On the approach to D-Day on the 6th June 1944, American troops arrived in Braunton to make use of Saunton Sands beach and the Braunton Burrows to train for the assault on the French beaches.
In order to train realistically, many of the German defences were recreated and live rounds were used in training. On the southern section of the walk you will see replica landing craft constructed from concrete where troops and vehicles practiced disembarking.
Towards the middle of the walk you will see a replica pill box still peppered with bullet holes.
At the most northerly point of the walk you will see the remains of a Matilda tank, most of which is still intact. Matilda’s where used by the British, but this one may have been donated for target practice.
These are fairly obvious landmarks but there are the remains of metal and concrete structures all over the Braunton Burrows, many of which have been covered with sand or foliage over time.
This walk is 5.07KM long, so may take some time if walking with children or at a relaxed pace.
The Braunton Burrows is a combination of grass, sand and mud. It is possible to navigate the whole area on the flat, but some walks may involve climbing some of the dunes. During winter, the place can get very water logged so wellington boots are advisable. In the summer months, lighter footwear like sandals are fine. The rest of the time, a pair of walking boots or shoes would be preferable.
There are many criss-crossing footpaths and vehicle tracks around the Braunton Burrows, but no man-made paths or signs, so a map, compass or gps device would be useful. It is easy to become disorientated if you are not familiar with the place.
There is a reasonable mobile phone reception should you get lost or be in need of help.