Croyde has so much to offer. The beautiful yet small village has a charming laid-back vibe, which isn’t surprising, due to the golden bay and spectacular surf that draws in both locals and crowds from further afield.
However, those looking to head off the beaten path will certainly want to explore the coastline of Baggy Point. There is a relatively easy circular route which takes you along both sides of the point and then back across the headland, taking in both the nearby farmland and far-reaching views of the Atlantic (keep an eye out for Lundy Island on the horizon!).
Whether you tend to reach for hiking boots or a beaten up pair of trainers, this section of the South West Coast Path, which belongs to the National Trust, is well looked after and caters for most levels of walkers. (Members of the NT will be pleased to hear that you can park here for free!) For more hardened hikers, there is a route which takes you to Woolacombe, but this takes about four hours.
The path out to Baggy Point is quite narrow in places, and may not be for the faint-hearted, but personally I love to look at the depth below, watching as the swirling sea laps around the rock form. I recently watched a video that showed a secret cut through to a tidal pool that looked heavenly for a summer dip. It’s definitely on my list of places to find next summer, so I will keep you updated!
As you head out onto the trail, you may spot the remaining bones of a large whale, which washed up onto the beach in 1915. There is also a pond on the route, which provides a natural habitat for a variety of creatures. I remember finding frogspawn here as a child with my family. Fascinating if you’re a fan of nature!
In spring and summer, wild flowers will be aplenty, the vibrant colours complementing the whites and blues of the surrounding water. While those visiting towards the end of the year may instead see interesting fungi and bright yellow gorse spread across the wild cliffs. Not forgetting the black Hebridean sheep who sometimes make an appearance on the green grass clinging to the hillside.
When reaching the point, you can choose to sit right at the very edge, or admire from further back. During lockdown, we were fortunate enough to experience a sunset from the very tip, and had the whole place to ourselves. It was the most magical experience and one I certainly won’t forget. The position of the headline is just perfect to watch the sun as it sets behind the sea. Once the sun disappears, the panoramic views of the ocean are simply stunning (and you’ll be able to see nearby Morte Point), as the sky begins to change through a variety or pink and orange hues.
It’s just as dramatic in the winter, watching as the waves crash against the sea cliffs, but you’ll want to make sure you wrap up warm! (I can’t write this post without mentioning that I actually got engaged here on 1st November 2020 on a wet and windy day, so as you can imagine, Baggy Point really does have a special place in my heart!)
So, if you’re looking for a gentle walk, then I must say that this beautiful section of coastal path is well worth the effort of leaving the main village. I recently wrote some tips about how to live like a local in Croyde if you’d like to check them out here. Let me know if you’ve been before in the comments below, or ask a question and I’ll do my best to share my local knowledge with you!