Braunton- a guide for visiting this lovely village in 2023


Often described as the largest village in England, Braunton has a unique feel to it. Although this claim isn't quite true, Braunton is a large village and is definitely one of the largest in Devon. We wanted to highlight this village because there is an interesting mix of things to see and do during your time there, let's get into the guide:

Where is Braunton?

As we mentioned in our introduction, Braunton is in Devon. It's actually only 5 miles west of Barnstaple and is very near to Saunton, Croyde, and Woolacombe. It's very near the North Devon coast and is a great place to stay while you explore the area.

What is there to do during your time in Braunton?

It's worth keeping in mind that Braunton is quite small so although there are things to do, it's quite limited. However, there is lots to see and do around the village, so we'll be including a mix of options for you to see and do. Let's get into it:

Tarka Trail

You might not explore all 180 miles of the Tarka Trail during your time in Braunton, however even walking or cycling a short part of the route is a pleasure. The name comes from the main character of the book 'Tarka the Otter', and apparently the trail follows the same route that he followed in the novel. The thing we love about the Tarka Trail is the mix of views - travel along it for long enough and you'll see the countryside, sea views and beautiful beaches. Definitely best explored on your bike as you'll get to see more of it! Learn more here -

Braunton Burrows

Sand dunes might not be the top of your list when it comes to thing that you typically want to see on a trip, but trust us when we say that Braunton Burrows are a little bit different to what you normally find on the beach. This is the 2nd largest sand dune system in the UK and forms part of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve area. Almost 500 different species of plants have been found in this area, making Braunton Burrows an important area for scientific research relating to plant life. This diverse mix of plants means the area also has a diverse mix of insects, and incredibly more than 50% of the species of butterfly found in the UK have been recorded within Braunton Burrows. In short, we definitely recommend you visit this area.

Museum of British Surfing

Devon is one of the best parts of the UK for surfing, and villages like Braunton attract thousands of surfing enthusiasts from across the world every year. A trip to the Museum of British Surfing in Braunton is a great chance to learn about the history of the sport in the UK, with information about how the sport grew in popularity in the UK and the people who helped to introduce it to us Brits. You'll also find some fascinating artefacts and objects here, including old school surfboards which are worlds away from what people ride on nowadays. 

Even if you're not a surfing enthusiast, we think you'll find a trip to this museum really interesting. Plus, the staff are great and really knowledgeable. Learn more here -



Braunton might not have a beach, but it is less than 3 miles away from one of the best beaches in the UK - Saunton. It's great for long walks and strolls with a dog. The Beachside Grill restaurant is well worth a visit and serves up a nice range of food made with locally sourced ingredients. Overall, Saunton is definitely worth a look.


Croyde Beach

A hotspot for surfers, Croyde Beach is slightly further away from Braunton than Saunton but only by a couple of miles. Even if you're not a surfer, Croyde Beach is excellent to visit and if you're feeling adventurous you can walk all the way along to Morte Point. Although if you've ever wanted to surf then Croyde Beach is the place to do it - it's generally regarded as one of the best surfing beaches in the world.



It's less than 6 miles to Barnstaple from Braunton, so if you've got time to visit then we'd highly recommend it. You've got quite a few things to see and do in Barnstaple, including the very impressive clock tower and the amazing Exmoor Zoo, which is the only zoo with a Black leopard that you can see in the UK.


Things to be aware of before visiting Braunton

Like we mentioned in our introduction, you should be willing to travel a little bit to make the most of your time in Braunton. We've already mentioned places like Saunton and Barnstaple, but you also might like to head further afield to places like Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. If you're staying for more than a few days then we'd definitely recommend visiting these places.

If you enjoyed this guide, check out our other guides about Devon villages and towns including Totnes, Kingsbridge, and Seaton. We also have a guide about nearby Bantham Beach and the best things to do in Devon.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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