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".
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
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.
- again, except at high tide, a beautiful sandy beach interspersed
with many rock pools.
HAVEN - A delightful spot, with a sandy beach, surrounded
by stretches of down-land covered with golden gorse.
But there's more to Bude than just sea and sand.
You'll find superb sport facilities, a fascinating museum, 18-hole
golf course, bustling shopping centre and many fine restaurants.
And away from the pounding surf is the calm of Bude Canal, where
you can fish, canoe or simply stroll.
The folk of Bude know how to throw a party, too.
Each August the town taps its toes to the rhythms of the week-long
Bude Jazz Festival, with its international artists and New Orleans-style
street parades. Other festivities include carnivals, shows and
Xmas torchlight processions.
Each summer the town swings to the rooty tooty
rhythms of the famous Bude Jazz Festival, and then there's the
Cajun music festival, a spectacular carnival and Lifeboat day
If all this excitement gets too much, take time
off to explore Bude's past, on display in the museum housed in
the former canal smithy. Nearby stands a small castle built in
1830 by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, engineer and inventor of the steam
The Bude Canal Wharf Area
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
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.