Stay in a Cornish Horizons cottage and discover North Cornwall’s quaint seaside town of Bude nestled near the Devon border, presenting visitors with a fabulous seafront, bevy of beaches and array of attractions amongst traditional and unspoiled surrounds. Cornish Horizons offer accommodation a few hundred yards from Widemouth Bay beach and around Bude.
Bude holiday cottages provide a wonderful base for exploring all that the charming town and surrounding area of North Cornwall has to offer. Whether taking a holiday with family, friends or a partner, the beautiful sandy beach, selection of unique shops and nearby attractions are sure to entertain all ages. As one of the sunniest places in the UK, it’s a prime location for a Cornwall holiday, where you can enjoy long coastal walks along the cliffs, take a dip in the traditional sea pool or try your hand at surfing.
The relaxed atmosphere of Bude is palpable. Though you can up the ante with activities such as surfing, cycling and rock climbing, the town’s chilled out charm and wonderful natural scenery make it one of the county’s top holiday destinations.
Perhaps it’s because it’s been recorded as one of the sunniest places in the UK, but Bude is renowned for offering an outstanding array of outdoor living for all types of visitor. And if the weather disappoints, there’s an array of indoor activities and attractions to inspire and entertain in equal measure.
What are the best beaches?
Depending on what you’re after, Bude’s beaches and sprawling coastline is guaranteed to deliver in inimitable style. Summerleaze Beach is where river and ocean collide to spectacular effect. Combining striking features such as canal lock gates and open-air sea pool with soft flat sands makes it a fantastic family-friendly choice. Providing seasonal lifeguard cover along with a range of conveniences including toilets, showers and beach huts for hire, it’s also dogs-on-lead friendly – meaning the entire family can enjoy its sunny aspect and utterly picturesque scenes.
Quirkily named, Crooklets is the other main beach in Bude. It comprises exquisite expanses of golden sands and rock pools that are flanked by facilities including an outside shower, toilets and beach hut hire. What’s more, it presents a top playtime attraction in fantastic form of the ‘Pirate Ship’, as well as child-and-dog friendly café, Rosie’s Kitchen. Lifeguard cover is seasonally provided, though a dog ban is imposed during the summer months.
Other stretches of nearby sand worth visiting include the magnificent Northcott Mouth, Sandymouth, Widemouth Bay and slightly further afield, Crackington Haven and Duckpool.
What activities can we do in Bude?
Walking is a great way to ignite your senses and absorb the various sights of Bude and its surrounding areas. This stunning section of the South West Coast Path can take you north to Marsland Mouth or south to Crackington Haven, allowing you to dictate your own pace and mileage. A stroll up to Compass Point will bestow spectacular coastal and offshore vistas to Morwenstow and Lundy Island, while a series of smaller circular walks and town trails – including along the Bude Canal – are enticing expeditions on foot.
The canal is an ideal venue for all sorts of activities. From fishing to kayaking and canoeing, it provides a safe environment for all levels and abilities to enjoy some on-the-water action. Sea kayaking, coasteering and surfing are also popular oceanic activities as the Great Atlantic graces Bude’s beaches, giving the space and conditions required to hit the high seas with aplomb.
For those wanting to keep dry, an incredible mix of land activities can be found in and around Bude. Home to a pair of top notch courses, Bude Golf Club and Ivyleaf both offer gorgeous greens overlooking the coast, while other nearby courses include Bowood, Thethorne and Launceston.
Cycling is another popular past time, since the nearby Camel Trail permits 20 miles of traffic-free routes winding through some of Cornwall’s most prized landscapes. In addition, the River Neet is another not-to-be-missed route that follows the water’s fringes through the nature reserve and on to the Sustrans Route and beyond if your pedalling power allows.
With archery, horse riding and mountainboarding along with pitch and putt and various play areas scattered throughout the main town and its vicinity, you’ll be pushed to pack it all into your itinerary – leaving you little choice but to plan your return visit.
Wet weather days are also brilliantly accommodated. Harlequinns indoor sport and leisure centre comes with a bowling alley, playzone, café and bar, while Bude Recreation Ground features a crazy gold course, tennis courts and indoor activities including squash, pool and table tennis. And for those clambering for more water time, Splash Leisure Pool offers a variety of sessions for children and adults - including fun sessions with the wave machine and flume.
Are there any natural sites of interest?
Jam-packed with nature reserves, Bude is home to an impressive variety of habitats and spellbinding scenery. Lying just outside the town, Bude Marshes is bursting with wildlife, while Maer Lake, or The Pool as the locals have dubbed it, is another natural beauty to behold. Phillips’ Point presents picturesque cliffs presiding over views of Widemouth and Hartland Point, while wild woodlands can be found at Upton Meadow and traditional farmland at nearby, Beales Meadow.
Tell me more about the attractions on offer in and around Bude...
Bude Castle is not just the town’s striking architectural centrepiece, but provides a wealth of features including heritage centre, art gallery, archives, shop and restaurant. Plus – families can embark upon the canal trail or the quiz trail around the Heritage Centre, or hire outdoor games to play on the Castle Green such as croquet, quoits and pick-up-sticks. Discover more about the town and area - along with the castle and its former inhabitants - and peruse the latest exhibition in its ever-changing programme before enjoying coffee and cake in Café Limelight in the company of stunning coastal views.
The Big Sheep is across the border in Bideford, which is an award-winning attraction combining indoor and outdoor play areas, live shows, animals and rides along with a whole host of other family-centred entertainment. Or whip over to nearby theme park, The Milky Way, which presents a similarly fun-filled series of adventures. Other attractions easily reachable from Bude include Cornwall’s Crealy Great Adventure Park in Wadebridge and Launceston’s Trethorne Leisure Farm and Tamar Otter Park.
What about places to eat?
Bude offers a bevy of places to eat, from bakeries to delis and beachside cafés to restaurants. Of particular repute are The Weir – especially with its on-site farm and interactive wildlife centre; Life’s a Beach – offering sumptuous, locally-sourced seafood dishes overlooking Summerleaze Beach; and for classic, home-cooked food in traditional pub surrounds, head to the historic, The Tree Inn. And don’t forget to sample the tantalising range of tearooms that are scattered around Bude such as Trelawny Tea Room, Café Bellinis, Rectory Farm & Tearooms and Margaret’s Rustic Tea Garden.