The Beach Blog
We want to say a big congratulations to the guys that took part in The Smugglers’ Challenge.
The team of four Bude locals set off from the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth on 29 August, aiming to paddle a surfboard almost 300 miles around the Cornish coastline, finishing up in Bude.
The weather, unfortunately, had other ideas. The team completed the stretch along the south coast without any problems, and were making incredible time. However, as the weather set in, it soon became clear that the exposed north coast would just be too risky. There’s very little shelter up there, and not many opportunities to dive into harbours for cover.
At the half way point, the team followed the advice of the coastguard and turned around to paddle back to Plymouth. The total mileage was around the same as it would have been if they’d made it to Bude, so it was still an amazing accomplishment.
The goal was to raise money for two cancer charities – Force and Cancer Research UK. We held a fundraising dinner in at The Beach in August, with all proceeds going directly to the challenge, and have been donating £5 from every three course lunch sold in September. To date we have contributed around £6,500 to the challenge, and have been very happy to support them the whole way.
Donations can still be made via the Smugglers’ Challenge website here. They are very close to their £30,000 target.
We have plans in place for a big finish celebration in early November, to mark the completion of this amazing challenge. Watch this space for more information.
Take a look at the video below for more on the challenge, and the story that inspired it.
An interview with Fretted Knot
If you’ve been into our bar on a Sunday afternoon, you may have noticed some live music being played from one of our very talented resident musicians, Fretted Knot, an acoustic duo made up of Mark Wilson on guitar and Buster Cottam on the bass. The talented pair play a great selection of covers and their own songs in acoustic, folky and reggae styles, the perfect recipe for the ultimate Sunday soundtrack. We had a chat with Mark to find out a little bit more about the band…
Firstly, how did you get into music?
After listening to my older brother’s CD collection of artists such as Jimmy Hendrix, Radiohead, Ash and lots more, I knew that creating music was something I definitely wanted to try. So I started guitar lessons with a few different teachers; some were classical and others more folk or rock influenced, but I loved learning anything I could get my hands on.
What can people expect when they see Fretted Knot perform at The Beach?
We play a mixture of covers and originals, and the set can vary from John Martyn and The Beatles, to Nirvana and The White Stripes. Most of the covers will have our own twist on a song to make it a little different. For example, we play the White Stripes’ rock song Seven Nation Army in a reggae style, and Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box is played on a lap steel guitar, which gives it a slight country and folky feel.
How did you and Buster meet and why do you think you work so well together as a duo?
We met through a mutual friend when Mark moved to Bude and we work very well together, but we couldn’t say exactly why. Maybe because we both have beards?!
Who, what and where inspires you the most?
The North Cornish coast is a great place to live for inspiration, not to mention the friends and family we have here.
Do you prefer to write and play your own music or play covers?
If it’s a cover we can relate to and put our own twist on then that’s easily as enjoyable as performing an original song, because you’ve still done something creative and made it your own.
What would be your ultimate Sunday soundtrack?
(press play and have a listen)
What’s the best and worst gig you’ve ever done?
The worst gig was at a festival where the acoustic stage was next to a fairground waltzer playing very loud Techno, and the best gig was a showcase event at Ronnie Scotts in London. There was an awesome crowd and it’s a great venue.
What are your favourite songs to play?
Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder. It’s got great lyrics that are still very relevant today.
What’s your opinion on the music scene in Cornwall?
There’s some excellent festivals and venues in Cornwall, but it would also be great to see more showcase events for local singer-songwriters and bands.
We have live music in our bar from Fretted Knot and James Dixon on alternating Sundays from 4pm. Call 01288 389800 for confirmation or to book a table.
Family days out in Bude
Bude is the perfect family-friendly resort, with award-winning beaches and plenty to do to keep children and teenagers entertained. In anticipation of the brand new family-friendly suites we’re introducing to the hotel, we’ve rounded up some activities that will keep the whole family entertained, with a variety of pastimes for whatever the weather.
Newly introduced this year, Segway Bude is a fun past-time and a great way to see the beautiful Cornish landscape. With qualified instructors and state-of-the-art segways to ride, you’ll be speeding along the countryside and coastal trails in no time. No previous experience of segway riding is required and although there is no minimum age restriction, riders need to be over 4ft tall and at least 32kg to operate one. Segway Bude also offer archery lessons, which a minimum age of seven years, and any children must be accompanied by an adult. Sessions
Learn to surf
Summerleaze Beach is right on our doorstep and it’s the perfect place to learn the art of surfing, with fun waves and suitable conditions for both experienced surfers and beginners. The beach is lifeguarded over the summer months, and there are several nearby surf schools offering wetsuit hire, group tuition or one-on-one lessons, including Big Blue Surf School, Bude Surfing Experience, and Raven Surf.
Voted as Trip Advisor’s top ten UK amusement parks last year, The Milky Way is an all-weather attraction with something for the whole family. The north Devon-based adventure park boasts a multitude of activities, facilities and fun for all ages, including dodgems, rollercoasters and high-octane rides for the thrill-seekers, and vibrant play areas, pottery painting and an 18 hole mini golf course for a more relaxed day out. Live shows are presented in the indoor arena and feature a daily schedule of things to watch, including scientific experiments, birds of prey, and an entertaining and educational journey through the solar system for ‘galaxy showtime’.
Stretching 21 acres into the Cornish countryside, the Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre houses plenty more animals and birds than you’d expect, including fallow and muntjac deer, owls, meerkats and wallabies. Guests can watch the British and Asian short clawed otters being fed at 12pm and 3pm every day, and see the sociable families playing together in their expansive enclosures. There are also nine birds of prey species to meet, including a Bengal eagle owl, a harris hawk, a kestrel and a buzzard, with insightful talks on the birds from a professional at 11:30am and 2:30pm every day.
Get on your bike
Cycling is a great way to see the Cornish landscape whilst getting out in the fresh air and burning off some of the kids energy. Bude Bike Hire have a range of bikes and equipment available to suit all abilities, with free, downloadable maps to help plan your route, which include the canal, coastal views or rugged farmland and countryside. It’s recommended that you book in advance where possible, and helmets are provided, with the optional add-ons of tag-alongs, trailers and child seats.
With a puzzling maze, a secret hobbit house and plenty of trails to explore, Hidden Valley Discovery Park is a unique day out. The grounds include six individual gardens within the park for visitors to enjoy, and a detective hunt with plenty of clues to solve. There is also a ‘forbidden mansion’, an impressive red brick building with a large labyrinth of rooms, secret passageways, concealed doors, upside-down rooms and exciting surprises. Guests can also ride on the miniature train that travels along mile-long railway track right around the perimeter of the park, and unlimited rides with all entry tickets to the park.
Associated with the legend of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle is steeped in history and a beautiful location to visit, whether exploring the castle, the Dark Age settlement or the fascinating museum dedicated to the impressive landmark. The beach below the castle is great for paddling in the sea and rock pooling, and exploring Merlin’s Cave is a must when the tide is out. Park in the centre of Tintagel and take a stroll down the road to the remains, with far-reaching views over the sea and along the coast. The site also hosts an array of events and exciting occasions such as archeology festivals and magical storytelling sessions, so be sure to check what’s on before you go. A wide range of gifts and souvenir items can be bought from the gift shop too, including toy swords and tapestries.
Independent shops in Bude
There are some great independent shops in Bude to pick up a gift, souvenir or treat for yourself, specialising in all matter of items. Whether you’re looking for homewares or streetwear, we’ve rounded up the best places to go in Bude where you’re sure to find something.
This lovely little shop isn’t just for the bookworms; you’ll find something for everyone here, from books on cooking and upcycling furniture, to fiction and classic novels. There’s even a selection of book categories that are signed by the author, for a more personal and unique gift. You’re bound to find something appealing, but Spencer Thorn also has an online shop, stocking lovely smelling cosmetics, stationary, and decorative items for the home.
Using only the highest quality Belgian chocolate, this small, family-run business creates an array of chocolatey products that are made right in front of your eyes, as their kitchen is attached to the shop. They have a great assortment of goodies, with handmade truffles and filled chocolates in beautiful boxes, gourmet chocolate ‘slabs’ with various toppings and flavours, and various shapes of chocolatey goodness. There is also a selection of items that can be personalised, such as a completely edible chocolate photograph in a chocolate frame. If you have something in mind or can’t find what you’re looking for, they also have a bespoke service. Just get in touch to see what they can do for you.
Drawing inspiration from the seaside lifestyle and a love of streetwear, Airculture supplies a wide range of items including clothing, footwear, skateboard accessories, art prints and vinyl records. You’ll also find a selection of sweatshirts and t-shirts in Airculture’s own designs, which would make a great gift or souvenir. If you’re on the way to the beach, grab some necessities here, like buckets, spades and the all-important frisbee.
Aptly, the word Bleujen comes from the Cornish word for flower, and whether you’re looking for a decorative floral arrangement, a blooming bouquet, or a plant for the garden, this is definitely the place to go. If you’d like a bouquet, they can put together a bespoke combination of stems based on your preferences, or provide advice if you’re not entirely sure what to choose, and there are hampers available with wine, chocolate and a rose plant for the last-minute gift-giver. They also offer seasonal, hand-tied combinations which will be the highest quality flowers available at the time, and can deliver any orders within a 12 mile radius of Bude, but will go further afield if necessary.
Discover this little boutique, specialising in shoes, with a wide range of collections from stiletto heels and pumps, to flip flops and knee-high boots. They also sell an extensive range of bags, patterned skirts, scarves and accessories, with new ranges arriving all the time.
Family-owned and run, Spencer Thorn Jewellers specialise in contemporary silver jewellery with elements of copper and gold. You will find a beautiful hand-made collection of individually created jewellery, which is all completely unique. They also offer a selection of watches for every taste and budget. If you’d like something a little personal or have something in mind they can also create bespoke jewellery pieces, and have a lovely Cornish themed range including charms and rings.
With a great selection of wetsuits, surfboards, clothes and footwear, Bude SurfCabin is the shop of choice for surfers in Bude. With ladies’, men’s and children’s departments, you’ll find the perfect present for a beach-lover, with a great selection of surfboard accessories like fins, leashes and tail pads too. They also provide wetsuit and board hire to give surfing a go.
Kittiwakes are home furnishing specialists stocking a great supply of items that would make perfect gifts, like scarves, bags, smelly candles, trinkets, tea towels, mugs and clocks. It also stocks beautiful blankets, which would be great to snuggle under on a grey day, with a lovely selection of driftwood products that to bring the magic of the wild coast inside.
Mackerel with feta, cucumber, apple and shallot salad recipe
Our Head Chef Joe Simmonds will make a special appearance at Padstow Christmas Festival, to demonstrate his fantastic culinary skills on stage this year, sharing the spotlight with Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Clare Smyth, along with plenty of other talented chefs.
At 1pm on Thursday 1 December, Joe will be stepping up to the Festival Stage to provide a hungry crowd with a step-by-step guide on how to re-create two of his delicious dishes, including a mackerel with feta, cucumber, apple and shallot salad, topped with wasabi mayonnaise. If you can’t make it to the festival yourself, we thought we’d give you a little slice of the festive action and ask Joe to provide you with the recipe below…
2 mackerel fillets
30g feta cheese
Half an apple
Quarter of a cucumber
100ml white wine vinegar
50g caster sugar
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons wasabi paste
1 lime zest and juice
A small amount of cress or pea shoots to serve
Salt and pepper
A splash of cooking oil
Make a pickling liquor by heating the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, and cassis in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
Take the pickling liquor off the heat. Slice the shallots into half cm rings and place in the liquor.
Next, season the mackerel (it’s best to do this five minutes before cooking). Add a splash of oil to a frying pan and place on a low heat to warm up.
Dice the apple neatly and place in a bowl. Squeeze lime juice from half the lime over the apple. Dice the feta and add to the bowl.
Peel the cucumber and dice (or, if you have a melon baller make 10 balls of cucumber). Add to the bowl and season with salt.
Place the mackerel skin down in the pan and hold down for ten seconds so it doesn’t curl.
While the mackerel is cooking, add the wasabi paste to the mayonnaise with a squeeze of lime juice.
Go back to the mackerel. In total, this should be cooked for 4-5 minutes on the skin side only, on a medium heat.
While the mackerel is finishing off, start assembling the ingredients on the plate with a swipe of the wasabi mayonnaise. Dot the apple cucumber and feta around plate, then take the shallot rings out of the liquor and lean a few of them against against the diced salad.
When the mackerel is 90% cooked, flip over, take off the heat and place on your salad. Garnish with lime zest, a pinch of pepper and cress or pea shoots.
Christmas, believe it or not, is just around the corner. We’ve created a Christmas menu that is available from the 1 to 23 of December with both two or three course options available, and if your party is extra big our private clubroom can seat up to 25 guests. Our New Year menu, crafted by our head chef Joe Simmonds is a five course tasting menu, and a DJ will be serenading you into 2017. There are plenty of other exciting festive events in and around Bude, so to make sure you don’t miss out on anything, we’ve put together a run down of the dates you should put in your diary now…
To kick off the festive season, the big Bude lights night is on Friday 2 December, and will begin with a lantern parade at 6pm. After the lights ‘switch-on’, a procession of elves will guide guests from the Wharf to Nanny Moore’s Bridge. From there you can follow Father Christmas himself around Bude, ending at his Grotto. Mulled wine will be available at the marquee in the castle grounds and shops will be open until 8/8:30pm for late night shopping.
For an especially magical Christmas market, head over to The Castle, Bude on Sunday 4 December. A large marquee on the lawn will play host to stalls offering plenty of perfect food gifts for friends and family. The fair will be open from 11 until 4, and entry is free.
If you are in Cornwall on Christmas day, a Christmas day swim is an obligatory tradition. Bude Surf Life Saving Club, a charity based in Bude, are hosting the swim, and providing lifeguard safety cover, as well as mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies and sausage rolls all free of charge for the brave souls who venture into the sea. No wetsuits allowed, so remember an extra thick jumper for afterwards. All donations will go to the Bude SLSC, and any extra generous individuals who donate £25 or over may collect an extra Christmas present in the form of a free T-shirt at the event.
Fight off the Boxing Day blues by hopping over the border and joining Clovelly for a Boxing Day barbecue, with free entrance to the seaside village. Take a walk along the estate before enjoying a barbecue accompanied by live music, mulled wine and a treasure hunt.
Although this one is further afield, the festival is not to be missed, and is completely free of charge. Our very own head chef Joe Simmonds is demoing at 1pm on the Festival Stage, along with top names such as Tom Kerridge and Nathan Outlaw who will be demoing throughout the weekend. From Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 December the seaside town will be hosting a lantern parade, Santa fun run, traditional Christmas market and spectacular firework display. We will be publishing one of Joe’s recipes which he will be re-creating at the festival soon, so watch this space…
The height of summer is still a little way off, but as the days are getting longer and weather is getting warmer, there’s a real sense of Spring in the air. Whilst the pathways are quiet and the temperature is mild, enjoy some of the fantastic rambling routes in and around Bude that we’d suggest.
Bude to Marsland Mouth – 10 miles
Beginning at the Tourist Information Centre in Bude, follow the canal towards the sea and pick up the cliff-top path. Walkers will pass Bude Sea Pool and Sandymouth Beach to find one of the most remote areas of coast in Cornwall.
Maer Cliff – 2.1 miles
For views of two sandy beaches and an easy going footpath, an amble along Maer Down is ideal. Beginning at Northcott Mouth and finishing in Crooklets Beach, this walk is only around a mile long, perfect for visitors looking to quickly blow away the cobwebs. The nearby nature reserve is recognised internationally as a resting and feeding site for migratory birds that are blown by strong Atlantic gales, and the cliffs remain of geological importance. Although the path is exposed to occasionally harsh weather, the cliff remains laden with wild flowers. Northcott Mouth and Crooklets Beach are renowned for rock pooling, and whilst Crooklets has a seasonal ban on dogs, Northcott welcomes them all year round.
Bude Canal – 5.6 miles
As an alternative to a coastal path, Bude Canal offers a peaceful landscape with plenty of wildlife. The walk is predominately flat, with a low hill between the canal and coast path, ideal for children or wheelchair users. The path is bustling with pipits and buntings in the autumn, who are searching for pickings in the newly-harvested fields found alongside the canal. Bring a picnic and watch the kayaks and boats glide past in a picturesque setting.
Duckpool & Woodford – 5.1 miles
The walk along Duckpool Beach and the coastal path is known for its wildlife and small, but well-known, beach. The circular walk is around five miles and although the tide is too dangerous for swimming at any time of the year, the beach is a uncrowded hidden gem, which almost completely disappears at high tide.
Bude Town Trail – 4 miles
With a beautiful coastline, it is easy to forget that Bude’s town trail is full of culture, history and beautiful views. When walking along Summerleaze Crescent and heading inland, walkers will come across pit stops such as the Clifton Memorial Stone and Bude Marshes Local Nature Reserve.
Hawker’s Hut walk – 1 mile
This is a gentle walk on the cliffs of North Cornwall which encompass an array of breathtaking views. Walkers will come across historical landmarks, such as a beautiful church which is believed to date back to Saxon times, as well as Hawker’s Hut, the refuge of poet Reverend Robert Hawker. There is plenty of local wildlife and on a clearer day visitors can see Lundy Island.
Dunsdon to Vealand Farm Wild Walk – 4 miles
This child and dog friendly walk is around four miles and three hours long. Explore the grassland meadows and wander along the waterway before finding the Vealand Farm nature reserve, full of ponds, hedges and meadows.
Images courtesy of Adam Gibbard and Visit Cornwall.
POLDARK FILMING LOCATIONS
The widely anticipated second series of popular British television drama Poldark returns to BBC1 on the 4th of September which means that once again the beautiful Cornish coastline will be making a regular appearance on screens across the UK. The plot is based on the acclaimed novels written by Winston Graham, and is set in various rugged locations around Cornwall. The final episode of series 1 left audiences in suspense after Ross Poldark is arrested for murder and wrecking, leaving his beloved Demelza distraught. To prepare viewers for the second series, we have picked out some of the filming locations around Cornwall which featured in the drama, for visitors to explore.
Bodmin Moor was largely featured in the first series of Poldark and the cast and crew became very familiar with the 200 square kilometres of grassland and heather. It was the perfect backdrop for many scenes, including capturing cast members on horseback. The passion and family dramatics that Poldark is famous for are replicated within Bodmin Moor’s rugged views and stormy landscape. This was also where a number of the miners’ cottages were based along with Ross Poldark’s house, Nampara.
Port Quin, located just past Port Isaac was also featured in the TV series. The peaceful area that remains unscathed by visiting boats is ideal for conjuring up images of past settings and scenery.
The traditional appearance and collection of ships caught the eye of locations managers for Poldark and for some scenes it was used as the principal town. The original grade two listed harbour featuring plenty of tall ships allows visitors to be transported back to the 18th century, into Graham Winston’s setting.
The North Cornwall coast line was used for plenty of cliff scenes, and a lot of regular visitors will recognise the Camel Estuary and Tregirls beach. The wide, sandy beach of Porthcothan was also used in series one along with the headland at Stepper Point, which was used for some of the more dramatic cliff scenes, including horse drawn carriages filmed soaring across cliff tops.
Although Corsham in Wiltshire was Truro’s double for filming purposes, the Cornish city Truro was the author’s original inspiration for the story of Poldark. Therefore it only seemed apt to use the location for the world premiere of the series. Locals, producers, writers and headline cast members joined together for the first exclusive viewing of the first episode and claimed their first reviews, which were full of praise.
Images courtesy of Adam Gibbard and Visit Cornwall.
BUDE SEA POOL
Bude Sea Pool is a partly man-made and partly natural swimming pool tucked beneath the cliff at the northern side of Summerleaze Beach.
The sea pool provides a safe haven for swimmers who can enjoy the benefits of wild swimming without having to worry about the dangers of the sea such as rips, big waves and surfers.
The sea pool relies on management from the Friends of Bude Sea Pool (FoBSP), a local volunteer-run charity set up to maintain the sea pool and maintain it’s landmark status in Bude.
We spoke to Fay Hargreaves, a member of the Friends of Bude Sea Pool, to learn more about this fantastic facility.
How and why was the Friends of Bude Sea Pool charity created?
FoBSP was created due to the reaction from the public – both locals and visitors – to Cornwall Council’s withdrawal of funding for Bude Sea Pool. The council were going to demolish it due to ongoing maintenance costs.
The tide bashes the pool twice daily therefore the fabric of the pool is compromised. Coupled with the lack of investment over preceding years this meant a lot of money was needed to bring it back to life, and safety standards.
How do Friends of Bude Sea Pool make a difference?
FoBSP are a small committee supported by a larger group of volunteers who are passionate about Bude Sea Pool.
Bude relies on tourism for its economy and therefore the businesses are very supportive. FoBSP raise funds via advertising businesses, membership, beach hut rentals, deckchair rentals, events, merchandise sales, donations and grants.
We raise the profile of Bude Sea Pool via social media interaction, and proactively highlighting the profile of Bude as a holiday destination. The funds are all used to bring the pool up to date with maintenance to ensure the safety standards are met as best possible practice.
Funds also encourage local engagement, for example, starting a water polo club with a grant from Sport England.
What makes Bude Sea Pool an important feature on Summerleaze Beach?
Summerleaze Beach is the first beach visitors go to when entering Bude, it is safe swimming on the North Atlantic coast, making it very family friendly. It is also used for training.
Bude Surf Life Saving Club use the pool for nippers training, and surf schools use it for beginner surf lessons sometimes when the sea is too rough.
Who uses Bude Sea Pool?
Many locals and visitors use the natural pool instead of swimming in the sea or chlorinated water of leisure pools. The canoe club uses it sometimes, and schools use the pool for lessons.
Why is it important to maintain Bude Sea Pool?
It is vital to retain Bude Sea Pool as a free amenity, for safe swimming in an otherwise hazardous area, with large sea swells and many rescues, especially in the summer months.
Visitors to Bude use the pool and Bude relies on tourism for it’s economy. Historically Bude Sea Pool was built in 1930 to save lives; this heritage is continued today and we hope it will continue for many generations to come.
How does seawater quality or pollution affect Bude Sea Pool?
The run off from the valleys when it rains a lot comes down the river in to the sea, this in turn washes into the pool twice daily. Equally it is safe to swim most of the time.
The only times the pool is closed is when the sea is polluted by South West Water and we are notified from doing sampling. Mostly the water is fresh and clean and a wonderful place to swim or play.
For more information on the pool and how to find it, go to Friends of Bude Sea Pool
Images courtesy of Symages Photography, Visit Cornwall and Adam Gibbard.
TOP 5 SURFING BEACHES IN BUDE
Bude and the surrounding area is home to some of Cornwall’s best surfing beaches. With a predominantly west-facing aspect, the beaches are exposed to the incoming Atlantic swells that wrap themselves around the North Cornish coastline.
Due to the popularity of the beaches most are lifeguarded too, which is always worth checking before entering the water. We’ve rounded up our five favourite beaches around Bude for you to take to the waves, with some breaks suitable for learners and some that only experienced surfers should attempt to paddle out in.
Right on our doorstep, Summerleaze is a west-facing beach that picks up the Atlantic swell regularly brought to the North Cornish coastline. When it is too windy for most of the other surf spots on this stretch of coastline, Summerleaze beach can provide some fun waves for everyone, with suitable conditions for both experienced surfers and beginners.
The beach is lifeguarded over the summer months, and there are several nearby surf schools offering courses for complete novices or intermediates wanting to brush up on their skills. Choose from Big Blue Surf School, Bude Surfing Experience, and Raven Surf. To see the conditions of the waves before you get your wetsuit on, check the report.
Stretching over a mile and a half, Widemouth Bay is the most popular surf break along the immediate coastline, with surfers of all abilities sharing the waves. This beach is perfect for learners, and is great for experienced surfers towards high tide.
In 2014, the beach was graded ‘excellent’ for its water quality from the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide. Check conditions at the report and webcam, and for surf hire and lessons, choose from Outdoor Adventure or Freewave Surf Academy. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards every day between 30 April and 25 September.
This beach faces west and works best with offshore conditions and is not recommended for beginners due to its potentially dangerous rips and currents with bigger waves, although RNLI lifeguards are present at the beach patrolling every day between 21 May and 25 September.
The beach is owned by the National Trust and has a car park nearby. From the car park to the beach, you must walk through a reasonably steep ravine and down some steps, so is not recommended for the less mobile. The beach also allows dogs year round, and has a seasonal cafe and toilets. For surf hire, visit Sandymouth Surf School, and for the surf report, check the webcam.
When the surf is reasonably small, Northcott is suitable for beginners; however when it gets slightly bigger, rips can make it suitable only for experienced surfers. When the conditions are good, Northcott sees some big waves, so it’s always worth checking the forecast before entering the water.
During high tides, and particularly spring high tides, the sea can submerge rocks at the base of the cliffs, which can be very dangerous when surfing. At low tide the wreck of the SS Belem is revealed, so keep an eye out for that. This beach is lifeguarded every day between 4 July and 6 September, and a webcam and report is available to check conditions for the beaches either side of Northcott Mouth – Crooklets and Sandymouth – so will give an idea of what the surf looks like there. This is also a National Trust beach, with a small carpark above, and surf hire is only available from the beaches either side.
Crooklets is a short drive north along the coast from Bude and the place to be for experienced surfers who love a right. This break works well in easterly winds and on most tides due to being west-facing, however watch out for submerged rocks at high tide and occasional rips.
This beach has great facilities, with a large car park, a children’s play area, a skate park, a beach cafe and showers, and has lifeguards on duty every day between 6 May and 27 September. You can see what the waves are like via the report and webcam for Crooklets, and surf hire is available from the nearby Big Blue Surf School.