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Let’s paint you a picture. It’s a beautiful clear day and the Devon cycle paths of the Tarka Trail are open before you. Luckily you’ve stumbled upon some bike hire. What you want more than anything is a beach, so after a good ride you’ve got that perfect reward to look forward to – a swim in the sea, a picnic on the beach, a nice relaxing sunbathe.

The question is, where should you go? Well that is where this post comes in. Read on to find out the best beaches to cycle to!

Saunton Sands

Want to get to the nearest beach possible? Well, in about half an hour from Waterside Cafe you can find yourself in one of the finest surfing beaches of the area – Saunton! This long beach provides plenty of space so you will have a bit more freedom to move about.

How to get there?

No idea at the moment.

Did you know?

A couple of times a year, the beach is closed off and it commandeered by the RAF so they can practice beach take offs and landings! It also features in Robbie Williams’ Angels video. We know which fact we prefer.

Westward Ho!

One of our favourite place names, remember that if you miss out the ! then you’ve spelt it wrong! Next to Saunton Sands, on the other side of the Taw/Turridge estuary, is Westward Ho!, home of the only place name in the British Isles to have an exclamation mark as part of its name. A smaller beach than Saunton, Westward Ho! combines a lovely beach with a small town. You still get some excellent surf and clean sands, so is an excellent pick for that summer sun.

How to get there?

No idea at the moment.

Did you know?

Westward Ho! originated simply as a hotel of the same name (Which was taken from Charles Kingsley’s book). It slowly morphed into a town, and by extension the name of the beach, over time due to buildings gathering near the hotel. Nearby Royal North Devon Golf Club is the oldest Golf Club in England and Wales, designed by the legendary Old Tom Morris.

Croyde

Release your inner surfer at one of the water sport havens of Devon. Pass through Braunton to the smaller sister of Saunton, Croyde Bay. Situated idyllically over the other side of sand dunes, you’ll find some great surf and a large water sport community. Fancy trying something new? Have a go at some coast steering! Already got some skills, or keen to learn some? Hire yourself a surf board and dive into the waves. That’s not to say it neglects the every day swimmer though! Croyde gives the best of both worlds for both the water babies and the sun baskers.

Did you know?

As well as the beach, Croyde is well stocked to satisfy all your needs. Numerous pubs are located nearby to get some trusty pub grub and lemonade before you cycle back along the Tarka Trail. Nature walks more your thing? Lock the bike up and hike one of the trails for some stunning views.

Woolacombe

Finally, that perennial award winner Woolacombe. The trusty favourite of many a tourist and Barnstable native alike, the sheer length of the beach gives you a good chance for some space in the surf despite the immense popularity. Pubs and restaurants cater to the many people who visit each year, with a pitch and put course for a change of pace! Enjoy an ice cream, soak in the sun on the golden beach and enjoy a well earned rest after a good ride.

Did you know?

Much of the surrounding countryside is managed by the National Trust, and so is unspoilt and beautiful all year round. It’s also recently been voted the 6th best beach in Europe on Tripadvisor! So yeah, it’s pretty decent.