Braunton Burrows

About this route

Braunton Burrows is a dramatic series of sand dunes located at the mouth of the Taw-Torridge Estuary and is one of the most important examples of its type in Britain. Few other dune systems are less affected by underlying geology and afforestation, making this an important site for the study of coastal geomorphology.

At over 5km long and 1.5km wide, the sheer scale of Braunton Burrows is impressive. Towards the centre of the site, some of the dunes reach up to 30m in height and are among the largest in the country. Smaller foredunes, flooded slacks and past evidence of major sand blowouts can also be seen.

The dunes are of international importance for their wildlife, including a number of rarities, and form the core of a Biosphere Reserve.

Getting Around

On foot: The South West Coast Path runs just inland of the dunes and links with the Tarka Trail (and then to Braunton and Barnstaple).

By bus and train: There are bus links to Barnstaple and nearby Braunton. Barnstaple has a train station, see

By bike: The Tarka Trail provides a good cycle route from Barnstaple to Braunton along the Taw-Torridge Estuary.

By Car: A number of small roads lead to the Burrows from nearby Braunton. Car parking is available off Sandy Lane.

Generally open to the public, although some areas are subject to closure for military training and management operations. Visitors must observe any advice given by the range supervisors.
Dramatic sand dunes.

Interesting information

Braunton Burrows is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Photo across a dune slack to sand dunes in the background
Braunton Burrows Copyright Dietmar Rabich via Wikimedia Commons

You can explore more in this area

Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail