Welcome to Longmead House

Five of our Favourite Beaches 

July is Beach Month- Why not visit one of our favourite  beachs that can be accessed  from Longmead House, along the North Devon Coast. Some of these are award winning and of special scientfic interest many are popular with water sports enthusiasts at all times of the year. There are many and varied with regard to the geology and features ranging from miles of golden sand,  grassy sand dunes and burrows, to  small hidden coves with high steep cliff edges and shingle, pebbles and rocky beaches.  In Fact I found there are so many to choose from that I have split this blog into two parts. This blog  ( part 1) shares some information about five of our favourite beaches that we visit at different times of the year ( often with Quinn).  Most of these have small independent cafes/ places to find refreshments hot/cold drinks and ice creams which are also essential when visiting a beach. Watch out for our Part 2. 

1 Lynmouth

Our nearest beach is at Lynmouth - A lovely pebble  and shingle beach is great for rock pools when the tides is out. Take your fishing net and bucket and spend a couple of hours among the many rock pools looking for marine plant and sea life along the coastline. If you don’t want to get your feet wet, then wander up and down the pebbles and cast your eyes downward and see if you can spot a piece of sea glass nestling amongst the pebbles and shingle on the shore line. The sea washes up fragments of ground up glass if you are lucky, you may find some opaque, green or even blue slivers of glass to take away as mementos of your beach foraging.

2 Woolacombe / Putsborough

Explore the sand dunes above this 3 mile long award winning beach or take a walk along this expansive sandy beach. There are many activities that you can see  and enjoy on this beach from kite surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing which are popular all year round.Overlooked by the South West Coast Path and edged with sand dunes on a clear day you it has fantastic views across the Bristol channel and out towards Lundy Island. At either end (both Woolacombe and Putsborough) there are surf and paddle board schools where you can hire all the equipment and spend a few hours learning your moves and trying to keep afloat.

The Putsborough end tends to be a bit quieter. You can park on Marine drive  (access via Woolacombe) and take one of the sandy tracks down through the dunes onto the beach. Take note of where you entered as sometimes it can be confusing as to which dune you came down.  Don’t forget to visit one of the cafes - the  Porthole caféhalf way along Marine Drive or the café and shop at the Putsborough end for refreshments and an ice cream we recommend both of them at any time of the year for a hot or cold drink above the sands.

3 Tunnel Beaches Ilfracombe

 This is where you will find a Victorian heritage beach with  the  remains of Victorian bathing pools. Hand carved in 1830 these four tunnels allow access to the beach and original tidal pools. You can spend a lovely afternoon sitting on this secluded beach steeped in history. This interesting beach is worth a visit at Ilfracombe, when the tide is out you can still swim and paddle in the remains of these bathing pools as many before you have spent a summers day.

4  Saunton Sands

This is  a family favourite and a  is long straight sandy beach ideal for anyone interested in water sports.  Beware though it if often biusy in the summer months but it is 3 miles lomg so there is plenty of space for everyone.  It is backed by Braunton Burrows (sand dunes) a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. You can learn to surf, paddle board or kayak or if you are experienced you can rent out any of these items and take to the water. Alternatively you can put down your towel or deck chair and just soak up the rays and summery atmosphere and just relax in the sun.  Or for a special treat why not have afternoon tea  or a visit the Spa in the Art Deco Saunton Sands hotel that overlooks this extensive  sandy beach.  Not only does it have historic buildings alongside it , but it played its part in WW2. On the approach to D Day American troops used Saunton Sands beach to train for the assault on the French beaches.  Beware there are still  landmarks of the metal and concrete structures and signs of the military presence dotted around the burrows and sand dunes along the beach.

5 Lee Bay Lee Abbey Estate

 You can easily walk to this beach from Longmead House through the Valley of Rocks. Lee bay isa private beach onthe Lee Abbey estate on the coast road reached through the Valley of Rocks from Lynton. This beach is rocky  at high tide with sand becoming exposed at low tide. It has a small car park which also offers access to a network of woodland paths on the estate. Keep an eye out for the Tea Cottage open from May to September which serves refreshments in beautiful surroundings. When the tide is right it you will often find the locals wild swimming at this beach as it is calmer but still has strong currents.