A Surfing Weekend In Croyde Bay, Devon

I've visited Cornwall every year without fail since I was eleven years old. I've explored every nook and cranny Cornwall has to offer, but I've not properly explored Devon.

So many of my friends have been to Croyde, which is nestled in a bay to the South of Woolacombe and around 30 miles North of Bude. Fellow travel bloggers have been and raved about it. So, finally, some friends and I took a long weekend to explore Croyde back in June.

Croyde is a small village with a couple of pubs, a few restaurants, but is famous for it’s lush green scenery, quaint thatched cottages and amazing surf.

Don't forget to check out the video of my weekend in Croyde at the bottom of this post!

Sat waiting for waves - surfing in Croyde, Devon - GoPro


The drive from London takes around 4 hours if you’re lucky with the traffic, and as you downgrade from motorway to A road to small country lanes you get a sense of escapism. Every time I passed the Devon and Cornwall signs every summer I got the same feeling - summer is here, it’s time to relax. 

As the road to Croyde snakes around the hillside, the first sight that really takes your breath away is looking down over Saunton Sands - a huge stretch of golden beach that connects the lush green land to the Atlantic ocean. If you're lucky you'll also see a surfer or two crossing the road as you reach the Croyde sign.

Our accommodation for the weekend was in the Thatch pub, the main focal point for drinks and food in Croyde. This place has comfortable rooms, is dog friendly, great service and fantastic food and drinks - the ideal place for us!

Outside the Thatch pub - Croyde, Devon


FRIDAY EXPLORING 


Our first day in Croyde was all about exploring. Getting up high to grab the views, heading to the beach to check out the surf (I’ll come back to that later) and sinking a few pints of Cornish Rattler cider.

Two things made this Croyde weekend much more fun - 1) we had little Juniper with us. Juniper is a 5 month old Sprocker Spaniel and was on her first beach holiday! 2) I had the drone in tow.

The view of Croyde Bay from a drone - Simon's JamJar
The view of Croyde from the drone!

Looking out over Croyde Bay, North Devon - drone view - Simon's JamJar
Looking out over Croyde Bay

Unfortunately we discovered Croyde beach is not dog friendly. Dog are not allowed on Croyde beach (boo!), so we had to stick to the sand dunes and let the drone to the exploring for us.

The entrance to Croyde beach, Devon

With little Juniper confined to each sand on the dunes (she learnt quickly that sand wasn't tasty), I headed towards the sea to check out the surf.

Simon walking on Croyde Bay beach, North Devon

Even with a little drizzle, the surfers were out in force, making the most of the Queen's 90th birthday weekend.

Sadly, drizzle turned to rain, so we headed back into Croyde, and back to the Thatch pub. A long with Billy Budds next door, these two pubs are the main focal point in Croyde. We wasted no time in getting stuck into some tasty nachos, ale and cider!

Enjoying the cider and food at the Thatch pub, Croyde

I won't lie - the rest of Friday was spent mostly in the Thatch. We checked out Billy Budds and strolled past some of the villages lovely cottages to try a tipple in the Manor House Inn, just around the corner.

SURFING SATURDAY


The sun was trying to break through the clouds when we woke up on Saturday morning. After a quick Thatch fry-up breakfast, we hopped in the car and headed North to Woolacombe beach.

I last went to Woolacombe when I was 7 years old, so I have vague memories of the beach. Upon arrival, I'd completely forgotten how huge the beach actually was - a good 2.5 mile stretch!

Woolacombe Beach and the surf lifesavers, Devon


Colourful beach huts at the entrance to Woolacombe beach, Devon


After walking past the colourful beach huts at the entrance of the beach, we headed to the doggy friendly area to let little Juniper finally stretch her legs.

Juniper and Lucy having fun on Woolacombe beach!

With a long stroll on the beach complete, the sun made an appearance...which meant it was perfect timing to try out the local ice cream. Check out this double scoop concoction of chocolate chip and mango - yum!

Chocolate chip and mango ice cream - Woolacombe beach, Devon

5-month old Juniper was now tired out, so it was time for the adults to stretch their legs. We headed back to Croyde, hired wetsuits and boards, and headed out to the surf.

Most of you probably know I've surfed many times before, but I've never actually taught anyone. Truth be told, I'm not that great at surfing - I'd give myself a 6/10 on a good day - so I wasn't the best person to give advice, but my friends enjoyed it, so that's the main thing!

After a good 1.5 hour session, it was time to chill out in the sun.

Simon having a post-surf nap on Croyde beach, Devon

CELEBRATING THE QUEEN'S 90TH BIRTHDAY


We were in Croyde in the middle of June, the same weekend as the Queen's 90th birthday. Saturday evening marked live music and celebrations in the Thatch, and resulted in me wearing a Prince Harry mask for most of the evening.

Simon wearing a Prince Harry mask - Queen's 90th birthday - Thatch, Croyde


A little creepy, but a lot of fun!

I'd love to say we explored more on Sunday, but thanks to the combination of heavy rain and a few fuzzy heads, we headed back home early.

I'm so glad I finally visited Croyde, and will definitely be back! I'll probably leave the Prince Harry mask at home next time though.

CHECK OUT THE CROYDE VLOG!


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