"The great thing about the location of The Lookout is that you can walk to the beach…no loading-up the car, rounding-up the troops and trying to find a parking space near the sand! Instead, a lovely ten minute stroll down the footpath from the village past the fields (with rabbits!) and through the dunes brings you to the sand and surf."
Croyde is a really lovely village with 3 pubs, all of which have beer gardens and serve good food (all a short walk from The Lookout). The Thatch is especially popular with locals and visitors alike. There are also a few bistros and a cafes - all very nice. There is a selection of surf shops, souvenir shops, post office and ice cream shop. Needless to say you can easily get your hands on a variety of different pasties for a traditional Devonshire lunch!
The beaches here are fantastic: clean and picturesque and there is a choice of several beaches within a short drive. Croyde beach is walkable from the Lookout through the protected sand dunes - it is a lovely walk. Croyde is a fabulous unspoilt sandy beach surrounded by beautiful views of the hills and lots of rock pools and dunes to explore. It has surf lifeguards on duty in the summer. Putsborough is a five minute drive through the country lanes. It is a long beach (around 2 miles long), which stretches away to the north where it becomes Woolacoombe beach. Again, the views and the walks here are truly beautiful, summer or winter. Saunton, a five minute drive to the south is another long beach, backed with beautiful dunes, and sheltered from the north by Downend Point. There is easy parking at Saunton and a nice cafe/restaurant. Deckchairs and beach huts can also be hired here in the summer.
We know what it is like getting out of the house with kids, so to make it even easier you can use The Lookout’s Red Wagon! You can use it to transport all you beach goodies and / or the kids to the beach and the Red Wagon’s big wheels mean you can even pull it across soft sand. We have provided a family cool box, parasol, windbreak, body boards and a selection of beach games so you don’t have to cart all of yours from home (we know there is already no space in the car!).
We have been surfing here for many years and it is the main reason we love it so much. All the beaches mentioned above are great surf beaches, each with their own characteristics and advantages. Croyde is the most famous and at low tide produces what are arguably the best a-frame barrels in the country. It can also hold a decent size swell and generally the waves here are a touch bigger than the other beaches. At high tide Croyde looses its hollowness and becomes a more mellow wave, better for beginners and longboarders. Croyde is offshore in an easterly wind. Saunton is a great longboarder's wave; it is a more gently breaking wave than Croyde and when it is working well you can get some fantastic long peeling right-hand rides. In our experience it peels best at mid-tide. It is also a very good spot for beginners. Experienced surfers can use the rip next to the rocks to paddle out. An easterly wind is offshore and it is well protected from northerlies, especially at high tide. If the wind turns south however, head over to Putsborough. "P-Land" is tucked behind the protection of Baggy point and is sheltered from the southerlies however it picks up less swell than Croyde but can still offer some great rides. It is best on a fuller tide. If you are new to surfing there are surf schools around and several places where you can hire boards and wetsuits.
There is a World class links golf club with two courses, just a mile or two round the headland at Saunton. Saunton Sands Golf Club offers challenging golf on beautiful courses. Nick Faldo has the following to say about Saunton:
"I've no doubt that if the East Course were located on the coast of Lancashire or Kent it would have hosted an Open Championship by now." ... "I cannot think of anywhere in England where 36 holes could be more enjoyable."
For more information visit the club website: http://www.sauntongolf.co.uk/
There is a vast variety of walks on offer in the area. Everything from a gentle stroll along the beach to the stunning couple of miles of National Trust walking round Baggy Point and for the more adventurous there is the 180-mile long Tarka Trail! The Lookout has a few maps and walking books in the lounge for guests to use.