is a delightful coastal community of colour-washed thatched cottages with
a little stream that meanders its way through the village to a beautiful
sandy bay. Croyde
is said by many to be the best surfing beach in the UK, and there can be
few villages in the country with such a perfect blend of picturesque charm
and the buzz of life!
Croyde has been inhabited since the Stone Age, and to this day flint tools
and arrowheads are to be found in the nearby fields. The first settlers
of Croyde were the Vikings and it is from them that the stream "Crydda"
and the village take their name. The buildings in the village have a rich
history stretching back over many generations, the oldest being St Helen's
Chapel in Cott Lane which was built in the 12th century by the Celtic saint
Endelentia. The chapel, in a tiny lane behind St Helen's Priory, is the
"Holy Well" or "Lady Well" which was blessed by St Endelentia and was a
popular pilgrimage for Christians for many centuries. Also in Cott Lane
is Chapel Farm Gallery and Craft Centre, a well-established gallery for
talented local artists. Exhibits include work by Paul Kenton, well known
for his watercolour seascapes; Roger Bishop, an outstanding marine life
artist; and John Palmer's brilliant landscapes. You will also find many
other local artists specialising in pottery, crafts and gifts. From here
you can walk through to the peaceful setting of St Helen's Priory gardens
and enjoy a classic Devonshire cream tea.
For those with a thirst for an active life Croyde is ideal. The surrounding
countryside with its outstanding scenery is just perfect for walkers; maps
are available in the village. Nearby, Baggy Point, run by the National Trust,
and Croyde sand dunes, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, have an abundance
of interesting wildlife. The surfing in Croyde Bay is superb for either
experts or novices, many surf shops are to be found where equipment is available
to hire or buy and expert advice and tuition is available. When you need
a well-earned break from riding the waves or rambling in the countryside
Croyde has a wonderful selection of character eating and drinking places.
Many, like The Thatch, which dates back to the 14th century, have been offering
hospitality to locals and visitors for many generations.