Distance: 6.7 miles
Time it took us: 2hrs 39mins
Steps: 17, 172
This leg of the Path should have ticked off 8.6 miles in our effort to walk The South West Coast Path, but an unfortunate wrong turn meant we swapped Baggy Point and its ‘superb views', for a rather boring inland route emerging in a housing estate at the back of Croyde village.
If you do happen to follow the map correctly, you’ll leave Woolacombe beach at the Watersmeet Hotel and then turn up Challacombe Road. All plain sailing for us so far. According to The South West Coast Path guidebook the route then leaves the road ‘on the right at approximately National Trust sign – there may be no waymarker here’.
We obviously ignored/missed that bit. Had we been a bit more on the ball, the Path would have taken us through the dunes at Woolacombe Warren where ‘waymarking means that going astray is unlikely’. Ahem.
By the time we release we’d made a wrong turn, we’re too far in to bother turning back.
Eventually, after a meandering past an array of holiday homes, we find ourselves back the golden sandy beach of Croyde bay. It’s a beautiful spot with plenty of opportunity for refreshments and, of course, an ice cream.
If you’re a dog owner, be careful as they’re banned from the beach between May 1 and September 30. We had to turn back and walk through the town centre to hunt down the Path on the other side.
At the low cliffs at Down End a left turn takes you up past the old coastguard lookout point before crossing the road and climbing some stone steps to a road that runs parallel to the vast expanse of Saunton Sands below and the large white exterior of the hotel in the distance.
Popular with surfers and families, Saunton Sands is also where Robbie Williams filmed his Angels video in case you wanted to know!
Reaching the car park we find a dog-friendly cabbies to take us to the car parked back at Woolacombe.