Historic Georgeham, just up the road inland from Croyde, is quiet and quaint, but with enough going on to make it a great place to live. Home to one of the area’s famous sons, Henry Williamson author of Tarka the Otter, it has a smattering of beautiful thatched homes, pretty cottages and high-specification contemporary homes, and is just a very short drive or pleasant walk to the coast, but surrounded by green Devon countryside too.
With two great pubs that are known for their excellent food, a friendly village shop and a popular primary school, Georgeham is one of the more popular villages in the area.
Beautiful Croyde and nearby historic Georgeham are very close by, and thus are often thought of in the same bracket by many in the area. Charismatic Croyde is known for its great surfing beach and laid-back surf vibe, whilst Georgeham just inland - home to Henry Williamson, author of ‘Tarka the Otter’ – is quaint and pretty. Offering a captivating mix of thatched houses, picture-postcard cottages and high-specification contemporary homes, with most being a short stroll to the sea and a short drive to the regional centre of Barnstaple, it’s easy to see why these villages are loved by visitors of all ages.
Croyde’s sheltered beach is just a few minutes level walk, through the dunes, from the village,and ideal for families and children who love to run free and delve into rock-pools. However, its excellent waves make it a very popular surfing spot too. During the season, Croyde Beach is patrolled by RNLI lifeguards making it a safe place to swim or surf with a body board.
The beach is a magical place all year round, and beautiful in both summer and winter, when you can enjoy breezy walks with only surfers and seagulls for company, or admire the beautiful sunsets.
The beaches at Saunton (2 miles), Putsborough (1 mile), and Woolacombe (3 miles) are also nearby.
Croyde is of course well known for its surfing and watersports. Within the village board hire and tuition are available, and local companies can provide equipment and tuition for pretty much any coastal activity you like – whether that’s coasteering, kayaking, kite boarding or paddleboarding. There are also volley ball nets on the beach which anyone is welcome to use, a choice of riding stables which offer treks on the beach, and two championship courses at Saunton Golf Club, with other courses at Ilfracombe, Woolacombe,
Croyde lies on the South West Coast Path, and the walk to the headland of Baggy Point offers stunning views along the coast and across to Lundy Island. For cyclists, there’s the chance to explore the Tarka Trail, along the Taw Estuary into Barnstaple, towards Instow and Bideford, with cycle hire available at many locations.
The area plays host to the Goldcoast Oceanfest music and beach festival in June, which attracts internationally famous artists, and over the August bank holiday, Croyde also stages the VW Festival and the UK National Sandcastle Competition. In the village itself there’s often live music at the pubs, and regular local craft and farmers’ markets at the Village Hall, where you’ll also find the quirky ‘Deck Chair Cinema’. Being also close to Woolacombe, Saunton and Braunton means there’s always something going on nearby - check out what’s on offer in wider North Devon too.
Of course, the fabulous coast around Croyde takes centre stage when it comes to natural beauties – but just inland around Georgeham and beyond you’ll find rolling Devon countryside to enjoy and explore. Fans of flowers and wildlife will enjoy a visit to Chapel Wood, near Georgeham, one of the oldest RSPB reserves, while walkers may like to head for nearby Braunton Burrows, England’s only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with an exceptional range of wildlife habitats, and Exmoor National Park.
Though both have a cosy village feel, Croyde and Georgeham combined offer a good range of amenities, including: award-winning pubs, cafes, restaurants, tea rooms, surf wear and gift shops - and an ice cream parlour, of course. There’s also a post office and general store, open all year round, and the popular Georgeham C of E Primary School.
At nearby Braunton, four miles away, are three further primary schools, nursery facilities, a senior school, doctors, dentists, a bank and supermarkets.
North Devon’s regional centre of Barnstaple is ten miles away, and houses the area’s main business, commercial, entertainment and shopping venues. The North Devon Link Road can be accessed at Barnstaple, and provides a link to the M5 at Tiverton, Junction 27. Barnstaple train station offers services to Exeter in around an hour, and Tiverton Parkway Station has regular mainline services to London Paddington in just over 2 hours.