Our Top Ten Things To Do In Bude (Part 2)

A little while ago I published Part One of ‘Our Top Ten things To Do In Bude’, promising that Part Two would follow in a couple of days time.  Those couple of days have ended up turning into a couple of weeks – the summer holidays have been busier than I expected them to be so far and as I started putting the post together I realised how much more I still had to say about how awesome Bude is, so it’s taken me a little longer to write than I anticipated!  Apologies for that – I hope it’s worth the wait 🙂

In Part One I talked about walking over the top; searching for shipwrecks; crazy golf; the best place to get ice cream; and treasure trails.  This post covers even more of Bude’s hidden gems, so, without further ado…

6. EXPLORE BARREL ROCK AND THE PEPPERPOT

On the southern side of Summerleaze Beach is the Breakwater, a structure designed and built in the mid 1800’s to protect Bude Canal and the Sea Lock a little further up the beach.  It stretches out towards a series of jagged rocks which defiantly jut out into the ocean, creating spectacular displays of sea spray as the waves break over them.  The Breakwater itself is safe enough to walk along and it offers impressive views across Summerleaze Beach back towards Bude Sea Pool and the town itself.  We love to walk along it all the way out to Barrel Rock right at the end.  There is usually more than a little bit of rock-scrambling and feet-getting-wet-in-unexpectedly-deep-rock-pools involved, but if you’ve got a sense of adventure it’s well worth the effort.  Our girls occasionally need a little bit of a helping hand from time to time up the steeper, more uneven areas, and they’re always really proud of themselves when they make it all the way out to the end where there’s nothing between them and the ocean.

Once we’re back where we started on the Breakwater, we sometimes head up the grassy headland of Compass Point – at the very top is Bude Storm Tower, known locally as The Pepperpot.   It was originally built as a shelter for the coastguard and it has the points of the compass engraved around it’s upper circumference.  The views back across the town and it’s glorious beaches are even more special from this high up (and it’s super-fun rolling and cartwheeling back down the hill!)

Walking along the Breakwater earlier on this year

A little bit of rock scrambling is required as you approach Barrel Rock

Bude Storm Tower (‘The Pepperpot’) at Compass Point

The view from the Storm Tower back down towards Summerleaaze Beach and Bude Sea Pool, with the main town just out of shot off to the right of the photo

 

7.  WATCH THE SUNSET

Even though Bude is on the northern coast of Cornwall, it has a unique position in that it actually faces west (confusing I know but if you check a map you’ll see what I mean).  This means that you get the most INCREDIBLE sunsets over the ocean.  I love sunrises and sunsets – there is something magical about seeing the dawn and close of a day.  I make sure that watching the sunset is something we do together as a family every year when we visit.  I remember the very first time the girls saw the sunset over the ocean – they were in utter awe at how beautiful it was.  We have two favourite places to watch the sunset in Bude (though I’m sure here are probably plenty of others too).

On the very rare occasion that we’ve had someone to look after the girls for us for an evening, the husband and I take the opportunity to sneak off for a walk ‘over the top’ (see Part One) and watch the sunset from the clifftops between Crooklets and Summerleaze beaches.  Neither of us are particularly romantic, but walking hand in hand and quietly taking in the view is a pretty special memory for me.

The other best place we’ve found for perfect sunset viewing is from our favourite restaurant – The Bay View Inn at Widemouth Bay.  It’s a great place to go with kids as there’s an outdoor adventure playground and fantastic food.  The girls request dinner there every time we visit Bude and we make sure we time our reservation (it’s essential to book in advance – it gets busy!) so we can watch the sunset afterwards.

Sunset from the clifftops between Crooklets and Summerleaze beaches

The sunset from The Bay View Inn at Widemouth Bay

 

8.  GO FOR A DAY TRIP

Bude is an excellent gateway for exploring further into Cornwall and so each year we make sure we have a ‘big day out’ and visit somewhere new on a little mini road trip.  There are sooooo many cool places to visit – we’ve been to a different place every year and we still have a big list of other towns and attractions we haven’t explored yet.  Our favourites so far have been as follows:

The Gnome Reserve:  about half an hour (ish – we got a bit lost trying to find it!) from Bude, near Bradworthy in Devon, is a quirky little place that is home to hundreds of gnomes, fairies and pixies.  It’s compulsory to wear gnome hats when you visit (cheesy photos galore!) and I definitely recommend having a chat with the woman who runs the place.

The girls, my husband and the in-laws at The Gnome Reserve in May 2014 – look how little the girls were!

 

Tintagel:  the legend of King Arthur, Merlin’s Cave, hundreds of steps and the most amazing views of the coastline.  Definitely pay a visit to this magical place.

Tintagel in August 2014, on the beach outside Merlin’s Cave

The spectacular coastline from the clifftops at Tintagel – the girls were all three years younger than they are now and coped impressively well with the hundreds of stairs they had to climb

Tintagel really was quite magical – I’d love to visit again now the girls are older and can understand the history behind it a little bit more.

 

Boscastle:  I really loved Boscastle – more than I was expecting to.  The Museum of Witchcraft was fascinating in so may ways and the walk to Pentargon Waterfall is beautiful. 

Boscastle in September 2015

We went on a walk to see Pentargon Waterfall – this was one of the views on route out of Boscastle Harbour.

 

The Eden Project:  a must visit.  It’s about an hour and a half away from Bude, but you’ll spend the whole day there as thee is so much to see and do and explore.  We used Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for our entry fees.  If you want to know more I wrote this post all about it when we visited last year.

The Eden Project, April 2016

 

The Lost Gardens Of Heligan:  a little bit further south than the Eden Project but well worth the extra time in the car.  I had high hopes of Heligan – I’d been looking forward to visiting for such a long time and it more than met my expectations.  It’s beautiful there, and the Burma Rope Bridge was the highlight for me.  You can find out more in this post I wrote after we visited at Easter.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, April 2017 – somewhere that has been on my wish-list of places to visit for a long time and it certainly lived up to my expectations

 

Hidden Valley Discovery Park:  near Launceston, about half an hour away from Bude.  A really fun day out full of puzzles and missions to complete – if you’ve got slightly older kids (7+) they’ll really enjoy it.  I wrote this post about it after our visit earlier on this year.

Hidden Valley Discovery Centre, April 2017 – only about half an hour from Bude near Launceston.  An absolutely brilliant day out!

 

9.  WALK DOWN THE CANAL

Something that has become a bit of a tradition whenever we visit Bude is to go for a walk along the canal with my Aunt and cousin, who both live in Bude.  I love having the opportunity to catch up with them and have a good natter and the girls love to take their scooters, watch the kayakers and peddalo riders, and see what wildlife they can spot along the way.  We start at the Tourist Information Office and end up at The Weir Café and Bistro, which has excellent ice cream, an awesome adventure playground for big and little kids, a good selection of lunchtime and evening meals, coffee and cake and lovely views across the lake where you might spot a heron or two.  These photos are a selection from our last few years of visiting (hence the different outfits!)

The Weir Café and adventure playground, nestled on the banks of the lake

10.  EXPLORE THE BEACHES

Last, but by no means least, how could I create a top ten list without including time at the beach?!  As I’ve mentioned before, Crooklets is our favourite beach (mainly because it’s the closest to where we stay), with Summerleaze coming in a close second.  There are many others in and around Bude to explore as well.  Widemouth Bay is just three miles or so away – I have many fond childhood memories of building sandcastles, bodyboarding, and eating sandwiches behind the windbreak there.  I’ve also heard good things about how beautiful and secluded Sandymouth and Duckpool are, though we’ve not visited them personally yet.

We visit the beach whatever the weather and go rockpooling, play ‘catch’, hunt for shells, build sandcastles, jump over the waves and play beach cricket – there’s always something to do.  These photos are a selection of my favourites from the past few years.

 

There are plenty of rainy day activities in Bude as well, so if you do get a day or two of less-good weather you can still keep busy.  There’s bowling, a soft play for little ones, swimming, funky little shops to look around (we like Spencer Thorn bookshop and WildWood), The Rebel Cinema… and if you’re staying somewhere ace like The Beach Haven (which is where we stay) there will be an extensive library of CDs to listen to, DVDs to watch and board games to play as well.  Or you could just go to the beach anyway!

Writing all of these tips has made me desperate to be back in Bude – I feel a bit sad that we have to wait until May for our next visit  as that feels like forever away.  Looking back at all of these photos – a mix from our last four years of visits – is making me feel more than a little bit nostalgic.  Our girls look so small in some of them!  Magical memories get made whenever we visit this wonderful place and I know we’ll keep coming back year after year because even if we do everything on this top ten list every year there are always new things to discover.  Still on our list of places to explore are St Ives, Port Isaac, Padstow, and St Michael’s Mount.  We also want to head east into Devon to visit Lydford Gorge, Ilfracombe/Woolacombe, Croyde, and Saunton Sands.  We want to hire a peddalo on the canal, watch a film at The Rebel, visit some beaches we haven’t been to yet and so much more.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these lists as much as I have enjoyed writing them.  I’d love to know if you do any of the things I’ve suggested and what you thought of them.  And if you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or want a bit more detail, please do feel free to leave a comment below or email me at hello@picturetakermemorymaker.co.uk – I’d love to hear from you!

Please note:  no one has asked or paid me to write this post.  All thought, ideas, opinions, feelings, words and images are my own.

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18 Comments

  • Reply August 5, 2017

    Jo

    Thanks so much for this Chloe, we’re off to Bude for the third year running next week and can’t wait to explore some of the things you mention in your posts.

    • Reply August 6, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Hi Jo and thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found my posts so helpful. I hope you have a wonderful time while you’re in Bude – do let me know which things you try out and what you enjoyed the most!

  • Reply August 5, 2017

    Lisa

    I LOVE bude! My dad moved there a couple of years ago, so we visit as often as we can now! Sandymouth and port Issac are absolute must visits! The cafe at the top of the walk down to the beach does get pretty busy so worth eating earlier or bringing a packed lunch!
    Port Issac is just breathtaking! The beach is a great spot for getting your toes sandy, and of the tide is out the rock pooling along the harbour wall if excellent (if a little sloppy due to the seaweed!) A Cornish pasty is an absolute must for lunch – just watch out for the seagulls who will think nothing of grabbing it right out of your hands! You can walk up to ‘doc martin’s’ house and if you’re feeling fit, the walk right upto the top of the hill gives just mesmerising views – the colour of the water in the summertime has to be seen to be believed!
    The drive back towards bude is pretty too – in the summer there are just so many enormous hydrangea bushes – the big blue ones are my absolute favourite!

    • Reply August 6, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you so much for your comment Lisa, and all of your tips about Port Isaac -it’s definitely going on our list to visit next year! How wonderful that you get to visit Bude regularly to spend time with your Dad.

  • Reply August 6, 2017

    Jenny

    Oh these are amazing adventures just waiting to be had by all. Lovely snaps. Look how little the girls are in these snaps. TOO CUTE. Love looking back at photos of our adventures somewhere each year. #wrc
    Jenny recently posted…Next School Uniforms with my Little VolunteersMy Profile

    • Reply August 6, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Jenny – I can’t believe how little my girls look in some of these photos!

  • Reply August 6, 2017

    Mandy Bell

    We love Bude and visit every year, hoping to relocate there in the coming years.
    We are coming down next week and have been trying to contact the tiding school at broomehill manor although have had no reply.
    Do you know if the riding school is still in operation or of any others we can try?

    • Reply August 6, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Hi Mandy, thank you for your comment. How wonderful that you might be re-locating to Bude! I’m afraid I don’t know if the riding school you mention is still in operation. The best people to contact would be the Tourist Information Centre. The website is here: https://www.visitbude.info/discover/tourist-information-centre/ and there should be a contact phone number you can call if the website itself doesn’t give you the information you need. I hope that helps!

  • Reply August 6, 2017

    Kerry

    How beautiful was that sunset. Bude is on my list of places I would love to visit. When I finally get there, I will have to remember to have look back at your posts so I know where to visit xxx
    Kerry recently posted…Life Lately …My Profile

    • Reply August 6, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      You and your kiddos will have the best time in Bude! Feel free to ask me anything you might want to know when you do decide to go for a visit x

  • It’s so easy to take our beautiful little island for granted and forget how amazing it is. This post has really reminded me how much I love our country and how truly beautiful it can be. Those sunset images and spectacular!! Looks like you had a great time xx
    Heledd – Running in Lavender recently posted…No Blow Dry NecessaryMy Profile

    • Reply September 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      I completely agree with you Heledd – it’s so easy to lust after all these exotic locations when actually, we’ve pretty much got paradise right on our doorstep.

  • Reply August 9, 2017

    Morgana

    This is such a fantastic post and so helpful but it makes me miss Cornwall so very much! We normally try to get back down there in the summer but won’t be able to make it this year. I’m hoping we can squeeze in a visit in October half term. xx
    Morgana recently posted…Summer holiday essentials wish listMy Profile

    • Reply September 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Morgana! I really hope you make it down to Cornwall in October. We’re not there until next year now and I already miss it!

  • Reply August 9, 2017

    Jo - Not a Frumpy Mum

    Wow, that sunset is absolutely stunning, I’m desperate to take the family there but I think we may wait until the baby is a little older before we attempt the long drive. How cute is the gnome reserve?

    • Reply September 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      The Gnome Reserve is so much fun! How old is your little one? I’d say go for it anyway! We’ve been going ever since our littlest was tiny.

  • It’s such a beautiful part of the world! I’ve never made it down, but would absolutely love to!
    Pamela – Life With Munchers recently posted…Back To School Tips & Giveaway With HaliborangeMy Profile

    • Reply September 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Oh Pamela you must, you must, you MUST! Mind you, you’ve got the gorgeous Scottish scenery to explore – somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time.

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