Newest Review: ... heart of Croyde is famous for its live music and community spirit. We sat in the sunshine; though the pub offers plenty of indoor seatin... more
The Beauty Of Croyde
Croyde in General
Member Name: Carysb
Croyde in General
Advantages: Beach, Bay, Village Atmosphere, Friendly
Disadvantages: Tourists (but aren't we all)
My summer break on a budget this year resulted in a tour of North Devon, 3 days of which we decided to stay in Croyde. Preparation for the trip included searching for a reasonably priced B&B. My internet search brought up most B&B's charging between £80-£120 a night per person, but I eventually found the Chapel Farm B&B and booked a room for 2 nights for £120 in total. With that booked our adventures began.
Driving into Croyde we travelled from Honiton in Devon and headed for Barnstable. The trip from Barnstable to the picturesque village of Croyde brought about stunning sights and views as we passed smaller villages all situated along the coastline.
On entering Croyde it was apparent that this small village was a very popular place. With excellent surfing facilities I was expecting the village to be heavily populated with tourists but was quite surprised to see that whilst busy it wasn't heaving.
The roads are very narrow through the village and often frequented by large lorries, thankfully the B&B offered parking, albeit limited. Once parked our first trip was to the pub to catch up with friends. The Thatch based in the heart of Croyde is famous for its live music and community spirit. We sat in the sunshine; though the pub offers plenty of indoor seating should you wish to sit indoors.
In addition to The Thatch, there is also The Manor; both pubs do excellent food, though if I had to choose one I would definitely recommend The Manor for a great meal. Both pubs were bustling despite being end of season. The staff were all very friendly and accommodating and the service excellent. Both pubs were genuine family environments, which offered a more social atmosphere in the evening.
There are a few shops and a cafe in the centre of Croyde, all the basics are there but thankfully it isn't overrun with shops. For those who travelled specifically for the surf, as we did, there is a range of places offering surfboard and wetsuit hire. I would recommend walking towards the beach and then hiring your equipment en route or you could have a 10/15minute walk with a heavy board on your back.
There were four of us making our way to the beach for a surf session and we each hired a wet suit, 2 of us had boots, then 3 body boards and 1 surf board. We paid approximately £60 for the lot.
Croyde Bay is beautiful, well worth the visit just for the sea and sand. There are reasonable facilities, surf school, car park and toilets where the road opens down to the beach, and there was a good presence of lifeguards on hand to monitor those in the water.
We spent a few hours in the sea with our boards and it is amazing how time flies, so much so that when we returned to our stuff, the man next to us said how he had moved it back 3 times otherwise it would have been swept away with the tide! We didn't even realise how quickly it had come in. We were very grateful to that very nice man.
The beach was busy but not over crowded, we went in mid-September so to avoid the kids holidays, despite this there was a healthy atmosphere in the area.
To the right of the beach are a series of rocks, creating their own little rock-pools ready to explore. This is a favourite of mine and I could spend hours engrossed in looking for wildlife amongst the rocks. However a word of warning these rocks are covered in small seas nails and shells. The rest are slippery so unless you are happy getting your feet wet you need to be very careful.
Croyde offers a range of accommodation. There are the B&B's which line the road entering the village, rooms at The Thatch and also adequate camping and caravan sites. Our friends camped at the Ruda Holiday Park. On visiting them I was very impressed by the size of the park, the facilities there and also the washroom/toilet/shower block. Unlike a lot of campsites, these were a good size, solid fixed facilities and not your average portaloos. The reason I don't camp is because I dislike the lack of good facilities on campsites, but I would happily camp at Ruda.
Ruda is right next to the beach but a 10minute walk into the heart of Croyde.
Staying in Croyde was an absolute joy and I wouldn't hesitate to return. This beautiful village unfortunately is not untouched by tourists but in the off peak season is a delightful place to spend a few days exploring.
If you feel you want to explore further afield, Croyde is right by Putsborough Sands (though they charge £5 to park the car before you can get to the beach) and also Woolacombe. Because parking in general in the area is so expensive, we chose not to stop at either of these destinations, instead we made our way to Ilfracombe which isn't too far away. Ilfracombe offers a beautiful harbour town with various things to do and see but that is for a different review.
Summary: Beautiful North Devon Village