In April 2022 we headed down to our happy place by the sea for our annual Easter visit to Bude in North Cornwall. You can read all about what we got up to in the first half of the week here. This post covers our adventures during the second half of the week, when we were joined by Sophie and her boyfriend.
We’d all been eagerly anticipating Sophie and Jack’s arrival at The Beach Haven yesterday afternoon. Waking up this morning with them here added a whole different energy and dynamic to our Easter visit to Bude. They stayed for the rest of our holiday and we wanted to make the most of their time with us as we don’t get to see them very often – they lead very busy lives with uni and work.
Jack has never been to Bude before so we spent the morning showing him around all of our favourite places: we started at Crooklets Beach, walked over the clifftops to Summerleaze Beach, mooched around the shops and then got a Cornish pasty for lunch from the best place in town – Pengenna Pasties. We’ve since discovered that they do ‘Pasties by Post’, which might just be an absolute game-changer!
I always try and find one new thing for us to do or one new place for us to visit each time we go to Bude. After eight years you’d think I’d be running out of options or ideas, but nope – I still have a long list! That’s why we love it here so much, even though we’ve been coming here for so long, there are still fresh things to discover.
An Easter visit to Bude was the perfect time for this year’s new excursion: a walk to Stamford Hill to explore the bluebell woods. My aunt and cousins affectionately call them the ‘zig-zag woods’ as the path through the bluebells winds back and forth. We followed this route, walking from The Beach Haven, up through Poughill, down country lanes, past inquisitive horses and across fields before stepping through a gateway into heaven. The scent of wild garlic hung in the air; shades of white, blue, purple and green carpeted the ground; and rays of golden sunlight filtered down through the trees. It was magical – I almost expected to see Cornish piskies playing hide and seek amongst the flowers.
We meandered slowly down the footpaths to the bottom of the trail, where we discovered some rope-swings to try out (cue lots of screaming!), streams to paddle in and fallen trees to clamber across. We spent ages there just playing before heading back the way we’d come. I think this walk might end up being added to our ‘things to do every year’ list because it really was beautiful there, and so much fun!
We ate dinner at Rosie’s, which is situated at Crooklets Beach, and then watched the sunset together from the water’s edge, skipping stones into the sea. This is what memories are made of and these are the moments that are most magical for me. I hope this night is something the girls remember forever – I certainly will.
Thursday dawned bright and sunny – we really were so lucky with the weather on this trip, just one morning of rain and the rest of the time it was dry and bright. The girls decided that they wanted to introduce Jack to our competitive family nature by challenging him to a round of crazy golf (even though we’d already played earlier in the week before they’d arrived).
We took our favourite route over the clifftops to take in the views on our way to the crazy golf course because, well, why not?! When you usually live about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK and you’re fortunate enough to be in a place like Bude, you soak up every moment you have there. It still takes my breath away every single time.
It was an excellent match, a hole-in-one was celebrated, Jack and Sophie both put up a good fight but the winners crown stayed with Neil.
We divided-and-conquered after lunch. Neil, the girls, Sophie and Jack stayed home at The Beach Haven whilst I headed out to meet up with my aunt and cousin, which I try and do with each Easter visit to Bude we have. We’d decided to walk from Bude to Northcott Mouth Beach, a short stretch of the SW Coastal Path that we’ve traversed many times before.
It’s one of my favourite walks to do. The views are incredible and the vast expanse of the ocean puts everything into perspective for me. It’s even better when the springtime flowers are in bloom on the clifftops.
As the tide was out, we decided to head down to the beach itself rather than simply turning around and coming straight back and I’m so glad we did because I finally got to see the shipwreck in all it’s glory! It’s only visible at low tide and we’ve never been able to time it correctly to be able to see it. It was 100% worth the many years of waiting!
The SS Belem ran aground in heavy fog during the WW1 in November 1917 so it really is an amazing piece of history to experience – and it’s right there on the beach. Pieces of the wreckage are scattered in a smallish area and you can clearly make out the different parts of the ship. Sadly the frame of the hull (which I always think look like ribs and a backbone) weren’t exposed – you can only see them on rare occasions if it’s an exceptionally low tide. But it was still awesome – definitely a highlight of the holiday for me.
What made it even better is that when I peeked in a hole in one of the pieces of wreckage, there was a huge starfish in there just casually hanging out in the water. I spent ages just watching it – it made my day.
I couldn’t resist going back out in the evening after we’d eaten dinner to catch the sunset and oh gosh it was a good one. I started out at the Sea Pool whilst the sky was still golden and then moved round to Summerleaze Beach. As the sun dipped below the line of clouds it emerged as a perfect, deep red orb – I’ve honestly never seen anything like it before. It was absolutely spectacular and these photos really don’t do it justice. Chasing the sunset like this is one of my most favourite things to do.
Friday, the last full day of our Easter visit to Bude, saw us wandering over to Electric Bakery – a delightful new-to-us discovery we made last year. The selection of tempting goodies on offer is different every day so you never know what options you’ll get to choose from until you arrive and eagerly run your eyes along the counter.
Today’s sweet choices varied from decadent dark chocolate brownies to Portuguese egg custard tarts to cannoli oozing with ricotta and pistachios to saffron buns and more. The breads on offer ranged from wholemeal sourdough to ciabattas and baguettes. Don’t even get me started on the Cornish Pasty flavours.
Suitably refuelled, we made our way to Bude Farmers and Craft Market on the Wharf. It’s always lovely to meander amidst the stalls and chat with the stallholders.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, on our final afternoon/evening of our holiday (whether it’s an Easter visit to Bude, a summer trip abroad or a half term adventure elsewhere in the UK), we make our way down to the beach to say goodbye to the sea. This year was no exception. We walked through town, down the canal and up the path that leads to the Storm Tower (known affectionately by locals as ‘The Pepperpot’). It’s one of my favourite views of Bude – you can see along the coastline all the way to GCHQ and beyond; Bude Sea Pool glitters in the sunshine; and, if you turn inland, the whole town stretches out in all it’s colourful glory.
After spending some time taking in the spectacular views, we walked along the Breakwater and scrambled across to Barrel Rock, which always feels like a big achievement. Shoes and socks were quickly discarded as we slowly wandered back along to beach, paddling in the (icy cold!) water as we went. I always feel sad saying goodbye to the sea – none of us ever want to leave. It’s good to know that we’ll be back again at the same time next year – we’ve already started counting down the days!
We drove home early on Saturday morning. It’s getting harder and harder to leave each time we visit – I’m pretty sure we each leave a little piece of our hearts here with every memory made.
Our Easter visit to Bude was exactly what we’d all been needing: the chance to recharge after a busy term at school and full-on work schedules for both Neil and myself; and the opportunity to reconnect as a family.
If you’ve been inspired to book a family holiday to Bude (at any time of year!), have a look at these posts for suggestions of things to do whilst you’re there:
- Free Things To Do In Bude
- Top Ten Things To Do In Bude (part 1)
- Top Ten Things To Do In Bude (part 2)
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed following along with our travels.