The Beach Blog
Wildlife in north Cornwall
North Cornwall has much more to offer besides the sandy beaches and rolling waves brimming with wetsuit-clad surf fanatics.
Hidden within its coastal beauty is a wonderful array of wildlife. From sea creatures navigating the open waters between boats, boards and swimmers, to the fascinating organisms found in rock pools and seasonal birds flying inland towards the marshes and moorland.
Bude is fortunate to host all these types of environment, making it the perfect base for wildlife enthusiasts to explore and see a variety of animals in their natural habitat.
Cornwall’s first and largest nature reserve is the Bude marshes, nine hectares of reeds and grassland playing residence to a large variety of birds. You may even be lucky enough to spot an otter. Accessed from the footpath next to Bude canal, it’s a popular attraction for families to catch a glimpse of unique species not seen in many other parts of Cornwall.
Spring sees the chiffchaff and the sedge warbler occupy the marshes, whilst summer welcomes the reed buntings amongst the growth of purple loosestrife, autumn brings the long-legged wood sandpiper, and the snipe and moorhens inhabit during winter.
Heading out to the coastline and into deeper waters, it is not uncommon to spot a basking shark, which are completely harmless despite their appearance, or possibly even a dolphin. Coming back towards the shore, grey seals can be be found laying in sheltered coves and on the rocks.
If you want to get children involved with wildlife from any early age, then one of the best places to start is in the rock pools. Spend hours splashing around with buckets finding a multiple of different seaweeds, jewel anemones, crabs and mussels to identify.
To book your next wildlife getaway take a look at our relaxing rooms and call us on 01288 389800.
Autumn Picnic Spots Near Bude
Cornwall is arguably most sensational in the autumn months. Now that the summer rush has passed, there is no better time to take a romantic break. What’s more romantic than a picnic watching the sunset?
So grab a blanket, a punnet of strawberries, and maybe a bottle of bubbly and head to one of these idyllic locations…
A wonderful matrix of winding streets and white washed cottages, this village is everything you imagine when you think of Cornwall. Explore this picture-postcard village and harbour where TV’s Doc Martin was filmed before heading up the coastal path to the coastal cliffs.
Take in the sea views with a picnic looking over the pretty little port. On your way back down make sure you stop off at one of the many ice-cream parlours for an after picnic treat.
Just a short drive inland from Bude lies the Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes. The lakes form part the Cornwall/Devon border which runs though the middle where the river originally ran before the lakes were formed.
The walk around Upper Lake takes about an hour and covers three miles. Look out for the abundance of wildlife from kingfishers to squirrels. A bird hide allows you to get a really a good look at the Cornish wildlife in their natural habitats.
Once you are done exploring, relax with a picnic on the grassy banks looking over the lake or at a picnic bench. If you fancy a more active day there is also plenty of water sports available such as windsurfing, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Take a look at the water sports on offer on the South West Lakes Trust website.
You don’t have drive anywhere to make the most of beautiful picnic spots, we have plenty right here in Bude.
Take a stroll and find a quiet spot for a romantic lunch on the banks of Bude Canal. Or if you’re a classic romantic and really want to make the day special, then why not hire a boat and row up the canal? Cosy up with a blanket, wrap up warm and take in the peaceful surroundings as the trees begin to turn to shades of orange and the balmy summer air gives way to clear crisp mornings.
To hire a boat head over to the Bude Rowing Boats website.
As the name suggests, Sandymouth Beach has a large expanse of golden sand when the tide is out. Just a short drive from Bude, the walk down from the car park is definitely worth it as the large beach opens up to reveal towering cliffs and rocky outcrops.
Autumn is a quieter time in Cornwall with emptier beaches that are perfect for a relaxed walk along the coast and a more laid back atmosphere to just sit and admire the impressive shoreline. Sunsets are often spectacular as the summer months come to a close. As Sandymouth is west facing, the sun sets over the water providing the perfect backdrop to a picnic dinner.
To find out more about Sandymouth and how to get there take a look on the National Trust page.
St. Nectan’s Glen
St. Nectan’s Glen is a truly magical place that transports you far away from everyday life. Completely hidden away in woodlands alongside the River Trevillet, the tranquil river walk offers many perfect picnic spots. However, this beautiful wooded valley is not the reason that makes St. Nectan’s Glen such an incredible picnic spot.
Follow the valley path to a place that is nothing short of awe-inspiring with three gushing waterfalls, one of which falls through a naturally formed hole in the rock. Make sure you have your camera ready, you will definitely want to take some photos here. Take your wellies and wade into the shallow waters before the tallest of the three waterfalls to really get a feel for the power of the water falling a huge 60ft.
Find a peaceful corner to have your picnic with the sound of the cascading water in the background.
Find out more about St. Nectan’s Glen on their website.
Once you’re all picnicked out, retreat back to your equally romantic room at The Beach at Bude. Go to our website to book your Autumn getaway.
5 alternative sunny day activities in Bude
There is no better place to soak up the rays than in Cornwall. With its multiple unspoilt beaches, Bude has been always been a popular destination for those seeking to make the most of the British summertime. However, Bude has more to offer than simply stunning beaches so here is our rundown of other things to do when the sun is shining:
1. Take a row down the canal
Built in 1823, the Bude canal was originally created to transport lime-rich sand to local farms, but now simply provides pretty scenery for a stroll or paddle on a sunny afternoon. There is no better way to make the most of Cornwall’s beauty than idly rowing down the canal, taking in your surroundings and finding the perfect quiet spot to have a picnic. Follow the canal out of town for a chance to see an abundance of wildlife, especially as you approach Bude Marshes.
Take a look on the website to see the boats they have to hire.
2. Set off on a trip to Lundy Island
Lundy Island and Marine Nature Reserve is a three and a half mile long and half a mile wide granite outcrop that lies 18km off the coast of North Devon. A world away from modern day life, Lundy Island provides tranquility, peace and unspoilt natural beauty. Lundy is home to an array of wildlife such as deer, seals, ponies, dolphins and even puffins (Lundy is Norse for ‘Puffin Island’). A day trip on Lundy’s own ship, the MS Oldenburg, is more of a cruise with a bar, buffet and shop.
Discover more about Lundy Island.
3. Walk the Bude Circular Canal and Coast walk
The history-seeped circular walk encompasses the very best Bude has to offer, from the unique historic relics along the canal, to the wildlife at Bude Marshes, and the dramatic views along the clifftops from the Coast Path. This 9km walk passes points of interest such as The Pepper Pot, an octagonal storm tower, and Phillip’s Point nature reserve and is the perfect way for the more active among us to spend a day in the sun. As you head back to the town you pass serval craft workshops and cafés where you can stop for a well deserved refreshment.
More information on this walk and more can be found online.
4. Hire a beach hut
Experience a blast from the past and enjoy the beach from the luxury of your very own beach hut. A classic Cornish sight with colourful wooden doors, these traditional beach huts provide a unique landing place for a day by the sea. The deluxe beach hut on Summerleaze beach offers the perfect lunch stop with a large kitchen work top, a small gas stove and complimentary tea and coffee making facilities. Plates, cutlery, mugs and glasses for four people are all provided so you can simply enjoy your day relaxing.
To hire a beach hut head to the Visit Bude website.
5. Explore Bude ‘Poldark style’ from horseback
The best way to see the beautiful beaches, coastal paths and countryside is from horseback. All abilities are catered for by Welcombe Equine with a range of riding experiences such as beach rides, family group rides and even rides that stop of at the pub for lunch. Rides can be personalised to suit your needs on wonderfully schooled horses so even if you’re a complete beginner or a competent rider with years of experience, Welcombe Equine will have the perfect horse for you. If you feel like leaving hoof prints rather than footprints in the sand then this may be the perfect sunny day activity for you.
To find out more about horse riding activities head to Welcombe Equine’s Facebook page.
Family Friendly Things to do on a Rainy Day
Cornwall is blessed to be one of the most sun-drenched counties in England, but inevitably we will get the occasional day of rain. Fear not, Cornwall still has so much to offer to guarantee a fun-packed family day out no matter what the weather.
Here in Bude we are able to make the most of the many wonderful family attractions in both north Cornwall and north Devon.
Here are some of the best family friendly days out to be had within easy reach of Bude…
Just a twenty minute drive from Bude lies the Milky Way Adventure Park. Voted Devon’s best large visitor attraction in 2016, this all-weather park offers fun for all the family come rain or shine. With a selection of roller coasters and outside activities such as mini golf and a maze this huge park, just across the boarder into North Devon, is great on a sunny day. However, with 110,000 sq. feet of indoor fun, rainy days don’t have to be a write off. All the family will be entertained with a huge indoor adventure play area designed not only for the little ones but adults too, so let your inner child run free and dive straight into that ball pool. If that isn’t enough there is also dodgems, indoor bird of prey shows and the mind-blowing ‘Clone Zone’ ride, an interactive ride where you can explore an alien spaceship, encounter aliens, fly the suspended roller coaster and attempt to make it back to Earth without being cloned.
If you fancy doing something a little different on your rainy day, why not visit The Museum of Magic and Witchcraft in the picturesque village of Boscastle? Regarded as the world’s oldest and largest collection of all things magic, the museum allows you to indulge in the human fascination for magic. With vast collections of weird and wonderful exhibits, learn about the folklore of Bodmin Moor and explore objects of ritual magic within its hallowed halls. The museum also offers candlelit evening openings throughout the summer often alongside ghostly story telling sessions in the Museum Library. Visit the website to check the dates of these events through the summer.
Situated on what was once just a working farm, The BIG Sheep welcomes families to meet the animals and learn about feeding, sheering and the day-to-day workings of a farm at an attraction worthy of its TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. However, don’t be fooled into thinking The BIG Sheep is just another petting zoo, it is so much more than that. Featuring Devon’s largest roller coaster, live combat games and an indoor play area on top of many other attractions there is plenty to keep the children busy. Live shows take place both outside and inside throughout the day including the milking show, the shearing show and the infamous sheep racing. The adults have not been forgotten either with an onsite ale and gin distillery as well as a live beer show. This place is packed with things to do for all the family on a rainy day and it is just a half an hour drive from Bude.
Situated in Bude itself, The Venue boasts 10 lanes of quality ten pin bowling with animated scoring, “Glo-Bowling” and disco lighting. Ramps and gutter rails are available so that all ages and abilities can play. A giant 4 storey soft play zone is sure to burn off any extra energy with interactive noises and lights and plenty of slides including the 8 meter high ‘Demon Drop Slide’ for the more daring amongst us. There is a large comfortable seating area for parents to enjoy a excellent coffee whilst the children play. If that still hasn’t worn them out there is a also a selection of amusement machines to top off an action filled day. The best part is that all this is available without even leaving Bude.
Splash Leisure Pool, also in Bude, brings the thrills of the ocean inside when the weather means the beach is a no go zone. The AquaSquash sessions, with a wave machine and a 33 meter flume, provide fun for adults and children alike. When you’re all swam out you can recoup in the onsite cafe serving Lavazza coffee, smoothies and a range of light snacks.
To book your next family getaway take a look at our luxury family suites.
Secret beaches in north Cornwall to escape the summer crowds
One of the many advantages of the rugged north-Cornish coastline is the plethora of hidden coves and secret beaches tucked away under the tall cliffs. They’re not always easy to reach, but with a little effort you really can escape the crowds.
We’re lucky to have several within easy reach of Bude…
Many will know of Crackington Haven, but it’s worth including here as it rarely gets busy. Located 10 miles to the south of Bude, this beach is best enjoyed at low tide, when there’s more space to explore.
There’s a pub and café nearby, and the surf can be good at times – so very much worth a trip.
If you keep heading south from Crackington Haven, you’ll discover The Strangles around one mile on. There is a small National Trust car park on the road side, opposite the footpath down to the beach.
It is a relatively long climb down from the car park, so be prepared. But your efforts will be rewarded, as two beaches join up at low tide, revealing a long stretch of sand.
A truly rugged but beautiful cove, just to the north of Bude.
There are plenty of rock pools, and a stretch of sand at low tide. You may also spot the wreck of the SS Belem, wrecked just off the beach in 1917.
You’ll find a small National Trust car park at the beach, with an honesty box for payment.
Just to the south of Widemouth, around four miles from Bude, is Millook Haven.
The beach is mainly made up of pebbles and shingle, so not necessarily the best spot for lying in the sun – but it’s certainly a dramatic spot for a coastal walk.
There is no lifeguard cover here, and the sea is best avoided by inexperienced swimmers or surfers. But you can guarantee there won’t be too many people around.
Tregardock is around 20 miles from Bude, but you could combine it with a trip to Port Isaac or Tintagel, both of which are close by.
It’s fairly difficult to get to – located at the end of a long path, with a bit of a climb down. But for that reason, it is never busy.
If you’re planning a trip, keep an eye on the tide times. The beach disappears at high tide, but when the sea is out you’ll find plenty of sand and rock pools.
If you enjoyed this collection of secret beaches, take a look at our collection of the best wild swimming spots in Cornwall.
Adam Gibbard, Cornwall Beach Guide, and Visit Cornwall
Strawberry Sherbet Cocktail Recipe
A very popular cocktail in our bar, the Strawberry Sherbet Fizz is the ultimate summer drink, blending refreshing strawberry sorbet with bubbly prosecco for a decadent treat to enjoy on the terrace. Seeing as it’s such a hit in the bar, we thought we’d share the super simple cocktail recipe so you can make it at home too.
Strawberry Sherbert Fizz
YOU WILL NEED:
- One small scoop of strawberry sorbet
- 25ml Giffard Crème de Fraise des bois
- 75ml Prosecco
- One fresh strawberry and a curl of lemon zest.
- Add the strawberry sorbet and Giffard Crème de Fraise des bois to your chosen serving glass (we’ve opted for a champagne glass for added glamour)
- Crush the sorbet with a spoon and gently stir the mixture together
- Add the prosecco to just below the rim of the glass and stir carefully, enquiring the prosecco doesn’t fizz too vigorously
- Use a sharp knife to create a slit in the bottom of the fresh strawberry and place it on the rim of the glass along with the lemon rind
- If you’ve chosen a short glass to serve the cocktail in, you could add a biodegradable straw for easier drinking.
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.
Cocktail recipe: lemongrass martini
We have asked our wonderful bar team to share the recipe for one of the most popular cocktails on the menu: a lemongrass martini.
If you’re having friends round this weekend, shake them up this cocktail. Its guaranteed to impress, with a fresh, zingy flavour that everyone will love.
YOU WILL NEED:
- 50ml Olmeca Blanco tequila
- 15ml Giffard triple sec
- 15ml Lemongrass syrup
- 1 fresh lime, quartered
- Add the tequila, triple sec and lime juice to a cocktail shaker
- Add a few handfuls of ice until the cocktail shaker is two-thirds full
- Securely fasten the lid and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds
- If you’d like to salt rim your glass, sprinkle a teaspoon of sea salt in a flat, wide dish. Using a segment of the squeezed lime, wipe the flesh around the rim of the glass to wet it, and then dip the rim in the salt.
- Strain the liquid mixture into your serving glass and fill with ice.
- Top with your choice of garnish. We went for a slice of orange, a spiral of lime rind and a biodegradable straw.
Wild swimming spots in Cornwall
Cornwall’s beautiful coastline and rugged countryside is right on our doorstep, and there are so many places to enjoy a swim that offer something a little different than a dip in the sea. Although the wide open ocean might seem like an obvious place to go for a swim, we’ve rounded up our top five wild swimming spots that you may not have heard about, perfect for swimming in without having to dodge any waves or surfers.
Wild swimming in Cornwall
Open from early March to late October, Jubilee Pool is a fantastic place to enjoy natural seawater in a safe, controlled environment. High walls protect visitors from any offshore winds, and the pool has a smaller bathing pool for toddlers and younger children. The pool is the UK’s largest seawater lido, and was officially reopened by Prince Charles in 2016 after having been closed for a number of years. The first stage of plans to heat a section of the pool using geothermal energy has now also begun, with mechanics drilling down and tapping into a deep geothermal well which will eventually produce bathing waters of around 35°C.
Partly man-made and partly natural, Bude Sea Pool is a brilliant wild swimming pool tucked beneath the cliff at the northern side of Summerleaze Beach, providing a safe haven for swimmers who can enjoy the benefits of wild swimming without having to worry about the dangers of the sea. Originally constructed in the 1930’s, the pool is 91 metres long and acts as a major draw for visitors to Bude, naturally refilling at high tide each day. All public funding for the pool was withdrawn in 2010, and it has since been maintained solely by the Friends of Bude Sea Pool, which rely on donations from supporters. The pool is completely free to enjoy and is used for a number of purposes, including surf life saving and swimming lessons, and it’s only 100 meters from our hotel, so remember your swimmers.
(Read our interview with a Friends of Bude Sea Pool member to find out more about the incredible efforts that go into maintaining it: http://www.thebeachatbude.co.uk/insight-bude-sea-pool/.)
As if Perranporth’s three-mile stretch of golden sand isn’t enough of an attraction, the beach also houses a natural tidal pool within Chapel Rock, a large sea stack that juts out from the cliffs at the southern end of the beach. Being quite small, the pool is naturally warmed from the sun in the summer months, and provides a brilliant area for children to learn to swim, snorkel and dive. The tide can come in quite fast at this beach, so visitors are warned to keep an eye on it.
A small village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, Portreath is located between St Ives and St Agnes, and on the north side of the beach the harbour wall shelters a small tidal swimming pool that’s perfect for relaxing in whilst watching the waves roll into the bay. The pool isn’t quite big enough to swim laps in, resembling a hot tub rather than a swimming pool, but it’s a great place to relax while the children scramble over the rocks and discover the local marine life.
Although not particularly glamorous sounding, Goldiggins Quarry is a beautiful, clear spring fed quarry lake in a sheltered spot on Bodmin Moor. With flat ledges for jumping into the deeper parts of the water, the surrounding grass banks provide perfect places to enjoy a picnic or sunbathe. The wild landscape also means there are some great walking routes nearby, navigating around and across towering granite tors jutting out from the moorland. The nearest carpark is over a mile away from the quarry and there are limited local amenities, so we’d recommend taking lots of water to stay hydrated in hotter weather.
Please be responsible when taking part in wild swimming activities at attractions that are not lifeguarded and never jump into water if you’re not sure of its depth.