An Easter Visit To Bude (Part 1)

I love sitting down to write these posts about our annual Easter visit to Bude and when I do I often wonder what I’m going to say.  After all, we go every year – what can I possibly talk about this time that’s new and interesting or different?  And then I look back over all the things we did and realise that within the comfort of the familiarity of the place and our traditions within it, every year IS different in some way.  Our Easter visit to Bude in April 2022 was no exception.



Travel day.

I still love the thrill of getting up even earlier than usual, whilst the moon still hangs in the sky and the rest of our town is still sleeping.  Of quietly bustling around packing last minute items whilst my husband locks all the windows and miraculously manages to fit all of our suitcases in the boot of the car, like a real-life, modern-day version of Tetris, every inch of space accounted for.  Waking up sleepy teens who drape themselves unceremoniously across the kitchen chairs, heads laid down on folded arms on the table, hoodies and blankets pulled around their shoulders as if it’s a soft armour protecting them from the impending daylight.  We leave at 6am on the dot.

Sunrise on the way to Bude

We made good time and were blessed with glorious weather as we reached our destination.  That’s another of my favourite parts – arriving. Parking up and everyone spilling out of the car one-by-one.  Stretching arms upwards to the impossibly blue sky, rubbing life back into stiff calf muscles that have been cramped in place amongst a haphazard myriad of backpacks and scooters for too many hours.  That first deep breath in where the air somehow feels different, tasting the salt, hearing the calls of the gulls swooping overhead, welcoming us.  It feels like home.

We always write our name and the date in the sand when we go on holiday – it’s become a tradition.

Empty beaches are the best!

Family shadow selfie

The weather was gorgeous when we arrived – such a great start to our trip

We took our usual ‘first day’ walk from Crooklets to Summerleaze, meandering along the beach beside the waterline instead of over the clifftops this time as the tides were in our favour.  We stopped to listen to a busker on the Wharf (I could have stayed for hours, his music was so beautiful), before getting some lunch at a cafe in town.

Walking up the canal towards the Wharf and then on into town for lunch

The busker we saw playing his ‘travelling piano’ on the Wharf. His music was beautiful – I could have listened for hours.

We always take our time over lunch, throwing around ideas for what we might like to do whilst we’re in Bude, letting an hour or two slip away as we wait for The Beach Haven to be made ready for us.  It feels like a home-from-home to us now (this was our tenth stay with them!) and we always appreciate the little touches Tim and Maria leave for us, like milk and juice in the fridge, freshly baked cakes & scones, plus some chocolate Easter treats for the girls.

A slow meander back along the beach, a quick food shop, and we were ready to settle in for the night.  I couldn’t resist running back down to the beach to catch the sunset though – I made it just in time and I’m so pleased I did as it was a beautiful one!

Sunset at Crooklets Beach on the first night



We tend to take things easy on our first ‘proper’ day.  No Easter visit to Bude is complete without a walk over the clifftops in the morning to say hello to the sea. It did wonders for completely blowing away the cobwebs & stress of the preceding few weeks and the views were as spectacular as always.  I will honestly never, ever get tired of walking this path.  I could do it every single day and not get bored.

I take this photo every single year without fail. I love seeing how much taller the girls all are with each passing year.

One of my most favourite views: Bude Sea Pool, Barrel Rock, the Pepperpot and Summerleaze Beach

I couldn’t resist capturing this line of surfers walking along the shoreline

Walking ‘over the top’ from Crooklets to Summerleaze

I will never, ever get bored of these views

Our afternoon mission was simply to go and get an ice cream to enjoy.  There are plenty of ice cream parlours to choose from in Bude, all equally as excellent as each other.  Our current favourite, purely for the colourful interior and always-friendly service, is Scoop.

Ice creams from ‘Scoop’ – our favourite place for an afternoon sweet treat




We don’t typically get to experience the Bude Food Festival as it usually takes place in September (I think).  However, having done my research into things for us to do during our trip, I discovered that this year it was happening during our Easter visit to Bude so we immediately added it to our plans for the day.  I’m so glad we did.

We woke up to rain pitter-pattering rhythmically on the windows of The Beach Haven.  Thankfully by 10am it had begrudgingly given way to spectacular blue skies and sunshine so we made our way down to the grounds of The Castle to explore the food festival.  An Easter visit to Bude can be a bit hit-and-miss weather-wise but this year we were incredibly lucky and this was the only tiny bit of rain we had during the whole of our time there.

Brightly-coloured stalls huddled together on the Castle lawn with people interspersed between them, mooching around chatting and laughing, shaking off umbrellas, sipping coffee and tasting the diverse array of wares on offer.

Bude Food Festival in full swing. There was such a variety of stalls – I’m so glad we got to go.

We filled our bags with a chilli & cheese foccacia bread and a ‘Devon stick’ that was enticingly soft; several interestingly-named and flavoured, locally produced cheeses (Sharpham Ticklemore and Wild Garlic Yarg were my two particular favourites); and three thick slabs of flapjack heavy with fruit.  I can never resist good flapjack.

The bread and cheese were for a rather special occasion the next day and the flapjack was to take home with us to enjoy after our Easter visit to Bude.  (I can confirm that every bite was utterly delicious and worth every penny).  Ella chose to try some Earl Grey tea (which smelled heavenly) and all three girls devoured the nutella-and-marshmallow filled crepes and lemon-and-blueberry cake we bought them as a mid-morning pick-me-up.

The view from behind the Castle, where the river and the canal meet the sea

Summerleaze sand dunes

We headed home to The Beach Haven for a late lunch before making our way back over the top and down into town in the afternoon for a competitive round of crazy golf.  We play every year without fail, it’s become a bit of a family holiday tradition – whether it’s an Easter visit to Bude or some other holiday destination, we find a crazy golf course wherever we go and have a match.  Now that the girls are getting older they’re getting better at beating Neil and there is usually a hole-in-one to celebrate with high-fives somewhere along the way now too.

I snuck back down to the beach after dinner to catch the sunset.  I didn’t quite make it in time – once it dips below the horizon it sinks pretty quickly!  The afterglow was pretty though.  I make it my mission every year to watch as many sunsets at the beach as I possibly can.

I truly think I could do this walk every single day and never get tired of it. Remind me why we don’t live here?

I missed the best part of the sunset but managed to catch the afterglow – it was just as pretty!



The halfway point of our holiday was rather special.  I have a family member, Lisa, who lives in the US and she was over in England for a visit during the exact dates we were in Bude.  Fortunately she was staying with more family who live just a couple of hours from where we were, so they all came over to visit for the day!  It had been four years since we were last all together and it was wonderful to see everyone.

It also happened to be Lisa’s 60th birthday, so I turned it into a bit of a celebration with balloons, a cake and a big birthday buffet for us all to tuck into.  We squeezed in a walk and a quick game of cricket on the beach and took some photos in the garden as well.  Mostly we just chatted and caught up on each other’s news.

Playing cricket on the beach is one of the girls favourite things to do. Having extra people to join in made it even more fun!

I absolutely LOVE this photo. Getting together with family I haven’t seen for years was a definite highlight of the trip for me.

Late afternoon, once we’d got back from playing cricket on the beach, Sophie and her boyfriend Jack arrived at The Beach Haven.  Sophie has holidayed with us several times before and this was Jack’s first visit.  They were joining us for the second half of our Easter visit to Bude after finishing off uni assignments and earning a well-deserved break.  The girls were pretty much at the point of spontaneously combusting with excitement by now, so we had a chilled out evening.  I managed to catch the sunset from the balcony above the bungalow.

Sunset from the balcony at The Beach Haven

This Easter visit to Bude was very much needed after a challenging start to the year.  I’ll share what we got up to during the second half of our trip in another post to follow within the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you’ve been inspired to book a family holiday to Bude (at any time of year!), have a look at these posts for ideas of things to do whilst you’re there:

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