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Croyde and Putsborough

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Croyde and Putsborough
Author: Amentura, Published: 18 Oct 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide star1 Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide star1 Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide star1 Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide star1 Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide
Devon, Croyde
Walk Type: Coastal
Croyde and Putsborough
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide boot Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide boot Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide
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0002_sunny_intervals Croyde and Putsborough Walking Guide Today's weather
10 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 10 mph SSE
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A 6 mile circular coastal walk starting in the surfing paradise of Croyde Bay on the North Devon coast. The beginning of the walk is relatively level and follows along the coastal path to the headland at Baggy Point. From here there are some steep inclines, one with steps, to gain the top of the headland. Wonderful views of the Severn Estuary and the rugged coastline can be had all the way along the coastal path. On a clear day the island of Lundy can be clearly seen. From here there is a steady downhill walk to the sandy beach at Putsborough Sands. There are a couple of opportunities to cut the walk short, if you so wish, by taking one of the footpaths back to Croyde and missing out the excursion to Putsborough. The final stretch is back up to the hills above the bay and follows the footpath through fields, mainly set aside for the grazing of sheep, back to Croyde Bay.

There is a lovely beach at Croyde for you to enjoy after the walk, but dog owners be aware that your canine charges are not allowed on Croyde beach during the main holiday season at any time of day. Dogs are allowed amongst the dunes behind though. The village of Croyde has many great places to eat both lunch and dinner, it also has some great surfing shops and clothing boutiques. Later in the holiday season, some great bargains can be had from these shops. Croyde Bay is famous amongst the surfing set and it easy to see why. There is a gently sloping beach with soft sands, behind the beach there are acres of high dunes. When the tide is out the beach becomes one enormous playground and the waves coming in are perfect for surfboarding, being some of the largest in the area.

The walk includes several steady gradients throughout and there are a couple of steep sections. Some stretches of the path are uneven underfoot, some have steep cliff drops to the sides (so take care with children and dogs) and some sections (particularly one farm track) can be very muddy after periods of rain. There is one stretch of road walking without a pavement, so take care of traffic here. You will be sharing several of the fields with sheep or other livestock. You will need to negotiate several gates and steps plus 8 stiles (two low, single-step stiles and some fence stiles). Allow 3 hours.

Croyde Bay is accessed by driving through the village of Croyde itself. Parking can be found at the National Trust (NT) car park at Baggy Point, the given postal code is EX33 1PA. NT Members have the advantage of free parking here but non-members will need to pay a fee. Alternatively, there is pay and display parking in the village of Croyde about a mile away.

Walk Sections

Start to Pond
Start to Pond

Start point: 51.1345 lat, -4.241 long
End point: 51.1387 lat, -4.2486 long

Exit from the National Trust car park and turn right onto the road (Moor Lane). You will pass through a set of stone gate posts (no gate) where the road ends at a vehicle no entry sign. Walk on to a fork in the footpath. Take the lower, left path, heading down towards the coast (do not take the right fork which is signposted as private access to a farm). Along the coast path you will come across the large vertebrae (bone) of a whale that was washed up on Croyde beach in 1915.

Take note of the views along this path which are quite spectacular. Lundy Island can be easily seen on a clear day as can the distant coast across the bay and Westward Ho! The path will drop slightly and enter a small group of trees, where a slight detour will take you to a small pond that has been restored as an important protected habitat. This is Waypoint 1.

Pond to Headland
Pond to Headland

Start point: 51.1387 lat, -4.2486 long
End point: 51.1428 lat, -4.2599 long

Return to the coastal path and, on turning right, pass through a wooden gate. Note there is a sign just the other side of the gate warning that there may be ground nesting birds in the area at certain times of year, so dog owners please be mindful of your pets. Carry on along the footpath as it rises higher and higher above sea level. Do not take the path that is sign posted to Baggy Point pointing up the hill, but stay on the lower coastal path.

The path is good quality and quite wide for the most part but it does gain some height above the treacherous rocks of the coastline below so take care. At certain times of the year many unusual coastal flowering plants can be seen in all their glory. Sea birds also abound, cormorants are common and I have also seen hawks wheeling about on the updrafts. The cliffs are rugged and certain areas are popular with rock climbers. Eventually you will come across the obvious prominence of Baggy Point itself. It is worth walking down to the point (take care for the path is not level and without trip hazards) for a photo as the coastline to either side can be seen from here. You have reached Waypoint 2.

Headland to Fork in Path
Headland to Fork in Path

Start point: 51.1428 lat, -4.2599 long
End point: 51.1445 lat, -4.2479 long

After your photo shoot, return and climb the steep steps that can be seen leading up the hill. You will come across a signpost. You want to turn left up the coastal path (do not go straight on). A word of warning to dog owners, black sheep are a common sight wandering the cliff tops all the way from here to the end of this section. Their presence is not always obvious, so I would advise keeping your canine charges under close control on leads.

Continue up the grassy path. If you wish, take a climb up the white wooden lookout post you will find halfway up the hill, but this is not necessary to enjoy the views. At the top of the hill you will see the path start to descend. There is a breathtaking view of Woolacombe across the bay, the long beach and, nestled in the crook of the cliffs at the right-hand end of Woolacombe beach, the tiny holiday spot of Putsborough.

You will eventually come to a fork in the path. If you want to cut the walk short, you can take the right path, which will take you back to the NT car park at Croyde Bay. But the full walk continues by taking the left path (with the acorn badge for the coast path) signposted to Woolacombe 3.5m. Walk down the path to a wooden gate and Waypoint 3.

Fork in Path to Croyde 1m
Fork in Path to Croyde 1m

Start point: 51.1445 lat, -4.2479 long
End point: 51.1443 lat, -4.2339 long

After passing through the gate, continue across the field beyond. Be mindful that the fields you are now going to walk through often have livestock grazing in them, dogs will need to remain on leads. Cross the stile and continue across another field. Pass through a wide gap in the dry stone wall and on to another stile. Go through the gate at the end of this field. Eventually you will come across a signpost (Waypoint 4). Taking the path to the right will take you back to Croyde 1m, and you can follow this if you wish to leave out the section of the walk that goes down to the coast/beach at Putsborough. If you press on to Putsborough, you will return to this point and eventually take this same return path to Croyde.

Croyde 1m to Putsborough Sands
Croyde 1m to Putsborough Sands

Start point: 51.1443 lat, -4.2339 long
End point: 51.1446 lat, -4.2209 long

Continue on the footpath signposted Coastal Path with the acorn badge. Cross the stile at the end of this field and carry on through the field beyond. You will see a small sign with an acorn badge indicating that the coastal path turns slightly to the left and descends slightly. Take this route, keep the hedgerow on your left and a short section of dry stone wall to your right. From here just follow the obvious footpath all the way down the hill until you reach a metal kissing gate at a roadway. Go through the gate and walk down the road to Putsborough Sands. This is Waypoint 5. By all means enjoy some time and rest here at Putsborough, there is a small shop and a tea room by the beach and there are public conveniences up the hill. The beach itself is very wide at low tide and very long, it goes all the way to Woolacombe.

Putsborough Sands to Return Path
Putsborough Sands to Return Path

Start point: 51.1446 lat, -4.2209 long
End point: 51.1443 lat, -4.2342 long

When you are ready, retrace your steps back to the signpost at Waypoint 4/6. This time turn left up the footpath signposted Croyde 1m.

Return Path to Crossroads
Return Path to Crossroads

Start point: 51.1443 lat, -4.2342 long
End point: 51.1371 lat, -4.2283 long

Take the path up the grassy rise and down the right-hand edge of the field to a stile. Cross this stile and again travel down the right-hand edge of the field to a second stile, which you should cross. You will now find yourself on a farm track. Turn left down this track. Interestingly, there is a sign warning the walker to wear stout footwear. You will see why as you travel down this track. I would guess this track is quite difficult to navigate during, or just after, very wet weather. Continue down the track bearing round to the right until you come to the crossroads at Waypoint 7. Here the farm track meets with a tarmac road.

Crossroads to End
Crossroads to End

Start point: 51.1371 lat, -4.2283 long
End point: 51.1351 lat, -4.2421 long

Pass through the gate posts onto the road. To your right you will see a sign for Cherry Tree Farm. Continue ahead down the road. Look out for the public footpath sign on your right. Take this narrow footpath across a low, single-step stile. You will have a hedgerow on your left and a wooden fence with an apple orchard beyond on your right. Reaching the end of the footpath, cross over another low, single-step stile. Continue down the road directly in front of you (Pathfields) to a T junction with Moor Lane. If you are parked in the village, turn left. Otherwise, turn right, and this road will take you back to Croyde Bay and to the NT car park. The road you are on is quite a busy road and the first section does not have a footpath, so be mindful of traffic. Eventually arrive back where you started at the NT car park at Croyde Bay.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author Amentura and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 comments for "Croyde and Putsborough"

an absolute must do!

By dragon10 on 28 Aug 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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