Combe Martin to Braunton
Sand, Sea and Biosphere
Distance: 29 miles over 2 days. Difficulty: Moderate
This route takes in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with an UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve at its heart around Braunton Burrows. From the Victorian splendour of Combe Martin and Ilfracombe, the Coast Path continues past the popular surfing beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton with miles of golden sand between them.
The north Devon coast is characterised by high cliffs and deep ‘combes’, which in Devon are wooded valleys and this stretch has a handful of them, including Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe to name but a few. Many of these towns are popular holiday spots today with magnificent beaches.
This stretch of Coast Path follows the route of the Tarka Trail, a recreational route so-called as it takes in the coastal landscapes that inspired children’s author Henry Williamson to create Tarka the Otter. A memorial stone celebrates his work on the Coast Path past Baggy Point.
It leads on to the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere reserve at Braunton Burrows, which is teeming with wildlife, including rare birds and butterflies.