A Cornish Getaway (part 1): The Beach Haven

I have been going to Bude in North Cornwall since I was a little girl.  My aunt and cousins live there, and every summer my Mum and I would trundle down the motorway in Mum’s ancient Renault 5 to stay for a week.  I spent many a happy hour playing in their enormous garden with them on their swings, sitting round the garden table as a family podding peas together, going for walks over the clifftops, playing crazy golf and building sandcastles on the beach… They truly are some of my happiest memories.

When I met my husband and we were still at the getting-to-know-each-other stage of our relationship, it transpires that he actually lived in Holsworthy (a short drive from Bude) for a couple of years when he was 6 or 7 years old, and that he and his family used to go to Cornwall on holiday even after they’d moved away from the area.

We did some maths, calculated some dates and figured out that we’d probably played next to each other on the beach as children!  I guess we’re meant to be, in every way 🙂

As our relationship progressed and we started talking about more long-term things, we said that if we ever had children we’d take them to Bude – we wanted them to experience the kind of holidays we did when we were little, to give them the happy memories that we had ourselves.

Our first trip was when I was pregnant with our eldest in 2006 – one of our last holidays as a twosome before our world got turned upside down with the arrival of a little one.  We used Bude as our base, staying with my aunt, and explored Lands End – somewhere I’d always wanted to go to but had never visited.  We went back to stay with her again just after the arrival of baby number 2 in 2008, and this time we did a day trip to Padstow.  After that circumstances and life got in the way – a third baby, job changes and financial struggles meant that we couldn’t really afford to go anywhere.

And so it wasn’t until May 2014, a month before our wedding, that we made it down there again, this time with the in-laws and Sophie.  We were staying about half an hour outside of Bude on a lovely farm that had accommodation with disabled access (my mother-in-law is in a wheelchair), and it felt so good to be back by the sea.  Without needing much discussion at all we decided to use some of the money our wedding guests had gifted us to go on ‘honeymoon’ (ie: with children!) in Bude just a couple of months after we married.

This time we chose to stay at a little place called The Beach Haven after I’d picked up a leaflet about it in a café on our previous trip.  We loved it there instantly, and knew we’d found our home-from-home.  We’ve been back every year since 🙂  This year was our third time staying there and we’ve varied the times of year we’ve been – summer, May half term and now Easter.

The Beach Haven is a bungalow situated in a quiet little cul-de-sac just a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from both the town centre, the supermarket and the beach – it really is perfectly located for a family like ours – close enough for the little ones (and teenagers!) to not get too tired, yet enough of a walk to blow away the cobwebs with sea air.

Tim Martindale (a professional photographer who’s stunning images are displayed on the walls throughout the bungalow as artwork) and his wife Maria, have paid exquisite attention to detail.  There’s always a cream tea and a homemade cake ready waiting for us (lemon drizzle cake this year, which was utterly delicious), milk and a bottle of wine ready waiting in the fridge and a handwritten note welcoming us for the week.  There are thoughtful touches throughout the bungalow – books for both grown-up guests and smaller ones to enjoy during their stay, an Easter tree, Easter activity pack and some Lindt chocolate bunnies for the girls, a vast collection of CDs and DVDs to take advantage of and this time there were even some fresh eggs from their own chickens!

If they’re not here to meet us in person on arrival, they check in with a quick text to make sure we’ve settled in ok.

The Beach Haven sleeps eight – two double rooms, a twin room and a bunk bed room.  Because there are six of us, we often struggle to find places to stay that accommodate all of us – the bungalow is ideal for larger families or for two families who want to holiday together.  They’re dog-friendly too if you have canine family members that you want to bring with you.  A family bathroom, a shower room/ensuite, a lounge/dining room complete with squishy reclining leather sofas, a very well-equipped kitchen and a lovely little garden complete the accommodation.  There is plenty of parking available as well.  It’s spotlessly clean (bar the occasional stray dog hair) and they only use Method cleaning products which aren’t tested on animals – it’s something I really like as an ethos.  There is even a selection of board games (Harry Potter Cluedo was a big hit for us this year!), a beach cricket set and two giant beanbags – a particular favourite of the girls.

As I said before, it really feels like a home-from-home for us and I have no doubt that we’ll keep going back year after year.





The Beach Haven – our home from home in Bude


Homemade scones and lemon cake ready waiting for us when we arrived



A chilled bottle of white and some Lindt chocolate bunnies for the girls – lovely personal touches like this make all the difference


A fully decorated Easter tree – cue much delight all round!


I love the beach-themed décor throughout the bungalow


Outside the twin bedroom window is this gorgeous little display that the girls love


Comfy beds, snuggly blankets and super-soft hotel quality towels


Books in the children’s bunk bed room



The lower level of the beautiful garden from outside the kitchen door


The upper level of the garden with it’s little seat perfect for curling up with a good book in the sunshine 🙂

I’d just like to say that no-one has asked me (or paid me!) to write this post – all images, thoughts, opinions and words are my own.  We genuinely love staying here (the girls are already talking about next years trip!) and although part of me wants to keep it as our little secret, another part of me wants to shout about how great it is so that everyone gets to know about it and can enjoy staying here.  If you’re thinking of heading to Cornwall for a break I can thoroughly recommend you give The Beach Haven a call – it’s the perfect place to base yourself to explore this beautiful part of England and have plenty of adventures while you’re here.

We had a wonderful time in Bude and even though weather was a bit mixed (nothing we didn’t expect or prepare for – April showers, glorious sunshine, chilly winds etc) we did so many fun things.  Even the teenager, who is normally buried in her phone, barely touched it the whole holiday.  I’ll tell you all about what we got up to in another post… 😉

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  • Reply April 12, 2016

    Katie @mummydaddyme

    It looks like such a lovely place. I absolutely love Cornwall. x

    • Reply April 12, 2016

      Chloe Ridgway

      It is a really lovely place to stay – it’d be perfect for you and your family once the littlest one arrives! I’ve not really explored much of the UK and there are so many places I want to see, but I keep being pulled back to Cornwall – we love it here.

  • […] A Cornish Getaway (part 1): The Beach Haven […]

  • Reply April 26, 2016

    Tim Martindale

    Thanks so much for your lovely review and we’ve also thoroughly enjoyed your other blog posts too. I’ve just done a short blog post myself with links to your three Bude articles. We look forward to seeing you again next year 🙂

    • Reply April 30, 2016

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you for sharing my blogs Tim! We can’t wait to come back and visit next year – as far as we’re concerned it can’t come round quickly enough 🙂

  • Reply December 30, 2017


    Hi Chloe, thanks for the great travel tips, the reviews, and the hints, including Bude in North Cornwall.

    Pictures are really excellent also.

    It certainly helps when we can read a blog such as yours, and be guided by it. Many adventures to be had by all.

    Cheers Sharon…
    Sharon recently posted…Best Beach Towels – Do you like absorbent & oversized? You’ll love theseMy Profile

    • Reply January 3, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks for your kind words Sharon!

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