Bude in North Cornwall - Holidays in Bude Tourism Guide


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ThBude sea water swimming Pool - Summerleaze beach

Bude's seawater swimming pool - Summerleaze Beach

"The long, wave and the thundering shores of Bude"

as Tennyson expressed in his poem The Birth of King Arthur, have long made Bude a surfer's paradise.

The Atlantic-pounded beaches of both Summerleaze and Crooklets have been described by Australian surfers as the "Bondi of Britain" and it was here in 1953 that some of them formed the first Surf Life Saving Club in the country. The Club still thrives and weekly demonstrations give an insight to its valuable role.


Holiday Accommodation
in the Bude Area




The popularity of Bude as a seaside resort dates from Victorian timesBude has managed to retain its atmosphere of easy going charm whilst catering for the most discerning of modern day tourists.

The town overlooks a wide bay of hard golden sand flanked by spectacular cliffs and protected by a breakwater. There is a seawater swimming pool under Summerleaze Downs which means safety for swimmers even at low tide. Bude's Sea pool is approximately 290 feet long by 140 feet wide with a walkway around the edge.

Two excellent lifeguard patrolled beaches - Crooklets and Summerleaze - have extensive flat sands when the tide is out and are perfect for beach lovers of all ages. As well as the seawater pool, Bude now also boasts a large heated indoor leisure pool with flume, wave machine and cafe. Laser dome, trampolines, putting, floodlit tennis courts, mini-golf and go-karting close to the beaches all add to the family fun.

In the 19th Century it was notorious for its wreckers, who plundered the ships that came to grief off the coast - more than 80 between 1824 and 1874.

In 1823 the Bude Canal was constructed to carry beach sand - used as a fertiliser - 20 miles inland to Launceston and for exporting Local produce. It was this waterway that brought development to the town. The canal is now used for pleasure-boating and fishing.

The Castle, a castellated stone mansion standing on a grassy knoll overlooking Summerleaze Beach, was built in 1830 by the inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, the first man to make a long journey in a mechanical vehicle - a steam carriage - from London to Bath and back. The building now houses the Town Council's offices: with the delightful grounds used for band concerts and fetes held throughout the summer help.

Sandymouth Surf School
Tel: 07870472448
'Sandymouth Surf School operates safe and fun surfing lessons on one of Cornwall's best surfing beaches. Whatever the weather, group size, age or ability Sandymouth Surf School will provide you with the tuition and equipment that you will need to get riding the ocean waves'

The town itself offers a wide range of amenities for the holiday maker and a visit to the splendid new Visitor Centre in the Crescent car park would be an excellent placed to start. Alongside an extensive display by the North Cornwall Heritage Coast and Countryside Service, and a children's area, a full range of tourist information is available and the staff will be pleased to help you plan your holiday - whatever the weather.

Bude offers Summer theatrical shows, concerts, regular dances, discos, numerous fetes and events, many with an historical theme, specially staged for visitors. Attractions include a weekly Cornish Furry Dance, full scale Carnival Week, Folk and of course the internationally renowned 8 day Jazz Festival. In fact something for everyone!


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Boats on the beach in front of Budes Lock
Millenium Monument
Fishing nets in Bude
Bridge from the Bude canal to Summerleaze Beach
The Breakwater in Bude North Cornwall
View from the Breakwater in Bude

Several years ago the phrase "the liveliest peace of Cornwall" was coined to describe the pleasure of Bude and its environment, and despite the fact that it has now become the centre for several Festivals, little has changed to alter this claim. The natural beauty of the surrounding countryside and rugged coastline have been carefully preserved. Crisp, clean sands, great Atlantic surfing rollers, a high rate of sunshine and walks with magnificent views of Bude Bay, are there for the visitors' enjoyment and always will be. The choice is yours: whether to soak up the excitement and atmosphere of one of the Festivals, or to just soak up the peace and sheer beauty of the environment, whether to participate in the many and varied activities or to relax totally in a town renowned for its helpful friendliness. One word of warning though - we have it on good authority that one visit to Bude is rarely enough - many visitors return again and again to experience this "the loveliest peace of Cornwall".

STRATTON, the parent town of Bude, probably dates back to Roman times, but it was as the stronghold of King Charles and the Royalists that it made its mark in history. During the Civil War the 7'4" Cornish giant, Anthony Payne, was enlisted as a bodyguard to the Royalist Sir Bevil Grenville. He fought beside Sir Bevil, Who commanded the King's army in the victorious battle at nearby Stamford Hill in 1643. Payne lived and died in the Grenville manor house at Stratton - now the Tree Inn. It is said that, when the giant died, the house had to be restructured to allow his huge coffin to be carried in and out. Many of the very fine churches of Cornwall still bear the Royal Crest decreed by the King in gratitude to his loyal Cornishmen during the Civil War.


South West Water has completed the first "Clean Sweep" programme in Bude to guarantee clean bathing water on Bude's beaches. Water quality testing takes place on a regular basis and results are consistently amongst the best in the country. Please note there are restrictions on taking dogs on certain beaches from April to October. Ask at Bude Visitor Centre for full details.

CROOKLETS AND SUMMERLEAZE are the two fine Bude beaches, of which mention has been made before. It is possible, at low tide, to walk to Summerleaze from Sandymouth, Northcott Mouth or Crooklets - please check on the tide times and make sure you won't be trapped against the cliffs by the incoming tide.

WIDEMOUTH BAY - the most easily accessible and largest of the beaches, lying adjacent to the coast road. Black Rock stands proud of the rest of the rocks on the beach which create a large number of interesting rock pools.

Widemouth bay - Cornwall Online

DUCKPOOL - a delightful little cove at the end of Coombe Valley. SANDYMOUTH - except at high tide this is a magnificent stretch of firm golden sand, with many rock pools, reached by driving down a winding country lane. The car park and cafe are run by the National Trust.

NORTHCOTT MOUTH - again, except at high tide, a beautiful sandy beach interspersed with many rock pools.

CRACKINGTON HAVEN - A delightful spot, with a sandy beach, surrounded by stretches of down-land covered with golden gorse



POUGHILL is a picturesque village just one mile Northeast of Bude and winner of the Best Kept Village award on a number of occasions.

WIDEMOUTH BAY just south of Bude, lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Cornish coast.

LAUNCELLS is set in a secluded valley three miles east of Bude; it is away from everywhere, charming in its loveliness among the fields.

MARHAMCHURCH lies on the disused canal just 1.5 miles south-east of Bude.

Bude - Cornwall Online

MORWENSTOW like Marhamchurch, has a church dedicated to St. Morwenna. Standing high above the sea, about 7 miles north of Bude, the church is very impressive with much remaining of the original Norman building including the south doorway and the font.

KILKHAMPTON about 4 miles from Bude, stands 600 feet above the se and three miles south of Morwenstow. It is a large attractive village in the heart of "Grenville country."

WEEK ST. MARY is a quiet village about seven miles south of Bude.

ST. GENNYS is a delightful little village perched 400 feet up on the cliff side just above Crackington Haven.

POUNDSTOCK three miles north-west of Week St. Mary, is the site of Penfound Manor, the oldest inhabited manor house in Britain.


Bude Canal looking towards the castle
The river in Bude
Bude Canal lock gates


The Bude Canal was built primarily to transport sea sand, rich in lime, to farms in North Cornwall & West Devon, where the soil was poor. Sea-going vessels using the sea lock with a depth of 15 feet on an average spring tide brought coastal cargoes of limestone coal and general merchandise. The lock is one of the last working sea locks in the country and well worth a visit.

HELEBRIDGE - The first part of the Bude Canal, from the sea locks to Helebridge, is a traditional barge lock canal, and is still navigable, although the lock gates at Rodds Bridge and Whalesborough have long since been replaced with concrete spillways. A level canalside walk, either to Helebridge and back, or travelling via Upton or Widemouth Bay, back to Bude, takes in not only the canal, but also the nature reserve, and a wide variety of differing wildlife habitat. At Helebridge itself, after crossing the A39, one can see the old wharf area, and the restored barge workshop, where the local council have set up a pleasant picnic area.

The Battle of Stratton
16th May 1643

At the beginning of our Civil Wars Cornwall stood firmly in Royalist hands, but the tables were turned when a large Roundhead army under the command of the Earl of Stamford launched itself across the Tamar to invade the county. Stamford barricaded himself on the hill near Stratton that now bears his name. He had 5,400 infantry, 200 horse, 13 cannon, and a great mortar. To face Stamford the Cornish leaders, Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir Bevil Grenville, had less than three thousand men. They nevertheless resolved that "come what may" they must assault the near impregnable enemy camp.

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Sunshine Holidays Bude - Sunrise & Sunset  Pets Allowed Sunshine Holidays Bude - Sunrise & Sunset
Tel: 07450 217771.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Kilkhampton Village nr Bude sleeps 4. - suitable for Large Groups, Flexible Changeover, Prices from £750 to £800 - onsite swimming pool - Pets Welcome

The Old Steam Laundry  Pets Allowed Parking Available The Old Steam Laundry
Tel: 07719565015.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude sleeps 8. Prices from £685 to £1525 Pets Welcome

Court Farm Holidays  Pets Allowed Parking Available Court Farm Holidays
Tel: 01288 361494. Quality in Tourism / Visit England 4 and 5 Star Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups, - onsite swimming pool - Pets Welcome

Churchtown Cottages  Pets Allowed Parking Available Churchtown Cottages
Tel: 07899950154.   Self-catering Holiday Cottage Rental in St Gennys nr. Crackington Haven with Sea Views- sleeps 6. Sat Changeover, Prices from £390 to £990 Pets Welcome

Hilton Farm Holiday Cottages  Pets Allowed Parking Available Hilton Farm Holiday Cottages
Tel: 01288 361521.   Self-catering Holiday Cottage Rental in Marhamchurch sleeps Over 10 people - onsite swimming pool - Pets Welcome

The Brendon Arms  Parking Available The Brendon Arms
Tel: 01288 354542.   En-Suite B&B Stays in Bude sleeps Over 10 people Prices from £42 to £105

Lower Northcott Holiday Cottages  Pets Allowed Parking Available Lower Northcott Holiday Cottages
Tel: 01288 361494. Quality in Tourism / Visit England 4 Stars Self-catering Holiday Cottage Rental in Bude with Sea Views- sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £1900 to £4600 - onsite swimming pool - Pets Welcome

Penleaze luxury self-catering holidays - (Farmhouse - Holiday Lodge - Beauty Salon)  Parking Available Penleaze luxury self-catering holidays - (Farmhouse - Holiday Lodge - Beauty Salon)
Tel: 07814488152.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Marhamchurch, near Bude with Sea Views- sleeps Over 10 people - suitable for Large Groups, Fri Changeover, Prices from £550 to £2290

Pendragon  Pets Allowed Parking Available Pendragon
Tel: 01959 569096.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude with Sea Views- sleeps Over 10 people Pets Welcome

Penstowe Holidays  Pets Allowed Parking Available Penstowe Holidays
  Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude sleeps 4. Pets Welcome

Old Lifeboat House  Parking Available Old Lifeboat House
Tel: 01288 354542.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude with Sea Views- sleeps 4. - suitable for Large Groups, Sat Changeover, Prices from £340 to £700

Mineshop  Pets Allowed Parking Available Mineshop
Tel: 01840 230103.   Self-catering Holiday Rental in Bude sleeps 6. - suitable for Large Groups, Prices from £300 to £800 Pets Welcome