Although locations like Woolacombe, Croyde and Ilfracombe can become busy during spring and summer, quieter locations are never far away.
During the hottest days, visit one of the many wooded areas and walk alongside the cool, clear streams. Maybe even dip your feet in. Hang out with the birds and the badgers and soak up the serenity.
Lee Bay has of an oak lined valley, with a crystal clear stream, and chocolate box cottages lining the road to the carpark and rocky beach (which is currently free!) .
The beach is covered at high tide, but as the tide drops back, pockets of sand appear between the rocks, which opens up at low tide. Find a spot for a few hours before the tide pushes back up.
It’s a wonderful looking valley and beach, especially at the height of summer, with green oaks covering the slopes, right up to the cliff edge. . The view from a kayak offers a unique perspective.
If you take a kayak and explore the coast there are some lovely bays, some inaccessible by foot, heading either way; towards Bull point, or Ilfracombe.
Stroll amongst the oak trees at Lee Bay and finish up a walk with a drink at The Grampus Inn. In the evening there is often live music by local musicians. Combine this with a roaring fireplace and you are in for a lovely evening.
There are numerous walks along the coast, and through the countryside with paths leading to numerous locations including Ilfracombe and Woolacombe.
Braunton Burrows and Crow point
A definite lesser known gem is Braunton Burrows and Crow point.
Park the vehicle, or lock up the bicycle at Sandy Way car park.
It is then up to you to choose which path to take to explore Braunton Burrows.
You can walk over the burrows to access the far end of Saunton beach, which leads to Crow Point and the estuary.
Once you have emerged from the dunes you are greeted with masses of space and a panoramic ocean vista which takes in Hartland Point, Lundy Island, Downend Point and Morte Point.
There are usually very few people. And very little noise, apart from the crashing waves and the soft breeze rustling through the long marram grass.
Exmoor is a great place to find that extra level of serenity.
On a hot summer’s day, the change of pace from, say, Woolacombe or Ilfracombe, is significant and once you reach Exmoor, the roads are clear and the air is fresh and a little cooler.
You will find miles of space and some beautiful ancient wooded slopes, clear cool rivers and streams and also lakes and reservoirs.
There are many tranquil bays and coves, some harder to reach, but always worth the effort.
One such location is Pollard Wood, on the Devon/Somerset border.
Take a walk from the County Gate Car Park down through the wood, which is dotted with exotic trees, planted over 200 years ago by a local Lord.
The path ends up at an old lime kiln situated on the shore edge. Guaranteed to be very few people around.
But the walk back up is not for the faint hearted!
Heading west down the coast a little, past Lynmouth, is Woody Bay.
Here there is a walk along the recently reopened Victorian carriage way, which ends up at Heddons Mouth.
A beautiful area with miles of oak wooded hillsides.
The Bristol Channel provides cool summer breezes for this lovely area, which is great for the dog, who will also appreciate the cool streams and pools.
This is just an insight into some of the the quieter locations in North Devon. Please email us or give us a call and we can advise on other areas of interest.