserve of dunes and sands. I seemed to have lost the official path in the Burrows somewhere so I made my own route through the area. Eventually, the MOD warning signs shepherded me towards the official path, which I eventually picked up. The path emerged at the shores of the Taw and Torridge estuaries. I followed the path around Horsey island and up the minor tributary of the River Caen. The first crossing point of this river is at Braunton and onto the Tarka Trail. For the next two miles I have RAF Chivenor on my right. I have been walking on the old railway route from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe and I make good progress along the route.

Charity event Barnstaple

When I reach Barnstaple I have a quick look around the town, it’s a saturday afternoon and quite busy. I note with some amusement a building undergoing restoration with scaffolding all around it bedecked with bras and other undergarments, I believe in aid of charity. Great idea, but I kept my pants well and truly on! I take 4.5 hrs for the walk.



Distance today = 15.5 miles
Total distance =   691 miles



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