|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||4.7 miles (7.6 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3231 is a seasonal route that links the village of Croyde to the A361 at Braunton.
The route begins at a light-controlled junction on the A361 in Braunton, which causes huge amounts of congestion at peak periods. The road heads west out of the village and along the northern fringes of the Braunton Burrows Biosphere Reserve, before reaching the hamlet of Saunton, which is most notable for its large 4-star hotel and its long, sandy beach.
The B3231 climbs slightly as it hugs the coastline very closely on a steep cliff edge. This provides some of the most spectacular scenery on any road in Devon, with clear views of Lundy, Braunton Burrows and the Taw estuary. A short while later, it descends again onto the village of Croyde, with views across Croyde Bay and up to Baggy Point, where it terminates in the very centre of the village as two unclassified roads split off to Georgeham and Putsborough.
Until around 1991, the B3231 continued out of Croyde village in a north-easterly direction to end back on the A361 in Ilfracombe (see left). This road, even today, is very sub-standard. It is mostly S1 with passing places, and it can get very busy in the summer months as it provides the only direct route between the villages of Croyde and Woolacombe - two of the most popular tourist destinations in Devon. There have been occasions where traffic has been so bad that the road becomes gridlocked for hours on end.
As a result, as part of some other renumbering in the area, the road was declassified and coaches are now prohibited from using the route.
There was a short multiplex with the B3343 between Turnpike Cross and Lee Cross. Oddly, old maps show that the B3231 had the number over the B3343, despite having TOTSOs at both junctions (although of course the B3231 was here first). The old B3231 then continues along (substantially quieter) S1 lanes, past the hamlet of Lincombe, and into Ilfracombe through the Slade Valley and then zigzagging into Station Road to end on the A361.