The Beach Blog
Learning to surf in Bude
Surfing is a big part of the beach lifestyle here in Bude. If you’re joining us here at The Beach at Bude and want to learn to this popular water sport, read on to find out about the best surf schools in the area.
If you also want to see a round-up of our favourite beaches around Bude to take to the waves, head to our blog post about the top five surfing beaches in Bude.
One of the closest surf schools to our hotel overlooking Summerleaze Beach, the Big Blue Surf School has taught around 30,000 people to surf over the last 15 years. Open all year round, they even have extra thick wetsuits which will keep you warm if you want to try surfing in the winter. They offer lesson to anyone aged eight and up, and all equipment is included in the cost of your lessons.
Another of the surf schools located just moments from the hotel on Summerleaze Beach, Bude Surfing Experience offers daily surf lessons which are perfect for beginners. The two and a half hour lessons are run in groups of up to eight people. The team are also on hand at Summerleaze Beach if you are someone with a keen interest in surfing and just want a few tips of how to improve.
Running everything from classic water sports such as surfing and kayaking, to extreme sports and multi-sport events such as the Bude Triathlon, Shoreline Extreme Sports have an experienced team on hand to teach you to surf. Running its surf lessons from Crooklets Beach, you’ll be in safe hands – as this is also where the town’s surf life saving club is based.
Providing surf lessons on Widemouth Bay, just a few miles south of Bude, this surf school was established in 1981, making it one of the first surf schools in Cornwall. They specialise in teaching beginners, whether learning on your own, with family or in a group. Being on Widemouth Bay, it is close enough to Bude so you don’t have to travel far when staying in the award-winning beach resort, but it is away from the crowds giving you all the space you need to learn and gain confidence.
Another surf school at Widemouth Bay, Freewave Surf Academy provide surfing lessons for complete beginners, as well as taster lessons to help remind those who have tried it before of the basics. From a two hour session, up to a three day intensive course, the instructors will help you to develop your skills and confidence to take to the waves on your own in no time.
Looking for somewhere to stay on your surfing holiday to Cornwall? Take a look at our range of rooms and availability online, or call 01288 389800 for more information.
Yoga in Bude
The north Cornish coast is the perfect place to unwind and getaway from the daily routine of our busy lives. Here in Bude we are lucky to have numerous beaches to stroll along, feeling the wind rush through our hair with the chance to soak up some Cornish rays. Our terrace is also ideal for chilling out with a cocktail at the end of the day and watching the sun set.
For a deeper sense of calm and relaxation, yoga can be a fantastic way to escape. Whether practiced on the beach out in the fresh air on a warm sunny day, or in one of the nearby yoga centres – you’re never too far from a session when staying here at The Beach at Bude.
Yoga encourages you to listen to your body. Originating around 5,000 years ago in India, there are many health benefits with this style of exercise including building on strength and flexibility, as well as improving breathing and mental health. Other well-known benefits associated with practicing yoga are improving muscle tone and weight loss, reducing stress, and increasing energy levels.
Going hand-in-hand with everything a relaxing beach getaway should be, yoga perfectly complements a stay at The Beach. It can enrich the laid-back seaside lifestyle where action-packed activities such as surfing and kayaking are not for everyone.
There are regular yoga classes just a five minute walk from the hotel at Bude Golf Club, which are run by local instructor Vika Bundy. With a mix of morning and evening classes throughout the week, and opportunities for both beginner and mixed abilities, there is a class for everyone whatever your experience.
The Yoga Studio in Bude, located on King’s Hill Industrial Estate, is another venue with daily classes. Established in 2010 by instructor Rosie Lewis, you’ll be in safe hands with many years of yoga experience to guide you.
For more information on yoga and other activities nearby please contact our reception on 01288 389800, where one of our friendly team would be delighted to advise.
Stand up paddleboarding in Bude
If surfing is a little too high-paced for you, have a go at the UK’s fastest growing water sport – stand up paddleboarding (SUP).
Paddleboarding involves standing or kneeling on a paddleboard, which is basically a large surfboard, and propelling yourself using a single paddle and alternating long strokes either side of the board through the water.
You don’t have to be super fit or into sport to have a go at paddleboarding. It is easy to pick up and you can go at your own speed, and it’s also really good for your core and balance. It’s well known as being a fun activity to do in a group, so if you’re in Bude on a family holiday or in a celebration party then this is definitely an activity worth investigating.
Bude Surfing Experience can meet you at the Bude Tourist Information Centre, where the instructors will teach you the basics of SUP before setting off on your paddleboarding adventure in one of the following locations:
Experience SUP on the open sea, with free rein of the Atlantic ocean and the opportunity to explore the rugged coastline of north Cornwall from a different perspective. Launching from Summerleaze Beach provides the most authentic stand up paddleboarding experience in Bude, with the salty sea air breezing through your hair as you glide through the rippling water.
Bude Sea Pool
The semi-natural pool is a calm location which is perfect for SUP beginners, providing a safe haven to practice the water sport without having to worry about rip tides, big waves and getting in the way of surfers. Paddle up and down the pool, mastering the technique and practicing manoeuvres and turns before progressing to the sea.
Unique to Bude, this is the only canal in Cornwall and therefore the only place in the county where you can experience SUP in this type of environment on the calm, winding waterways. Taking a gentle paddle along the canal allows you the chance to take in all the beautiful wildlife and greenery which surrounds the area.
A SUP session with Bude Surfing Experience starts from £35 per person, including all equipment, and is suitable for all ages from eight upwards.
Top five reasons to visit Bude
Bude was voted the ‘Best UK Coastal Town’ at the British Travel Awards at the end of 2018 – an accolade it also achieved in 2016 and 2017.
There are many things that make our award-winning town so special, but here are our top five reasons to visit Bude:
Bude Sea Pool
Known to be Bude’s number one attraction, the Bude Sea Pool is free to use all year round and provides a safe swimming area for those that may find the swell from the sea waves too daunting. This semi-natural pool is 91m long by 45m wide and was created in 1930s. Managed by the Friends of Bude Sea Pool charity, it welcomes around 50,000 visitors every year.
Whether you’re into walking, cycling, kayaking, fishing or taking it easy on a peddlo – the Bude Canal is a hub of activity for all paces of life. The two mile footpath alongside the canal and marshlands is perfect for admiring the vast array of wildlife, so there’s plenty to see and do for the whole family on a day out. Bikes, kayaks and peddlos are all available to hire in Bude, making it easy to explore without bringing a car load on holiday with you.
Well known for seaside holidays in Cornwall, Bude has two main beaches, Summerleaze and Crooklets, which are great for building sandcastles, surfing and many other watersports. The South West Coast Path also passes through these beaches, perfect for winter walks when the icy water and sunbathing on the golden sand isn’t so inviting.
The Castle Bude
Perched on the sand dunes overlooking Summerleaze Beach is the Grade II listed castle, home to three galleries showcasing work of local artists including art, pottery and photography. There is also a Heritage Centre where you can discover Bude’s rich history, with exhibitions and artefacts from a variety of collections, such as the Bude railway. Admission to the castle is free, providing a cultural and educational activity for all generations to enjoy.
And how could we not mention the newest addition…
Not your typical tourist attraction, but the Bude Tunnel has become somewhat of a famous landmark in our coastal town. With five-star reviews and comments including ‘a tunnel like no other’, the 70m long tunnel which stretches from Sainsbury’s car park all the way to Crooklets Road is definitely worth a visit.
Providing undercover protection from all weathers (always a bonus in Cornwall where the weather can be a little unpredictable sometimes), it’s no wonder why the public take cover here to enjoy the spectacular sea views in Bude. A unique asset to the town.
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.