|Location Map ( geo)|
|From:||Mullacott Cross (SS511444)|
|Distance:||3.7 miles (6 km)|
|Route outline (key)|
The B3343 is very much a seasonal route, probably more so than many others in Devon. In the winter, it serves the villages of Woolacombe and Mortehoe, which both have small populations and the road is, therefore, lightly trafficked. The summer months, however, see a huge increase in the population of the area, raising it to approximately the size of Barnstaple. This, coupled with the fact that Woolacombe is home to what is, by quite some distance, the most popular and largest beach in north Devon, means that there is sometimes considerable congestion on the road leading into the village.
From Mullacott Cross Roundabout, the B3343 is initially a very poor stretch of road: very narrow, bendy, and extremely liable to flooding, which can effectively cut off Woolacombe. A short distance later, the road rises slightly and widens out, forming a pretty decent run to Turnpike Cross a couple of miles later. Here, there are two fairly severe bends, both with junctions on them: the first with the former B3231 to Croyde, and the latter with the main road to Mortehoe.
After passing a holiday park and some more sharp bends, we pass signs welcoming us to Woolacombe, but it is another mile or so before we hit the village itself. The B3343 peters out at a fairly complex junction at the top of the Esplanade where traffic splits off in various different directions to reach various car parks.
The B3343 did not exist in the 1922 Road Lists but gained its number in the mid-1920s. At that time it started on the A399/B3329 junction near Kentisbury and headed west to the A361. It had been extended further west to Woolacombe by 1932.