The Beach Blog
Bude Canal celebrates 200 year anniversary
This summer, Bude Canal celebrates its 200 year anniversary since the start of construction in 1819. This beautiful waterway has always hosted a buzzing hub of activity, from transporting lime rich sand in its early years to offering exciting leisure activities to locals and visitors today.
Taking a stroll alongside the canal is a great way to explore Bude, and you can even be a part of Bude’s water sports scene while you’re here, with rowing boats, kayaks, and pedalos available to hire on Lower Wharf.
In celebration, we’ve put together our top five things to do on and around Bude Canal. Whether you choose to get out on the water, or keep the ground beneath your feet, we’ve got it covered.
Ideal for a leisurely stroll, Bude Canal offers the chance to get closer to nature with the most beautiful views. Take the trail out of Bude town centre along the canal and you’ll find yourself looking out across local nature reserve, Bude Marshes, where all sorts of wildlife can be spotted, from rare coastal birds to mischievous otters.
If you can’t wait to get in the water, why not try out kayaking or canoeing on Bude Canal? Whether you’re a beginner or an eager water sport enthusiast, Bude offers visitors the chance to get in tune with their inner adventurer and explore Bude’s waters with a paddle in hand.
With all equipment provided and a handy instructor to keep you in the know, this is an excellent way to get to know Bude Canal. What’s more, if you have a four-legged family member with you during your stay, you don’t need to worry about leaving them behind. This experience is dog friendly.
Bude Canal boasts a great cycle route, taking you along the waterway before dipping into a woodland and across robust farmland. The great thing about this cycle route is that it runs between four and seven miles, so whether you’re cycling with young ones in tow or fancy a more challenging trail, this is a fantastic way to explore more of Bude’s countryside and take in its stunning views. Bikes are provided by Bude Bike Hire.
A popular activity for the whole family, friends, or couples to enjoy, climb in and set your sights to the canal’s expansive waterway with Bude Boat Hire. From classic rowing boats to novelty pedalos, this is a great way to enjoy Bude Canal with stunning ocean views, spotting wildlife out on the marsh, and available for hire up to two hours.
Though Bude has a strict catch and release policy, this is an exciting experience for beginners and skilled fishers alike. The canal’s waters are home to various species of fish, including carp, bream and even eels.
Bude Canal also offers wonderful scenic views for fishing, with peace and tranquility best found early in the mornings for a better catch.
After a day beside the water, retreat back to our luxury rooms. We offer a relaxed dining experience with a menu prepared by our head chef Jamie Coleman, or if you just fancy a drink overlooking the action across the waves, we welcome guests to come and unwind in our terrace bar with fantastic views across Summerleaze Beach.
Bude Triathlon 2019
We are proud sponsors of the Bude Shoreline Triathlon again this year, taking place on Sunday 30 June.
Whether you’re coming to Bude to participate in the exciting annual event, or are simply going to be spectating, join us for a meal at The Beach where we’ll be serving the following menu from 12pm until 8pm.
Whitebait & garlic aioli £6
Scampi & Marie Rose £6
Buttermilk chicken with lemon mayo & chipotle jam £6
Caesar salad, anchovies, parmesan & hen’s egg £8
Exmoor beef burger & chips £10
Fish & chips with crushed peas £10
Club sandwich: chicken breast, hen’s egg & bacon £10
Spiced falafel burger & french fries £10
French fries £4
Sweet potato fries £4
Weather permitting, we will also have a DJ on the terrace throughout the afternoon to celebrate the achievements of all the athletes.
Bude is consistently voted as the UK’s Best Coastal Town at the British Travel Awards year-upon-year, but it’s not just our facilities which get us top marks. The combination of crystal clear waters, golden sands and green spaces also contribute, and we’re pleased to be recognised as such an environmentally conscious town.
One of the things Bude is most famous for is its beaches. Our award-winning coastal town is lucky to host multiple beaches along the Atlantic coastline; and three of them have been given internationally recognised awards, showcasing a high quality environment which regularly attracts families and keen water sport enthusiasts.
Widemouth Bay, Summerleaze Beach and Crooklets Beach all hold a Seaside Award, with Widemouth Bay also winning a coveted Blue Flag, one of only seven in Cornwall. Criteria to meet these awards is based on elements such as good water quality, availability of educational information about the beach environment, and facilities such as public toilets and lifeguards – proving Bude is a fun and safe environment for a seaside holiday.
But maintaining these high quality beaches can be hard work. Bude has a very active community which cares about the environment, and even its very own environmental group, A Greener Bude, which works hard to ensure Bude is as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible.
Under this group there are many people working together towards a common goal of improving marine and environmental pollution, climate change and the economy and health of Bude’s community. Initiatives throughout the town include beach cleans and a cleaner seas project, helping to maintain the high quality beaches and bathing spots which are arguably the town’s biggest attractions; a biodiversity trail, which works on the conservation of plants and wildlife; and a big push on reusing and refilling products, minimising the need for single-use plastic and waste.
Want to get involved? Join a tribe of likeminded individuals on the first Saturday of every month at Crooklets Beach for a beach clean, taking place from 10am until 12pm with all equipment provided.
After all your hard work, why not join us at The Beach for some refreshments? Warm up in winter with a rich hot chocolate, or sip one of our signature cocktails in the sunshine on our terrace. For something a little more substantial, our lunchtime offer of two courses for £15 or three for £18 is a great way to reward yourself for helping to keep our town clean and tidy.
How to make the perfect Sunday roast
A family favourite; often a time when all generations come together around the dinner table and enjoy a hearty meal whilst catching up on the week’s events. Cooking a delicious Sunday roast can be quite an accomplishment, and thanks to our head chef Jamie Coleman, we’ve outlined the top tips to make sure each element of the plate is cooked to perfection.
Whether you fancy beef, pork or lamb for the main event, we’ve got Jamie’s advice on the best cuts of meat for roasting. For beef lovers, it has to be a slow-roasted sirloin, seasoned heavily with salt, pepper and rapeseed oil before placing in the oven. Cook at 230 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. You must allow the meat to rest for an hour once taken out of the oven covered in foil, so when you carve you should have perfectly pink beef. It’s great served with horseradish cream.
If you prefer lamb, the best is a pot-roasted shoulder, boned and rolled (any butcher can do this for you) then stud with garlic cloves, rosemary and anchovies. Seal off in a casserole dish, then add chunky chopped carrots, onions and parsnips. Lid the dish and cook in oven at 160 degrees for approximately four hours, until it’s tender and pulls apart. Finish with grated lemon zest.
Last but certainly not least, if pork is your favourite meat then it has to be slow-cooked belly. Tie the pork belly into a round shape, then pour boiling hot water over the skin three times and dust with table salt. Put in the oven at 230 degrees for 40 minutes until the crackling starts to crisp, then turn the oven down to 160 degrees and cook for three to four hours. Carve and serve with baked apple sauce.
The vegetarian alternative
Jamie suggests one of the best vegetarian alternatives for a roast dinner is his recipe for a baked carrot baklava. Made using a combination of ingredients including carrots, pine nuts, spinach, mushrooms, kataifi pastry and Cornish Smuggler cheese – this crunchy, flaky dish is great served with sour cream and chives.
Slowly braise the carrots in orange juice until tender, then sweat down the spinach and mushrooms with garlic. Add pine nuts, crumble in the cheese and allow to cool. Lay the spinach mix flat on cling film and place the carrots on top. Roll the cling film up and allow to set in fridge for an hour. Once set, unroll the cling film and wrap the kataifi pastry around the mix. Place on a backing tray and cook in the oven at 200 degrees until golden and crispy.
To make the perfect roast potato, Jamie recommends pre-blanching potatoes in salted water with garlic, thyme and lemon. Strain off the water and allow to air dry. Whilst the potatoes are drying, place a roasting tray in the oven at 200 degrees with duck or goose fat. When the potatoes are cool, squish them slightly to open them up. After the tray has been in the oven for 15 minutes add the potatoes and cover coat with the fat. Be careful, this will be very hot. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes until the potatoes are crispy, then add garlic and thyme and cook for a further 10 minutes.
The Yorkshire pudding
Light and fluffy with a crispy outer; Jamie’s recipe for the perfect Yorkshire pudding is: one cup of plain flour, a cup of milk, four eggs, and two tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Heat a muffin tray in the oven for 10 minutes with a small amount of oil in each section, then pour the batter evenly throughout the holes. Cook at 190 degrees for 35 minutes.
Vegetable accompaniments are often a personal choice depending on the tastes and preferences of your family. Our personal favourites to serve in the restaurant are cauliflower cheese, carrots and broccoli.
Alternatively if you don’t want to cook at home, The Beach serves a delicious roast every Sunday from 12-8pm. To book a table call 01288 389800.
Bude Christmas Day swim
The main event in the Bude Christmas calendar is the annual Christmas Day swim.
Hosted by Bude Surf Life Saving Club, over 500 people brave the icy cold waters to take part each year in the ‘no wetsuits’ swim, which has been running for around 35 years to raise money in memory of former member Mike Moyle.
Taking place at Crooklets beach, crowds of swimmers plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on the north Cornish coast – whatever the weather. Many spectators come to join in the festivities, supporting the adventurous (and some may say mad) participants with cheers of encouragement and warming towels to welcome them out of the water.
Hot chocolates and refreshments are supplied after the event which creates a lovely community atmosphere where swimmers and spectators come together to share Christmas wishes and photo opportunities.
If you want to take part in this year’s swim then visit the SLSC website for a registration form – or if spectating is more your style then head to the shoreline for an 11am start on Christmas morning.
A perfect bonfire night in Bude
The annual fireworks display in Bude is always a big family occasion. There’s something magical about the atmosphere created by fireworks, and to be able to experience bonfire night with the Bude community makes it even more special.
The excitement and build-up to the evening for children will have undoubtedly begun at school, with many enjoying the annual topic about the history of bonfire night, and the tale of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. But when it comes to organising a family outing for the evening, we’ve taken the stress away and planned the whole night for you:
5:30pm – “Remember, remember” to layer up, and make sure to grab any straw dummies of Guys Fawkes which some younger members of the family may have created for the bonfire later on.
6pm – Head to Bude Rugby Club, the home of Bude’s annual fireworks display for many years. If you have pets, make sure sure they are settled indoors before venturing out, as many animals don’t like the loud bangs of fireworks.
6:30pm – The bonfire is lit, here’s your cue to toss your Guy Fawkes replica into the flames.
7pm – It’s time for the main event! Eyes to the sky, and don’t forget the obligatory ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.
7:30pm – If you haven’t already been persuaded by the children to pay a visit to the amazing sweet stall, then now’s the chance to top-up and take some home for the rest of the week.
8pm – Join us back at The Beach for hot chocolate, Baileys or maybe a spot of dinner. Our seasonal menu includes some delicious winter warmers which will help you thaw out after an evening of standing in the cold.
Bude Shoreline Triathlon 2018
As proud sponsors of the Shoreline Triathlon, we are looking forward to welcoming competitors back to Bude for this year’s much-anticipated event, which takes place on Sunday 24 June.
The triathlon will be a challenging test of endurance, requiring competitors to run, swim and cycle around Bude and the surrounding area, following a demanding loop with impressive views across the coastline and countryside.
Started in 1991, Bude-based outdoor pursuit provider Shoreline Extreme Sports designed the Bude Triathlon route to cater for both experienced triathletes and first time competitors for an exciting race that’ll be highly entertaining for spectators and supporters along the route.
The sheltered bay of Summerleaze provides excellent conditions for the 500 meter open water swim which kicks off the route, and the scenic coast road from Bude to Widemouth Bay provides a hilly route for the 11 mile cycle. To finish, competitors will have to complete a three mile run, following a satisfyingly flat route along the canal towpath, arriving back at Summerleaze Beach where participants will be cheered over the finish line and medals awarded.
The fastest athletes are expected to complete the course in around an hour, with all competitors finishing within two hours, and every competitor will be rewarded with a well-deserved medal.
Our bar and restaurant will be open all day, and our terrace provides the perfect spot for supporters to watch the action unfolding with a drink in hand. We will be offering a complimentary drink to congratulate all competitors in the race, so head down to the bar and celebrate your success with us, with live music too.
If you’re travelling far to compete in the triathlon, we have a range of twin and double rooms available, all with duck down duvets and Egyptian cotton sheets that guarantee a great night’s sleep, essential in preparation for the event and recovery after. We’ll also be offering guests a complimentary barbecue dinner and finishing drink. To book a room, call reception on 01288 389800, and for more information, click here.
To enter the triathlon, go to the Shoreline Extreme Sports website and sign up now.
No.15 Great Pulteney's Oliver Clarke at The Beach
We are extremely excited to be welcoming No.15 Great Pulteney‘s Oliver Clarke back to Bude to prepare dinner alongside Joe Simmonds on Friday 8 June.
Born and bred in Bude, Oliver is now head chef of Bath’s beautiful boutique hotel, spa and restaurant, and has previously worked for a number of fantastic places, including Bordeaux Quay in Bristol, Langdon Court in Devon, and Horn of Plenty in Cornwall, as well as The Beckford Arms in Tisbury, which won best dining pub of the year during Oliver’s time there.
Oliver prides himself on a classic cooking style with modern touches, preparing dishes that showcase the finest local and seasonal produce available. The pair will be preparing a six-course feast on Friday 8 June at The Beach, with a fantastic menu:
Crispy pheasant egg, black garlic emulsion and gremolata dressing.
Hand Picked Cornish Crab
Coconut, pineapple salsa, wasabi and yuzu gel.
Confit Fillet of Stonebass
Tomato, broad beans, tarragon and radish with smoked tomato and tarragon consommé.
Salt Marsh Lamb
Courgette and basil, confit tomato, pomme anna and lamb jus.
Baked White Chocolate
Passion fruit curd, lemon and thyme and salted caramel.
Bitter Dark Chocolate Mousse
Cherry gel, kirsch parfait, candied cherries and chocolate crumb.
To find out more information or book at table, call our friendly team on 01288 389800.
Spring Gardens in North Cornwall and Devon
Spring is the perfect time of year to see the gardens in north Cornwall and Devon blooming, with flowers blossoming, spring bulbs emerging from the ground, and fresh buds appearing on the trees. With the weather warming up and plants shaking off the cold of winter, now is the best time to see nature in full swing. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites nearby, so have a read and see which to visit this season.
Spring Gardens in North Cornwall and Devon
Open between 11 March and 5 October, Docton Mill Gardens is a wonderful display of flowers and plants, boasting an expansive bog garden, a 140 meter long herbaceous border, a wild flower garden, a magnolia garden, a woodland garden and a greenhouse area. In spring, visitors will see an impressive display of narcissi, primulas, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and a blanket of bluebells covering the woods. Docton Mill was also voted the best tea room in North Devon at the North Devon Food & Drink Awards, so stop by the café for a cream tea or freshly-made sandwich during your visit. The gardens are located a 30 minute drive from Bude and visitors can park free.
In a sunny, sheltered part of the north Devon coastline, Clovelly Court Gardens are usually a month ahead of the rest of the country in terms of seasons, with exotic plants thriving in the walled gardens, safe from the harsh coastal winds and salty sea air. Although spring is a particularly good time to visit, there is something to enjoy all year round, with lots of glasshouses providing a warmer environment for plants. The village also boasts some beautiful floral displays, and last year, for the third year in a row, it won a gold award in the South West region of the RHS Britain in Bloom competition, so be sure to have a walk around Clovelly to see the residents’ hard work. Clovelly is 30 minutes’ drive from Bude.
Rosemoor is a huge garden surrounded by woodland, an idyllic expanse of 65 acres that has something to see in every season, but is particularly impressive in spring, tipped as one of the most beautiful gardens in north Cornwall. With a fruit and vegetable garden, a stone garden, and cottage garden, RHS Rosemoor is a lovely setting in which to enjoy the new growth and blooming flowers. On Tuesday 20 March the garden is hosting an open day, inviting members and non-members to the gardens for free, with golden daffodils carpeting the floor. Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen has also won best garden centre restaurant in Wales and the south west for the fourth year in a row, and much of the produce featured on the menu is grown in the garden, so stop for a bite to eat. Rosemoor is a 45 minute drive from Bude, near Great Torrington.
Although uncultivated and wild in nature, Dunsdon National Nature Reserve is a beautiful grassland that’s rich in wild flowers and home to a great range of wildlife. The reserve is 80 hectares in size and provides an expansive area to explore, blending meadow and wet woodland habitats with traditional Devon ‘culm’ grassland. Look out for kingfishers, goosanders, dippers and otters on the river, with several wild orchid species to find in the grasslands too. The reserve is just 20 minutes’ drive from Bude.
Merging art and culture in lovely surroundings, Broomhill sits within a sheltered valley surrounded by hundreds of acres of woodland. The garden’s glorious planting is really quite special, and made even more spectacular by the addition of wondrous sculptures dotted throughout the gardens, making up one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary sculpture in the south west of England. Broomhill is an hour’s drive from Bude.
A 16th century property surrounded by beautiful gardens, Hartland Abbey also has lots of woodland areas, which were grown on either side of the abbey to shelter the building from the worst of the strong winds that blow off the sea. Hosting spring flower days throughout the earlier months of the year, visitors will be able to see daffodils, camellias, hellebores, early spring bulbs, mimosas and a range of wild primroses and violets within the walled gardens and along the woodland paths. The orchard is also a popular attraction, and visitors can easily walk to Atlantic Cove from the gardens, a remote and quiet section of the South West Coast Path that offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and cliff scenery. Hartland Abbey is 30 minutes’ drive from Bude.
Although it has over four acres of gardens to explore, including a wildflower trail and teeming pond, it’s not necessarily the plants you’ll be looking at in The Gnome Reserve. The attraction is home to over 2,042 gnomes, a record-breaking collection of characters that are dotted throughout the gardens in north Cornwall. On entry, visitors are provided with a gnome hat and fishing rod, designed to help guests to ‘blend in’, and providing the perfect opportunity for a family photo. The reserve is a 30 minute drive from Bude.
Only open on select days throughout the year, Andrew’s Corner is a wonderfully secluded spot just under an hour’s drive inland from Bude. Featuring a lengthy season from February to October, the garden has far-reaching views over the open, rugged moor of Dartmoor, and there is a wide range of unusual trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants to see during a visit, with a kitchen garden and flock of chickens too. Visitors with children also have some help keeping the kids entertained with fun quiz sheets, enchanting fairy doors and a children’s playhouse. The garden can be accessed outside the specified dates and times by appointment by calling 01837 840332.
If you’d like to book a holiday in Cornwall to see the beautiful gardens nearby, book your stay with us by calling 01288 389800.
Bude in pictures: an interview with Cornish surf photographer Clive Symm
Clive Symm is a talented Cornish surf photographer, who also captures weddings, landscapes and portraits, and over the years he’s taken some fantastic pictures in and around Bude.
We caught up with him recently to find out a little more about the man behind the lens, providing insights into what motivates him, his thoughts on Bude’s fantastic surf scene, and why he loves Bude Sea Pool.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into photography?
I’ve loved photography since I was at school, way before digital cameras were available. I worked at a local supermarket for the whole of the summer to save up and buy my first “proper” camera, a Ricoh KR10 Super and a 50mm lens. I’ve never stopped taking photos since then really. I’ve had a lot of sales jobs with some pretty big companies and being a photographer has always helped to build my profile within these. When I was at JVC I was often given their latest video cameras to take home and test.
You’ve taken some incredible pictures of the surf in and around Bude. What is it that motivates you to take pictures of surfing in particular?
Having surfed myself since the age of about 14 it’s a great way to enjoy two of my passions at the same time. Also taking the odd surf shot has helped me stay focused on the sea when I’ve been unable to surf due to injuries or ill health.
What’s your favourite thing about shooting around Bude?
Bude has a great “vibe” about it, it’s one of those places that always feels welcoming no matter what the weather’s doing, the scenery is stunning and the people are, mostly, friendly. I love just going for an unplanned walk with my camera and seeing what images I can come up with. It’s not often I get home disappointed with the results.
Bude has produced some of the best professional surfers in the country in recent years. Why do you think that is?
I think there’s loads of factors that have attributed to the success of our local surfers. Obviously we have some quality waves within a few miles of Bude and depending on the tide our local beaches can be surfed at almost any size. There aren’t that many days when there’s no surf. I’ve been doing this a long time and seen the amount of time and effort these athletes spend in the water improving their skills. They’re training constantly which makes a huge difference to their performance. There’s a great community spirit locally.
Bude Wave Riders, run by volunteers, offer a great introduction into surfing for very little outlay. Also our more experienced surfers seem quite happy to share their knowledge with the young, up and coming, super keen, groms. We have some excellent surf schools, some of which run “elite” clubs for the up and coming kids that show potential. They can even get one-on-one coaching from British and European champions if they want it. Obviously media coverage is a huge part of everything these days. Luckily we have some great local photographers and videographers who spend a lot of time, in and out of the water, capturing images and footage of these guys helping to show the world of what they’re capable of.
Do you surf yourself, and if so, where’s your favourite spot?
I do and my favourite local spot has to be any one of Bude’s three beaches. I live a couple of minutes away by foot from Crooklets and like being able to just wander down, check the conditions, get changed at home and be in the water within 10 minutes.
Your portfolio features some beautiful landscape pictures. Where is the most photogenic place you’ve come across in Cornwall?
Thank you, that’s a tough question, the whole of Cornwall is beautiful. I don’t really have a favourite. I’ll check the conditions, the time of year, when the sun sets, etc. and decide where to go on the day, could be anywhere…
We’ve also noticed Bude Sea Pool in lots of your images, and we’ve even shared a few of them ourselves. What do you think the pool brings to the local community?
I think it’s a fantastic facility, one of the best ocean pools in the country, definitely a great tourist attraction which brings people into town. I really enjoy capturing the different moods it seems to have, very photogenic and just 5 minutes from home.
What’s the most memorable or favourite image that you’ve ever taken?
I don’t really have a favourite but this image (below) always comes to mind. It was taken just down the coast from Bude on a very stormy winter day a few years ago. I just love the energy and movement, not to mention the timing of that wave breaking against the cliff in the background…
What would your ideal day in Bude consist of?
It would be warm and sunny with light offshore winds and the surf at first light would be about 4ft and clean. That’s when I’d get in for a wave. After a couple of hours I’d get out look back and see the surf building to 8ft. I’d check my phone for messages and see that the Ash brothers (two of my favourite local surfers) where going in for a wave. I’d grab my camera and shoot them until they got out. Have a quick look at the photos I’d taken and then head down to the sea pool for the sunset and maybe stay a little later to photograph the stars reflected in the water. Then on to The Beach for a drink at the bar.