Why Croyde is riding the crest of a wave

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The North Devon resort hit the headlines earlier this year when it was designated a world surfing reserve. But it’s so much more than that – an under-the-radar beauty spot as perfect in autumn as it is in summer

Cold beers, crab sandwiches, glorious beaches and rugged headlands. Croyde Bay on the North Devon coast is well worth the trek to get there (a three-and-a-half-hour train journey from Paddington via Exeter to the nearest station at Barnstaple), if only to fall gratefully into the warm embrace of the village’s much-loved Thatch pub.

We first discovered Croyde 10 years ago, looking for an alternative to Cornwall for an extended family holiday by the sea. Since then, we’ve never been anywhere else. The first glimpse as you round the headland never disappoints; wide, white-tipped rollers gliding in across the sands, the dramatic outline of Baggy Point stretching out towards Lundy Island on the other side of the bay, as beautiful in autumn as it is in high summer. Apart from a few houses, scattered along the side of the headland, the beach is unspoilt, saved by the line of dunes, designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

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