A Guide to Bude

Located in the far north of Cornwall is the busy town of Bude, with a beachfront lined with colourful hotels and beach huts. Over recent years the town has become busier as more and more travellers discover what it has to offer. The town was voted ‘Best UK Coastal Town’ at the British Travel Awards in 2016 through to 18. With seven beaches to choose from in and around the town, numerous places to stay for holidaymakers of all budgets and a great food scene it’s not hard to see why.

In the summer months, the main beach in town is Summerleaze. With a large car park and only minutes from the town centre, this beach boasts not only a large wide sandy stretch for those who enjoy relaxing and taking in the Cornish sun, but also one of the few remaining sea pools in the UK. Filled by the tide each day the pool is free to use and open to the public. Colourful beach huts are dotted across both main beaches in town, adding to this lovely town's traditional British seaside feel.

For those who prefer a more active holiday, Bude provides easy access to the South West Coast Path which stretches over 630 miles along the coast of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. There are also numerous trails and walkways to discover as the town is surrounded by beautiful Cornish countryside.

Positioned on the Atlantic-facing north coast of Cornwall, Bude is a surfing hotspot. Whilst possibly not as renowned as other towns such as Newquay, the town attracts large amounts of surfers, rain or shine. Why not ‘dip your toe in’ with one of the many surfing schools or simply watch from afar.


If you like your food then your in luck with Bude’s substantial and varied selection of eateries. From fine dining at Potters to ‘Cornish sized’ tapas portions at the Bank and a myriad of other options to choose from in the hotels, cafés and local pubs. For a tasty modern Italian meal, head to Elements at The Beach. Temple provides those looking for a more varied and unusual selection of food; their constantly changing menus include inspiration from all around the world, always cooked to perfection.


Sandy beach or pebbles, isolated or in the centre of town….. take your pick with several to choose from all either in town or within a couple of miles. Below is a rundown of some of the best:

Summerleaze – the main beach in town. This has by far the biggest car park (although beware, this can fill very quickly on sunny days). The beach is sandy with some lovely sand dunes and includes the Bude Sea Pool for those of you who would prefer a swim without the waves. The Bude canal cuts alongside the beach and provides a perfect spot for crab fishing or possibly a relaxing pedalo ride along the wharf and towards the nature reserve.

Crooklets – Also in the town centre, this is also a sandy beach at low tide, but rocky at other times. The beach includes a number of rocky outcrops providing fabulous opportunities for rockpooling for the little ones (or big ones). A couple of nearby cafes make the beach convenient should you wish to grab a light lunch or a drink without too much of a walk. This beach also has a relatively large car park.

Widemouth Bay – is a couple of miles south of Bude. This beautiful long open beach is popular with families and surfers alike. It is also a perfect place to watch the sunset, and there are a couple of free car parking viewing areas nearby to do just that. However, you may prefer to do this from the comfort of the very popular Widemouth Bay Café whilst enjoying a steaming hot chocolate.

Sandymouth Beach – is just north of Bude and is owned and managed by the National Trust. This beautiful beach is accessed via quite a steep walk, and the rocks make a visit a little more challenging than other beaches in Bude, however, it’s worth it to soak up the scenery. The beach even has its own waterfall, as well as Sandymouth Café, toilets and surf hire is available. There is a National Trust car park here, or you could follow the coast path or even walk along the beaches leading up to Bude when the tide is at its lowest.

Nearby Attractions

As well as the watersports and a popular beach scene, Bude boasts a decent-sized heritage museum housed in ‘the castle’, the striking former home of the Victorian inventor Sir William Goldsworthy Gurney. Here you’ll find some great exhibits about the town, Sir William’s inventions, and the occasional art exhibition. It also has a pretty good café for a spot of lunch. Bude also boasts a bowling alley and small cinema should the English weather dampen your trip. Although there is plenty to do in and around the town, you may wish to pop in the car and take yourself to some of the local attractions that North Cornwall has to offer and Bude is a perfect base from which to do just that.

Why not pop to Tintagel, famous for its association with King Arthur? You may just see references to the legendary king in the shops and pubs. A visit to the castle (Managed by English Heritage) is a must, where you can really take in the rugged coastal scenery. A walk across the bridge to get to castle island isn’t for the faint-hearted, but well worth it.

The lovely town of Boscastle is about 15 miles south of Bude, where you will find a lovely harbour or for anyone up for a fright, why not check out the Museum of Witchcraft?

The picture-perfect village of Clovelly is a 30-minute drive. With its cobbled streets and pretty harbour it’s a big draw to tourists as long as you don’t mind the steep street.

If you’re a fan of Doc Martin, or of fabulous seafood, how about a trip to Port Isaac?


As you would expect from a large tourist town, there are many options for all types of travellers and all budgets.

Camping – there are a huge number of camping options around Bude. From Efford Down, Upper Lynstone pretty much in the town to the highly-rated Wooda a couple of miles out of town.

B&Bs and Hotels - The Beach is a Mr and Mrs Smith property with lovely views on the front deck watching the sun go down over the sea. The small village of Stratton a couple of miles outside of Bude, is a lovely place to base yourself if you’d prefer to stay out of the main town, check out Stratton Gardens for a homely welcome or alternatively stay in one of the many holiday-let cottages in and around Bude.

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