The Woolacombe to Braunton walk is a section of the South West Coast Path, a 630 mile coastal walk that runs through North Devon.
This section leaves the famous surf beach of Woolacombe Sands and then ventures over the cliffs to the bay and village of Croyde before passing through another beach at Saunton Sands.
Then, you turn towards the sand dunes, and walk along these, following the path to the River Torridge before turning back northwards to reach Braunton.
It is a 15 mile/ 25 kilometre walk, and this blog post will detail exactly how to do it!
How far is Braunton from Woolacombe?
Woolacombe and Braunton two North Devon towns, 6.7 miles from each other (on roads), and about a 15 minute drive away. However, this hike is 15 miles or 25 kilometres long and will take around six-seven hours, depending on your speed.
Woolacombe to Braunton Walk
This Woolacombe to Braunton walk is part of the South West Coast Path, one of the most amazing routes for hiking in the UK.
The route travels from the popular seaside resort town of Woolacombe, past Saunton Sands, which is one of the best surfing beaches in the country, to the inland town of Braunton. It follows the South West Coastal Path and the Tarka Trail, named after Tarka the Otter.
This is an easy walk, with very few steep climbs – especially compared to the previous sections! It does include some dramatic sea cliffs, but there is also a lot of flat walking.
You’ll start the walk at Woolacombe Town Centre, near Woolacombe Beach. This is one of the most brilliant beaches in Devon – it’s actually been voted best in the UK – and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Devon.
Start your journey by walking through the warren by Woolacombe. Look out for the beautiful flowers, which occur because so many rabbits graze there.
This runs parallel to the beach and slowly ascends uphill – but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as taxing as the uphills on other days of the South West Coast Path!
Keep walking upwards, and you’ll eventually see a gate on your right that leads down to another beach at Putsborough Sands. This isn’t on the route, but there is a small cafe down there and a much quieter beach.
Baggy Point is a large headland sticking out over 2km into the sea. It’s a scenic walk, and you can enjoy fantastic views of the coastline and the North Devon AONB from it.
While it’s certainly worth doing if you have the time, if you want a shorter option, you can walk straight over Baggy Point rather than around it.
You’ll be able to see the coastal views of Croyde Bay from this vantage point. Look out for the fields by Croyde Hoe Farm and the WWII dummy pillboxes which the army used to train US troops at D Day.
After walking for a couple of hours maximum, you’ll be in Croyde Bay. These cliffs are SSSI designated due to their geological significance.
Once you reach the bay, the South West Coast Path just travels through the beach area – it’s about a 15-minute walk from here to the village centre. If you need any refreshments, you can find fish and chips, a shop and a pub garden at Ruda Holiday Park.
Follow the path through the dunes and up to the cliff tops on the other side, where you will be able to see Saunton Sands. This cliff-top walking doesn’t last for long as you quickly descend to the beach of Saunton.
Saunton Sands is a large, expansive sandy beach that is popular with surfers. With the large Saunton Sands Hotel standing at one end which has an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, Saunton Sands stretches over 3 miles.
If you are interested in staying in Saunton Sands Hotel, click here for more information.
You won’t be walking along Saunton Beach for too long because you will turn and enter the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows.
Braunton Burrows are a unique part of the South West Coast Path. This is the largest sand dune system in England, and it is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Here, the path runs through dunes, skirts around a golf course, and traverses through woodland.
If you follow the coast path all the way down, you’ll eventually reach the banks of the River Taw, where you can look over into Appledore and see the Torridge Estuary. Then, the path ventures back northwards and into Braunton.
If you want to take a shortcut straight to Braunton, you can walk from Braunton Burrows car park to the village. This route is on the road, but they aren’t very busy, and there’s still some beautiful scenery.
Braunton is a North Devon village with plenty of places to grab dinner and stay the night. There isn’t a huge amount to do in the village itself, but it’s a great spot to rest and relax.
Where to stay in Braunton
If you’re looking for campsites, Lobb Field Farm Campsite has lots of space for hikers and excellent facilities. It is located just off the path but is close to Braunton.
The Brookfield is a friendly guesthouse with amicable hosts. The guesthouse is immaculate, with spacious, airy rooms. Click here for more information.
The George Inn is a comfortable guesthouse with boutique-style rooms. A delicious breakfast is served at The George Inn each day, and there is free wifi and a bar on site. Click here for more information.
Where to stay in Woolacombe
Woolacombe is one of the best places to stay in Devon, so you can be sure that there are plenty of hotels to enjoy here!
North Morte Farm Campsite is a great campsite for hikers as it has plenty of space for walk-ins and excellent facilities and a restaurant and shop on-site.
Lundy House Hotel is a cosy guesthouse with sweeping views across the water to Lundy Island. Some lovely balconies are overlooking the beach, and all of the rooms are well-appointed. Click here for more information.
Watersmeet Hotel is a luxurious place to stay near Woolacombe. Bathrooms have roll-top baths and bedrooms are bright and comfortable. Click here for more information.
Other things to do in Woolacombe
- Enjoy the beautiful beaches of the area, including Woolacombe Beach (one of the best places to visit in Devon!), Croyde Bay and Barricane Beach.
- Sample Woolacombe’s rich dining scene.
- Try out surfing.
- Walk around Morte Point.
- Play crazy golf by the sea!
See all of the best things to do in Woolacombe here! (coming soon)
Is there a bus from Braunton to Woolacombe?
Yes, you can get from Braunton to Woolacombe by bus. The 303 connects the two towns, although it is infrequent. Alternatively, you can take the 21 and the 31 to get back to Woolacombe. Alternatively, if you need to get back to Woolacombe, you could try Saunton Taxis on 07890543136.
The rest of the South West Coast Path
If you are continuing to hike in Devon, you could do the Braunton to Instow walk or the Ilfracombe to Woolacombe walk. See all of my South West Coast Path posts here!
The Woolacombe to Braunton walk is a beautiful, and fairly easy, section of the South West Coast Path. It’s a great day trip if you’re on holiday in the area or part of a longer hike.