Braunton Burrows

About this route

Lying at the entrance to the Taw-Torridge Estuary, Braunton Burrows is one of the most important sand dune systems in Britain and forms the core of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

This extensive site extends 5km from north to south and is up to 1½ km wide. It supports a wide variety of habitats including flooded dune slacks, flower-rich grassland and scrub. In turn, these are home to a huge number of plants and animals. For example, the Burrows supports over 400 flowering plants, including rarities such as sea stock (see photo below) and water germander, and 33 species of butterflies have been recorded. The site is also of interest for its birds, including wintering waterfowl and an assemblage of breeding birds that include wheatear, skylark and meadow pipit.

Photo of sea stock a rare British coastal plant found in Devon

Sea Stock by Peter Wakely, Natural England

The nearby Northam Burrows Country Park (across the estuary at SS445308) hosts a range of coastal habitats including saltmarsh, a cobble ridge and a system of dunes rich in plants.

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.

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.

Facilities
Saunton has car parking, toilets, refreshments and shops. Some areas of Braunton Burrows subject to closure for military training and management.
Terrain
Sand dunes and footpaths.
Accessibility

Interesting information

Braunton Burrows is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a very important part of the Northern Devon Biosphere Reserve.

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 along the South Devon coast showing fields, coastal cliffs and sea with the Daymark in the distance
205miles/
329kms

South West Coast Path

Over the centuries fishermen, coastguards and smugglers have helped to create this historic path – now Britain’s longest National Trail
Photo of the Two Moors Way path across moorland with a granite way marker in the foreground
100miles/
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Two Moors Way (Devon’s Coast to Co..

Running for just over 100 miles/160km between Ivybridge in the south and Lynmouth in the north, this famous path links
Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail
163miles/
261kms

Tarka Trail walking route

Inspired by Henry Williamson’s much loved novel ‘Tarka the Otter’ which was based on real places, this 163 miles/261kms recreation
Photo of cyclists on the Tarka Trail alongside the estuary at Instow
32miles/
52kms

The Tarka Trail (Braunton – Meeth)

Stretching for over 52km / 32 miles from Braunton to Barnstaple, then to Instow, Bideford, Great Torrington and on to
Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail
23miles/
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Tarka Trail Easy Walk

Entirely traffic free, this part of the Tarka Trail can be enjoyed in sections to suit your group.  This off-road route stretches for