The Beach Blog
Winter walks in Bude
As autumn turns to winter and the nights start to draw in, it can be very pleasant to get outside and enjoy some daylight and fresh air before hunkering down to enjoy our winter menu in our dining room. Here are some walks you could try.
Poundstock to Penfound – 3.2 miles
An easy country walk, although some stiles may be steep, this circular walk starts at Poundstock church, where you can also park. Follow the lanes through Treskinnick Cross, drop down into the valley at Newmill and then follow the side of the stream to Penfound Manor, said to be the oldest inhabited house in England before taking country lanes back to Poundstock. Time the walk right, and you could catch a film at the Rebel Cinema as you walk past.
Dunsdon to Vealand Farm – 4 miles
Taking around four hours, this is a pleasant walk for those with kids and dogs in tow. Explore the grassland meadows and wander along the waterway before finding the Vealand Farm nature reserve, full of ponds, hedges and meadows.
Kilkhampton to the Coombe Valley – 5 miles
One for the more adventurous walker, this is a relatively strenuous if slightly shorter walk, starting and finishing at Kilkhampton churchyard. The path is along the stream through Kilkhampton Common and then Stowe Woods. It can be slippery when wet but the woods in autumn and winter are full of beautiful colours and can be very uplifting.
Bude Canal – 6 miles
For a peaceful, gentle but moderately long walk, try walking the towpath of Britain’s most westerly canal. Originally created for transporting lime-rich sand to local farms, the canal is now used for canoes and kayaks rather than industrial shipping, although the sea lock does still work. The walk alongside Bude Canal is perfect for those who need wheels, such as prams and wheelchairs and a Tramper all-terrain mobility scooter is available for hire from Whalesborough Farm.
Bude to Sandymouth – 6.2 miles
A moderate coastal walk, this walk can either be done out and back or by taking a slightly different route becomes a circular walk, starting at Bude Tourist Information Centre. The walk passes Bude Castle, Bude Sea Pool, the Surf Lifesaving Club and then takes the south-west coast path, passing Maer and Northcott Mouth (where the wreck of the SS Belem is exposed at low tide) and on to Sandymouth. The return route through Bude passes the infamous ‘Bude Tunnel’, a 230ft plastic tunnel from the road to Sainsbury’s Car Park, that was once voted Bude’s top tourist attraction on Tripadvisor.
Roughtor and Brown Willy – Bodmin Moor
Slightly further afield, but worth it to take in the glorious but exposed Bodmin Moor and the panoramic views of Cornwall from the top in good weather. Start at the Roughtor car park and then head up on to the moor. Expect a sharp climb as Brown Willy and Roughtor are the two highest points in Cornwall. For a shorter walk at 3 miles stop at the summit of Roughtor and then retrace your steps. To make the walk longer, continue on to Brown Willy. Look out for the stone circles and other remnants of ancient Neolithic civilization that are dotted across the moor. Be aware though that sheep, cattle and ponies graze on the open moor and that the weather can come in very fast, so be prepared with adequate clothing and footwear.
Bude beach huts
A row of brightly coloured beach huts is the ultimate in old school beach charm that is not always a common sight on the beaches of Cornwall. Here in Bude, we are one of the few Cornish places where they are found and we are lucky enough to have beach huts on both Crooklets Beach and Summerleaze Beach.
What could be nicer than enjoying a swim or surf in the Atlantic and then drying off in a beach hut before sitting down to enjoy a cup of tea – or a glass of wine – watching the sun drop below the horizon?
Beach huts are a charmingly traditional way to enjoy our beaches, providing a private space to change, prepare lunch or tea, or shelter from either the sun or breeze (what rain?). We also think they make a great place to store beach equipment overnight whilst on your holiday.
Here in Bude, we have a wide choice of beach huts, with three-quarters of the huts available for short term hire (for three or seven days, or longer, depending on the time of the year). Ranging in size for use from four to eight people, there is a choice of beach huts that includes fully accessible huts, making them an excellent base for those with limited mobility, or for families.
The heyday of the beach hut came in the 1950s with the resurgence of the UK beach holiday after beaches and beach huts were reopened after the end of the second world war, but the beach hut has returned to popularity in recent years. Traditionally beach huts were wooden buildings, often repurposed fishing or bathing huts. In Bude, a lot of the beach huts are purpose-built after extensive investment to provide beautiful and practical holiday facilities to locals and visitors alike.
The beach huts offer a variety of views across Bude’s award-winning beaches, with the huts at the front enjoying uninterrupted access to the sand, surf and sunsets for which Bude is famed.
Of course, we do sometimes have weather from which shelter is required. The beach huts mean that our beautiful beaches can be enjoyed in all weathers and visitors make the most of the fresh sea air, even in inclement weather as all the huts have windows, and there is space for deckchairs inside the hut once the table is folded away.
If you’re planning on staying with us and would like more information on hiring a beach hut, please contact our reception on 01288 389800, where one of our friendly team would be delighted to advise.
Golfing holidays in Bude
Bude, on the north coast of Cornwall, is the ideal UK getaway all year round. Mild weather throughout autumn and winter means emptier beaches and fairways, perfect for those not tied to school term-times to enjoy soaking up some fresh Cornish seaside air.
If you fancy combining practicing your swing with taking in the views of the beautiful north Cornwall coast, you will be spoilt for choice of golf courses when staying here at The Beach at Bude.
Here in Bude, we are lucky to have one of Cornwall’s best-loved and oldest golf courses right in the centre of the town, with Cornwall’s number one rated golf course found just a few miles down the road.
And don’t forget, our very own nineteenth hole here on the terrace makes an ideal end of day spot to watch the sunset, cocktail in hand.
With the wind in your hair, the challenge of a links course and the reward of the dramatic and beautiful coastline in the distance, a golfing holiday is the perfect way to combine relaxation and gentle exercise.
Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club
Bude & North Cornwall Golf Club is a classic seaside links course fitted between town and the coast. Formed in 1891, look out for holes 16 and 17, two long par 4’s stretching well over 400 yards. With no temporary tees or greens and no winter restrictions on buggies or trollies, Bude Golf Club can be played all year round, making it an ideal starting place for a winter golf holiday.
St Enodoc Golf Club
St Enodoc, also founded in 1891, really got going in 1907 when renowned golf course architect James Braid designed the course. Situated in Rock on the Camel Estuary and ranked the best course in Cornwall (11th in the UK), Braid returned in 1936 for an update and the layout has remained similar ever since.
Golfers are spoilt for choice at St Enodoc: the championship Church course, named after the 13th century St Enodoc Church found near to the 10th green, is by far the more challenging and you’ll need to prove your handicap to play. The slightly easier but still demanding Holywell course, named after the holy well found to the left of the 12th, is open to all.
Holesworthy Golf Club
Just over the border into Devon, 7 miles east of Bude is Holesworthy Golf Club. The 80-year-old club is just over 6000 yards long with a par of 70, set in rolling Devon parkland with views of Dartmoor from the 10th tee.
The fair and testing course is playable all year round with a decent mix of long and short holes, catering to golfers of all levels of experience.
For more information on golf and other activities nearby please contact our reception on 01288 389800, where one of our friendly team would be delighted to advise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Beach suites
Relax in the comfort of your own suite at The Beach at Bude. Completed in 2018, our two suites provide a little extra room to chill out after a day exploring the Bude area, making them perfect, but not exclusively for, families staying with children.
Both our suites have two bedrooms, which can be made up as doubles or twins; family-sized bathrooms and lounges. See below for further information on each suite, and what makes them amongst some of the most unique holiday accommodation in Bude.
The Suite provides ultimate hotel luxury. The modern bathroom features a large walk-in shower with a separate freestanding bathtub and glamorous marble wall tiles. The lounge houses a rich navy velvet corner sofa, designed to complement the coastal accessories and create a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere to sit and watch the wall-mounted TV.
Leading out from the lounge is a private terrace with outdoor furniture, which provides a space to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and sea air whilst being away from the general public on our main terrace at the front of the hotel.
The Retreat is the largest of the two new suites. It comes complete with a well appointed kitchen, diner and lounge – providing the maximum flexibility for your stay in Bude, with access to the hotel’s restaurant with delicious food prepared by our award-winning head chef Jamie Coleman, or the option to cook your own food back in your suite. Appliances include a fridge, washing machine and range cooker with gas hob; meaning you can choose whether you want the luxury of a fully serviced hotel stay or a more relaxed self-catering holiday.
Its clean, modern interiors have been designed to allow this suite to be dog-friendly. For more information on bringing your dog to the area, check out our blog post on a dog-friendly Bude.
Suites start from £175 bed and breakfast per night. For more information or to book call our reception on 01288 389800. Booking is also available online.
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.