Bude’s top five hidden gems
Bude is well known for its long sandy beaches, spectacular views and vibrant water sports scene. It’s no secret that visitors and locals alike adore this beautiful coastal town. But there are many hidden gems in this stunning area just waiting to be discovered.
Located just five miles from the centre of Bude sits the much-loved Rebel Cinema. Dating back to the 1980s, this classic picture house definitely has that vintage retro feel. Without it, the next cinema within reach is more than 25 miles away, so this venue is the perfect place to catch the latest releases in style.
An independent cinema, it’s the beacon of on-screen entertainment when it comes to Bude and the surrounding area. When you visit, step back in time as you enter its red double doors and admire its traditional decor inside.
Rebel Cinema has been entertaining locals and visitors for the last three decades — why not grab a seat, some popcorn, and be a part of it too?
Although many locals are familiar with this fantastic semi-natural pool, it’s easy to miss if you don’t know about it. The sea pool, filled naturally at high tide, is a safe haven for swimmers who don’t fancy braving the wild surf, but still want to swim in the great outdoors.
It’s a real treasure to the coastal town’s community, having operated since the 1930s — and it’s completely free to use. Run by local charity, Friends of Bude Sea Pool, it takes care of the maintenance of the pool and donations are always gratefully received.
We love Bude Sea Pool and often encourage our guests to visit, or even take a dip in the water, especially since it’s less than five minutes’ walk from our reception.
Tucked away along the quiet canal route is Bude Marshes, a local nature reserve which is home to abundant wildlife. A space which is carefully looked after and protected, these marshes are a wonderful way to explore the surrounding area and get closer to wildlife in north Cornwall.
Look out for coastal birds, rare plant life, and beautiful wildflowers as you stroll along the waterfront during your stay. There’s so much to explore and it’s a great way to relax and get some much needed downtime with nature.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a family of otters nestled in the banks of the canal or wreaking havoc with their playful games in the water.
If you’re keen on history, Penhallam Manor might just be for you. This 13th century manor house, only a short drive away from the centre of Bude, is now a grass covered ruin. It was built by a famous family from Cornwall, the de Cardinhams, and then lay undiscovered for hundreds of years.
The manor was discovered during the 1960s when the replanting of trees was interrupted by hitting the 13th century stone walls. Pretty soon, an excavation was under way until experts realised what it was — and the rest is history.
After you’ve had a good little explore, why not visit the nearby village of Week St Mary, where you can take a stroll, have a drink in the local pub, and get a glimpse of quieter village life in Cornwall near the coast.
Truly a hidden gem, Hawker’s Hut is a quaint little wooden hut nestled in the cliffside dating back to 1835. Found in Morwenstow, just a few miles north of Bude, this infamous hut once belonged to Reverend Robert Hawker — the man who wrote Cornwall’s anthem, Trelawney.
The hut is built out of wood from past shipwrecks and allegedly the place where Reverend Hawker liked to seek refuge and calm. It’s said that some members of his congregation were smugglers and wreckers who led ships towards the rocks of Morwenstow to steal goods and cargo. If that’s not enough to peak your curiosity for this secret treasure, it’s also where famous poets Charles Kingsley and Lord Tennyson paid visits to the eccentric reverend.
You can visit Hawker’s Hut at any time of year — and you’re welcome to bring your pooch, because it’s dog friendly. You can reach it on the circular walk starting from Rectory Farm Tea Rooms in Morwenstow.