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.