The Beach Blog
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.
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.
UK staycations aren’t just enjoyed by humans. If you’re a dog owner then it is often hard to leave your four-legged friends at home.
Due to popular demand, we are pleased to provide our first dog-friendly accommodation offering in one of the newly-finished suites, with tiled flooring throughout making it perfect for clearing up sandy paw prints.
The Retreat benefits from two bedrooms which can both be made up as doubles or twins (perfect for families or a group of friends travelling together), a family sized bathroom and a large well appointed kitchen-diner and lounge.
Our terrace also welcomes dogs all year round, so even if you’re not staying with us in the hotel you can join us for a drink and bite to eat after your dog walk.
Bude boasts a variety of footpaths and trails perfect for dog walking. From the leisurely two-mile stretch of flat tarmac path along the Bude canal, to the rugged South West Coast Path connecting Bude to nearby beaches such as Crackington Haven to the south and Marsland Mouth to the north. For culture seekers wanting to find out a little more about Bude’s history, the four-mile circular town trail is also a nice route to be accompanied by your dog.
With so many beaches in the Bude area, it’s always useful to know when and where dogs are allowed at certain times of the year. Sandymouth, Northcott Mouth and Black Rock beaches are dog-friendly all year round with no restrictions. The only restriction on Summerleaze Beach is that dogs must be on leads between 21 May and 30 September. Finally, Widemouth Bay and Crooklets Beach only allows dogs on the beach between 1 October and 31 March.
Book your next stay at The Beach at Bude online, or call our reservation team on 01288 389800 to discuss your requirements.
Bude Christmas Day swim
The main event in the Bude Christmas calendar is the annual Christmas Day swim.
Hosted by Bude Surf Life Saving Club, over 500 people brave the icy cold waters to take part each year in the ‘no wetsuits’ swim, which has been running for around 35 years to raise money in memory of former member Mike Moyle.
Taking place at Crooklets beach, crowds of swimmers plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on the north Cornish coast – whatever the weather. Many spectators come to join in the festivities, supporting the adventurous (and some may say mad) participants with cheers of encouragement and warming towels to welcome them out of the water.
Hot chocolates and refreshments are supplied after the event which creates a lovely community atmosphere where swimmers and spectators come together to share Christmas wishes and photo opportunities.
If you want to take part in this year’s swim then visit the SLSC website for a registration form – or if spectating is more your style then head to the shoreline for an 11am start on Christmas morning.
Interior focus: Lloyd Loom chairs
When staying at The Beach at Bude, guests are welcomed into a relaxed New England seaside style decor. Whether returning from a surf, beach walk or a paddle down the Bude canal in a kayak, we understand the need for a calming atmosphere which is reflected in our interiors.
A signature feature throughout the bedrooms and suites at The Beach are the stylish and comfortable Lloyd Loom chairs. Whether sat in front of a window facing the sea view stretching across Summerleaze beach, or tucked in under a dressing table providing comfort whilst getting ready for an indulgent evening of cocktails and dinner downstairs in our bar and restaurant, the statement pieces are perfectly positioned with guests enjoyment in mind.
The name ‘Lloyd Loom’ was given to the woven fabric which makes the design so iconic. The smooth, durable pieces are designed to last for generations, a quality of the household name which has become somewhat of a collectors item. The chairs, which The Beach hand-pick from the Lloyd Loom collection, are chosen to compliment the white walls, natural wood furniture and luxury linens, creating a simple beachside retreat for guests to relax in.
“Our high-end interior finish has been designed with luxurious New England style furnishings which provide style and comfort for our guests. Our ethos is to present a space where they can relax and enjoy the magnificent sea views over Summerleaze beach,” commented owner of The Beach at Bude Susie Daniel, who carefully curates the interior design of the hotel.
Experience the style, comfort and luxury for yourself and book your next Cornish escape with us. Book online or call us on 01288 389800.
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.
A perfect bonfire night in Bude
The annual fireworks display in Bude is always a big family occasion. There’s something magical about the atmosphere created by fireworks, and to be able to experience bonfire night with the Bude community makes it even more special.
The excitement and build-up to the evening for children will have undoubtedly begun at school, with many enjoying the annual topic about the history of bonfire night, and the tale of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. But when it comes to organising a family outing for the evening, we’ve taken the stress away and planned the whole night for you:
5:30pm – “Remember, remember” to layer up, and make sure to grab any straw dummies of Guys Fawkes which some younger members of the family may have created for the bonfire later on.
6pm – Head to Bude Rugby Club, the home of Bude’s annual fireworks display for many years. If you have pets, make sure sure they are settled indoors before venturing out, as many animals don’t like the loud bangs of fireworks.
6:30pm – The bonfire is lit, here’s your cue to toss your Guy Fawkes replica into the flames.
7pm – It’s time for the main event! Eyes to the sky, and don’t forget the obligatory ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’.
7:30pm – If you haven’t already been persuaded by the children to pay a visit to the amazing sweet stall, then now’s the chance to top-up and take some home for the rest of the week.
8pm – Join us back at The Beach for hot chocolate, Baileys or maybe a spot of dinner. Our seasonal menu includes some delicious winter warmers which will help you thaw out after an evening of standing in the cold.
Seasonal local produce
We are extremely lucky to have such a variety of fresh, seasonal produce during autumn. From hearty root vegetables to leafy cabbages and crumble-worthy tart fruits, autumn’s harvest influences warming dishes that will help you make the transition from our long, hot summer into the colder months ahead.
Head chef Joe Simmonds has taken inspiration from Cornish produce that is at its best during autumn to create our new menus, with many dishes featuring some of our favourites below.
We caught up with Joe after a busy lunch shift so he could tell us about his thought process behind the new menus, and what he loves about autumnal produce:
What do you like about the ingredients at this time of year?
We start to move away from the lighter, more delicate foods that we use in the summer, but yet they’re still not too heavy. I love foraging in autumn, not only do you find the best fresh ingredients but it’s also a really fun activity to do. Being creative with food pairings is great as the seasons start to change (we think Joe’s starter of the cauliflower salad with apple is a delicious example of this).
Do you use local suppliers?
Yes, our west country suppliers are some of the best in the UK. Our wild mushrooms come from just across the boarder in Devon, but we’re very fortunate in Cornwall to be both close to the coastline for fresh seafood, and also be surrounded by glorious green fields full of vegetables and livestock.
If you had to pick, which would be your favourite dish from the new menu?
I think it would have to be the pan roasted haunch of venison. The flavours and textures of the dish are really earthy, and it combines some of my favourite autumnal ingredients, red cabbage and wild mushrooms, in a variety of different forms.
JOE’S TOP FIVE SEASONAL INGREDIENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR AT THIS TIME OF YEAR ARE:
- Cavolo nero
- Wild mushrooms
- Red cabbage
View our evening menu for more information, and call the team on 01288 389800 to book a table.
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.