Back in Beautiful Bude (Part 1)

Every year we visit Bude in North Cornwall for a week-long family holiday.  I’ve written before about how both my husband and I spent a lot of time there as children and how we’re now passing on the tradition with our girls by returning to the same place and making plenty of new memories together – we love it there so much and it feels right that we’re bringing things full circle with them.

We’ve visited during May half term and in the summer holidays before and this most recent trip marked the second time we’ve been back in beautiful Bude at Easter.  Spring is such a pretty time of year in Cornwall.  It seems to be slightly ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of flowers beginning to bloom in the woodland and on the clifftops and the leaves starting to uncurl on the trees.  The weather is, of course, temperamental, as it is whenever you opt to holiday at home – last year we arrived to torrential rain!  I was checking the weather obsessively in the days leading up to our holiday, keeping everything crossed in the hope that we might get at least a little bit of sunshine.  My hopes were fulfilled as we didn’t have a single drop of rain while we were there – not one!  The first half of the week was gloriously warm and sunny and it almost felt like summer at some points.  The last few days had a few more clouds mixed in with the blue skies and it was definitely a bit more chilly but it really didn’t matter – we always make the most of our time whatever the weather.

This little mini-series of blogs is to document our time there and all the things we did together, and also hopefully it will serve to inspire you to take a trip down there and visit this wonderful little corner of our country for yourself.  Here’s what we got up to in the first couple of days…


We always leave our house as early as possible in the morning – partly to beat the traffic and avoid any delays on the motorways and also partly to make the most of our first day of the holiday.  We can’t check in to our accommodation – The Beach Haven – until mid afternoon but it seems such a waste to spend the best part of the day travelling when we’d rather be exploring that we get going as soon as we can.

So at 6am we all bundled into the car, sleepy-eyed, messy-haired and surrounded by suitcases.  One of the best things about leaving early is getting to watch the sunrise.  This was a particularly spectacular one as there was a lot of low-lying fog covering the ground so it gave an ethereal atmosphere.  We made a quick stop at the halfway point at Bristol for a wee-and-coffee break and were back on the road again by 8.30am.

The beautiful sunrise we were lucky enough to see

Me and him 😉

Traditional family selfie of us all bundled in the car ready to start our road trip!

We made good time and arrived in Bude at 10.30am to clear blue skies, warm sunshine and that unmistakeably wonderful smell of the sea.  We headed straight for Crooklets Beach, parking in our usual spot.  Within minutes we were on the beach, sinking our toes into the sand, skipping stones across the stream and racing down to the sea.  The sun was warm even though it was still relatively early in the day and so it wasn’t long before hoodies were discarded and leggings were rolled up so that paddling and wave-jumping could commence.  We stayed for ages, the girls running in and out of the water (which was most definitely not warm!), shrieking with delight.  I love watching them doing this – completely immersed in the moment, having fun, just being kids.  It makes my heart happy.

We had to make a brief return to the car for a quick costume change – some of the waves were a little bigger than anticipated and so Mimi and Lola got completely soaked as you can see in the photos – before walking ‘over the top’, the route across the cliffs from Crooklets Beach to Summerleaze Beach and down into the town centre.

Skipping stones

Colourful beach huts at Crooklets Beach

Jumping for joy to be back in our happy place 🙂

I love this photo of my little tribe walking down to the sea. The beach was almost deserted and it was such a beautiful day – this is one of those moments that will stay forever etched in my memory.

Paddling in the sea

I love this shot of Mimi running from the waves

This is one of my favourite photos of Sophie ever – she looks so relaxed and happy here, a real natural beauty.


Ella taking in the vastness of the view in front of her. There’s something about seeing the ocean stretching out infinitely in front of you that puts a lot of things into perspective I think.

Holding hands 🙂

My handsome husband 🙂

Beach hair, don’t care

View of Summerleaze Beach and Bude Sea Pool from ‘over the top’

Admiring the view

By this point it was lunchtime, so we opted for fish and chips followed by a wander around the shops and an ice cream from our favourite ice cream parlour.   It’s a bit of a tradition that we have an ice cream every day when we’re on holiday, so we figured we’d get started right away 🙂  We stopped for a quick cup of tea with my aunt, who lives in Bude, and then headed over to The Beach Haven to get settled in.  It felt so good to be back in our home-from-home – within minutes the girls had claimed their beds and were chasing each other around the garden before flopping onto the beanbags in the bunk-bed room to read.  We really do relax the minute we walk inside.  I made a little house tour video which you can see over on my Youtube Channel if you fancy a little look behind the scenes.

Fish and chips for lunch – it’d be rude not to when you’re by the sea!

Pretending to be penguins by my favourite street-art, hidden away down a tiny alleyway. Ella was so embarrassed bless her – look at her face!

Ice cream in the sunshine

Chocolate. Always chocolate.


We awoke to another beautiful day and, even though we’d been in the car for four hours yesterday, we decided to make the most of the weather by heading off on a day trip to The Lost Gardens of Heligan.  It took us about an hour and a half to get there from Bude – it’s down on the south coast of Cornwall just past St. Austell – and it was well worth the journey.  The views as we got closer to our destination were absolutely stunning.

Whenever we stay in Bude we make sure we visit our traditional places and do our favourite things but I also like to make sure that we explore somewhere new and try something different each time too.  Last year we visited The Eden Project, which was a full-on day of learning and fun, and we also did the Bude Treasure Trail which we all enjoyed so much that we said we’d definitely do another one in a different town next time.  I’ve been wanting to go to The Lost Gardens of Heligan for years so this was a bit of a treat for me.  I’ve popped a few photos below but there was so much to see and do there, and I took so many photos that I’ll be writing a separate detailed and dedicated post just about the Lost Gardens in a few days time.

When we finally arrived back home to The Beach Haven we were rewarded with an absolutely spectacular sunset – the perfect end to the first weekend of our holiday 🙂

The Giant’s Head

The Mud Maid

Crossing the Burma Rope Bridge in The Jungle section at Heligan

A spectacular sunset, viewed from the garden at The Beach Haven

(Please note: No-one has asked or paid me to write this post or include these links.  All thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and images are my own)

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  • Reply April 22, 2017

    Bev Tree

    Glad you love the little gem that is Bude.
    I live in Holsworthy but spend most of my free time there. The beaches are the best by miles and all your cares disappear when you walk on them. The town is still full of individual shops.
    I feel so lucky to live close by.

    • Reply April 23, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks for your comment Bev. My husband lived in Holsworthy as a child so both places are familiar to us. I completely agree with you hen you say all your cares disappear when you walk on the beach – there’s definitely something magical about being by the sea 🙂

  • Reply April 23, 2017

    Anne Blackford

    I have been going to Bude/ Widemouth since i was 10yrs old i am now 33. I have never missed a year. My dad owned a camper van so that was our accomadation year after year. I now have 3 children of my own and my eldest is 9yrs old and we have not missed a year since she was born. I have kept on the family tradition of going every year and sharing my childhood memories with my children. Just need to get myself a camper van so we can experience it the way i did as a child : ) Cornwall is my second home and will always be my favourite place that i can go back to time and time again.

    • Reply April 25, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Oh Anne thank you for sharing that with me! I hope you get your camper van and that you make many wonderful trips and create many magical memories in it 🙂

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