A popular seaside town in North Cornwall, Bude is well known for its great beaches, unique townscape, exciting activities and fascinating maritime history, making it a perfect holiday destination for the whole family.
The Bude area has a surplus of beautiful, award-winning sandy beaches to choose from, Summerleaze is the main town beach, with the sea pool providing a gentler swim when the waves might be a bit too rough for some. Next door, the Blue Flag awarded Crooklets is a big favourite with the surfers, but fine for families as well, with loads of sand and rockpools at low tide.
To the south of Bude, Widemouth Bay is also a Blue Flag beach and very popular with everyone owing to the adjacent car parks. If you are looking for a bit of solitude, head north of Bude, to Sandymouth or the even more secluded Duckmouth Beach. Owned by the National Trust, the beach sits at the bottom of the picturesque Coombe Valley, overlooked by the spectacular 100 meter high Steeple Point Cliff. Perfect for a day away from it all.
It's not just surfing
The benefit of the Atlantic swell means the Bude coastline is a haven for surfers of all levels. If you want to improve, or even start, there are several surf schools in and around the town. Kayakers and SUP’ers might prefer the calm of the Bude Canal, but there’s nothing stopping you taking to the sea, just be aware of the conditions!
The coastline is also popular for coasteering with several companies offering trips out along the jagged cliffs. Those same cliffs provide some pretty testing rock climbs as well, not really suitable for beginners, the Culm Coast, as it’s known stretches north from Bude into North Devon.
Not for you, there’s always the golf club that splits the town in two, running down to Crooklets Beach.
Bude maintains a perfect balance, large enough to hold a huge array of things to do, while also being not so large as to lose its traditional Cornish charm. There’s a nice selection of independent shops for you to explore and places to eat, giving a quiet, laid back feel to the town At the same time, there’s plenty for those who require a bit more excitement.
The Bude Canal
The history of the Bude Canal is fascinating but best read somewhere else… but a walk along it banks shouldn’t be missed. It starts at the sea-lock to the west of Summerleaze Beach and proceeds south from the town, passing the Falcon Hotel, and then picking up the towpath the other side of the road bridge.
The canal is a rich source of wildlife habitats with everything from dragonflies to foxes patrolling the banks. A bird hide can be found not too far out of town and in the spring wildflowers carpet the surrounding area.
You can follow the canal as far the main A39 road just beyond Whalesborough where the river and the canal combine and from here either double back or head out to the coast and follow the South West Coast Path back into Bude.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Bude
From the M5 at Exeter take the A30 to Okehampton. Go through the town and take the A3079, then the A3072 to Holsworthy and from there to Bude.
The nearest National Express come to Bude is Exeter, from there you can catch the 6 or 6A bus for a journey of around two hours to Bude.
Bude has a good selection of local bus routes.
Travelling to Bude by train is not easy. The nearest mainline station is at Exeter St David’s Station. Here you can catch the 6 or 6A bus for a journey of around two hours to Bude.
Cornwall's North Coast has plenty to see and do, from Bude in the far north, all the way down to Perranporth. It's famed for its long sandy beaches and big cliffs. It's a surfers paradise, it's got history and heritage at Tintagel and Boscastle, it's got fantastic walks and views... The easy answer is, don't miss any of it!
There is a pay and display car park located at the centre of Crackington Haven village, while there is also roadside parking available on the road down into the village.
It's in Cornwall of course... but not far from the border.
So when planning a holiday in the area, it's always worth looking at Visit Devon's website to see what attractions and things to do are taking place across the border, as well as the Visit Cornwall website.
Yes, very much so. With a choice of beaches everybody should find something to do. From surfing to sandcastles, Bude has the perfect beach.
Add to that a golf course, a canal to walk along or explore by kayak, the South West Coast Path and a nice range of places to eat and drink, we think Bude is the perfect family destination.
It depends which one you want to know about?
Summerleaze Beach is very popular, mainly because it is less than five minutes’ walk from the centre of Bude. It also has a large sea pool nestled at the foot of the cliffs. Part man-made and part natural, the salt-water pool, cleaned daily by the tide, has enticed swimmers since it opened in 1930.
Crooklets Beach is very popular with surfers and is home to the Bude Surf Life Saving Club. The beach has great facilities including a large car park, level access and viewing area, a play area, skate park, beach cafe, showers, amusements and pubs close by.
Northcott Mouth is a rocky cove, but has a sandy beach when the tide is out. It's just to the north of Bude.
Widemouth Bay is a very long open bay popular with families and surfers and at low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. Situated just 3 miles south of Bude, it offers fantastic conditions to learn surfing or body-boarding, which is why many of the local surf schools are based there.
Discover your Cornwall
Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.
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