Braunton is a village 5 miles west of Barnstaple and 46 miles north-west of the nearest major city of Exeter. Braunton sits close to the Atlantic coastline in North Devon and is accessed via the A361 from Barnstaple or North from Ilfracombe. Braunton is thought to be the largest village in England, with a population of around 8,000.
Braunton is home to Braunton Burrows, which is the largest sand dune system in England. The Burrows was the first location in the country to be given a Biosphere Reserve title. Interestingly The Burrows played an important role during World War II. The dunes and the nearby beaches of Woolacombe and Saunton made for perfect locations to practice land assaults. It is said that the aforementioned beaches bear an instantly recognisable likeness to Omaha Beach in Normandy; even the gradients, sand quality and tidal ranges are said to be similar. Today, The Marines occupy Royal Marines Base Chivenor nearby, and the dunes are closed for ten days a year for training.
Like Bideford and Barnstaple nearby, The Tarka Trail; a figure of eight route taking in the surrounding countryside, takes in Braunton, and is a must for explorers and walkers.