A Family Holiday In Bude (Part 1)

Every year, we have a week-long family holiday in Bude in North Cornwall.  (You can read all about last year’s holiday here).  We were due to go in May half term this year, but by the time January came around it felt like far too far away and so we decided to bring it forwards to the second week of the Easter holidays instead.  I’m so glad we did – we’ve had what’s felt like the longest winter ever and we were all craving a change of scenery from the four walls we’d been enclosed in for months on end.  This trip was the breath of fresh air we’d all been needing and even though we visit every year we still found plenty of new places to explore and different things to do (as well as staying loyal to our favourite traditions too).

We always spend our family holiday in Bude staying at The Beach Haven, which over the last five years has truly become our home-from-home.  We relax as soon as we arrive, the welcome we receive from Tim and Maria is second to none and there is more than enough space for everyone.  The teenager usually comes with us, but this year she chose to stay at home to study for her upcoming GCSEs instead. We really missed having her with us, though we know all her hard work will be worth it in the end.


We always aim to leave our house at 6am on the day we drive down to Cornwall.  It’s a four hour trip (plus a break halfway down for a wee and a drink).  The Beach Haven isn’t ready for us to check into until the afternoon, and rather than leave later (getting stuck in traffic and spending the entire day travelling) we prefer to be on the road super-early, arrive mid-morning and make the most of our first day by walking along the beach and eating lunch in a lovely cafe rather than in a motorway service station.  The girls and I love watching the sunrise on the way – we were lucky this year and it was a really beautiful one.

We love watching the sunrise during our long car journey to Cornwall

It’s become a bit of a tradition to take a family car road-trip selfie at the start of every journey!

Snoozing Lola

It really does 🙂 Hot chocolate as the rain poured down during our pit-stop half way through our journey

A power-nap for Mimi

Unfortunately the gorgeous sunrise gave way to rain part way through our journey and we arrived in Bude to a downpour.  Never ones to let the weather get in the way of having fun (well, we try not to, though we all have our limits) we put up our hoods, grabbed the umbrella and took our favourite walk ‘over the top’ from Crooklets Beach to Summerleaze and then on into the town centre itself.  Despite the howling wind and stinging rain smarting our faces, we briefly stopped to marvel at the crazy people out surfing before taking shelter in a café and spending much of the afternoon in there colouring, reading and (*ahem*) using the free wifi to watch the football.

When we got the call to say that The Beach Haven was ready we headed straight over there to find Easter chocolates for the girls, a freshly baked batch of scones and a delicious looking homemade Victoria sponge cake on the kitchen side, plus wine, milk, jam and clotted cream in the fridge.  Honestly, the welcome we get every time we visit is so fantastic and the girls spend a lot of our journey time trying to guess what cake we might get this year!

Our happy place, even in the rain 🙂

Bude Sea Pool in the bottom left, the Pepperpot (Storm Tower) in the distance and crazy surfers doing their thing on Summerleaze Beach

Lola watching the surfers from a viewpoint on the clifftops between Crooklets and Summerleaze Beaches

These happy little fishes were a new addition – we found them next to every single drain in Bude!

One of my favourite things to do is to find hearts out in nature. Loved this one on a rock 🙂

A delicious welcome was waiting for us at The Beach Haven

After settling in and unpacking a bit I realised that the weather had cleared up.  The husband was tired from the long drive and the girls had exhausted all their pent-up energy playing tag around the circular layout of the bungalow so I decided to go out for a walk on my own.  I hate ‘wasting’ good weather as you never know when you’re going to get the next bit of sunshine!

I took the same route we’d walked earlier on in the day and the difference was incredible – blue skies, gorgeous light, golden sunshine and calm waters.  I took so many photos.  It was beautiful and I just wanted to capture it forever.

Looking out to sea from Crooklets Beach – one of my favourite places in the world

Colourful beach huts at Crooklets Beach

Walking ‘over the top’ from Crooklets Beach to Summerleaze Beach

Compare this photo to one I took in the morning (earlier up in this post) – this is a bit more like it!

Rosie’s Kitchen at Crooklets Beach is a local favourite for excellent fish and chips

A gorgeous sunset to end our first day in Bude in style. This is the view from the kitchen at The Beach Haven.



We awoke to gorgeous clear blue skies and decided to take full advantage of them by heading down into Bude (via the beach of course) to tick off one of our favourite annual traditions – play crazy golf!

I remember playing the very same course multiple times when I was a little girl visiting my cousins during the summer holidays and it seemed so big to me back then – the obstacles were tough and it felt like it took us all day to complete the course – we were having so much fun that we lost all sense of time.

Now each year when we revisit it I marvel at how tiny it looks compared to what I have stored away in my memory.  Nevertheless, we absolutely love doing it and this year TWO holes-in-one got scored (though the husband still took the winner’s crown).

I think this might be one of my most favourite photos from our whole trip 🙂

We always bring the girls’ scooters with us when we visit Bude

Watching the surfers whilst having a rest – all that scooting is hard work!

Gorgeous Summerleaze Beach in the sunshine

We ALWAYS play crazy golf when we visit Bude – the girls love it!

Hole in one!

A quick lunch back at The Beach Haven and we were off out again, this time to explore St Nectan’s Glen.  I’d found out about it when we had our family holiday in Bude last year, but we hadn’t had the time to fit it in and I was determined that this year we’d go and see what it had to offer. I’m so glad we did – it was absolutely beautiful!

Situated halfway between Boscastle and Tintagel, a steep walk inland takes you through some stunning woodlands, following the path of a stream until you reach St. Nectan’s Glen itself, home to three impressive waterfalls.  We spent ages there wading through the water, listening to the roar of the falls and taking in the rather magical atmosphere.  I’m pretty sure we’ll be making a return visit.  It definitely got added to my list of favourite places to go.

The woodland walk to St. Nectan’s Glen is so beautiful – the dappled sunlight coming through the trees made it even more magical

Pooh sticks!

Ella loves being near water so walking alongside a stream was her idea of heaven. She recorded the sound of it on her phone so she could listen to it when we got back home

An ice cream break at the café half way round was an essential part of our little adventure

You can borrow wellies so you can wade through the water to see the third and final waterfall.

I love this photo 🙂



Monday dawned hazy and bright.  The girls’ only request was to go and play on the beach so that’s exactly what we did.  We played catch, jumped the waves and clambered over rocks for ages and watching the girls having so much fun doing such simple things always reminds me to stop overcomplicating things.

I have a tendency to try and cram our family holiday days full of activities – places to go and things to see & do – and I forget that sometimes, even though they’re growing up, they still like to simply play.  I could have watched them for hours as I breathed in the clean air, felt the breeze whipping my hair and tasted the salt on my tongue.

Playing catch on Crooklets Beach

Another favourite photo from our holiday. She does this whenever she is near the sea and I really love the reflection and the pop of red contrasting with the blue.

Lola really enjoyed scrambling over the rocks and looking in rockpools for crabs

The weather forecast suggested that today may be the last ‘good weather’ day we were going to get.  Considering the day before we arrived it had said it was going to be torrential rain all week we all felt very lucky to have had several days of glorious sunshine, even if the temperatures were still a little on the chilly side.  To make the most of it, we decided on an impromptu afternoon visit to Clovelly.

Clovelly is actually in Devon, not Cornwall, which I hadn’t realised before and it has a firm ‘no-car’ policy.  I had no idea what to expect from it and I have to say it was definitely worth a visit.  Steeply cobbled streets, an Easter trail for the girls (hunting out fifteen fluffy yellow chicks hidden throughout the village), a picturesque little harbour and a waterfall on the beach made for a really fun afternoon and we happily spent a lot longer in Clovelly than we thought we would.

Clovelly Harbour

A gorgeous waterfall on the beach at Clovelly

I love this shot of my little tribe looking out to sea at Clovelly

Walking out along the sea wall at Clovelly

It was certainly an action-packed few days that got our family holiday in Bude off to a great start.  I’ve got so many new favourite photos from all of our little adventures.  Part Two, with the details of what we got up to in the second half of our family holiday in Bude, will follow soon.

In the meantime, here’s a little video of our holiday that I put together. I still need more practice but I’m really loving creating these memories of our family holidays for us to look back on as time goes by.

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  • I love that you’ve found a place to return to time and time again. Love the family selfie you take too – must be fun comparing them over the years.
    Jenny – TraveLynn Family recently posted…AFRICA OVERLAND Part 2: Malawi itinerary with kidsMy Profile

    • Reply April 30, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Haha yes, the family selfie is becoming a bit of a tradition 🙂

  • Reply April 30, 2018


    I need to go back to Bude! I love this post, feels like I have been away on holiday via your gorgeous photos and video. Keep up the video, so beautiful and engaging 🙂

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      You definitely need to go back to Bude! It’s our favourite place (and I can recommend The Beach Haven for being dog friendly so you could even take your pooches too).

  • What a difference a day made to the weather when you arrived! I love your photos of beautiful Bude 🙂
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Being Brunel, Bristol: 11 things kids will love about SS Great Britain’s new exhibitionMy Profile

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Claire! Yes, the weather when we arrived was shocking and then it turned out to be a beautiful evening. I swear Bude has it’s own little microclimate.

  • What a beautiful part of the world, you have captured it beautifully. I’m sad to say I’ve never been but after reading this I will need to add it to my list!
    The beach huts at Crooklets even look cheery in the rain!

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Daisy. Bude (well, all of Cornwall in fact) is just the most gorgeous place – you must go! And yes, colourful beach huts never fail to cheer me up on a grey day.

  • Reply April 30, 2018

    Cathy (Mummytravels)

    Such gorgeous photos – I do love Cornwall but Bude is somewhere I haven’t visited (yet). And I love the sound of your family tradition, especially with such a gorgeous place to return to. I’m constantly chasing the next place but there’s something very tempting about having a favourite spot to go back over and over again. Especially with cake included!

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      It’s a tough thing to decide isn’t it? I too am always in search of an adventure, wanting to explore somewhere new. And yet at the same time we love the familiarity of having somewhere we consider to be our home from home. In the end we decided that it means we need to have two holidays per year – one to Bude and one to somewhere new. Problem solved 🙂

  • Reply April 30, 2018


    We always leave early too when we go to Cornwall – beats the traffic! I love the Bude area – so beautiful!

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Haha I’m glad we’re not the only ones! Plus it means you get an ‘extra’ day of the holiday instead of spending the whole time travelling. Win-win 🙂

  • Reply April 30, 2018

    Sarah Chistie

    Such gorgeous photos Chloe I love how you get those little moments too, such a shame about the rain but it still looked beautiful and all those beach huts lined up are fabulous just so pretty, I really do need to get to Cornwall x

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you Sarah 🙂 It’s easy on holiday to only take photos of the fantastic scenery or the day trips but I love capturing the little things too as they’re just as much a part of the holiday as the bigger things. Get yourself back to Cornwall – it’s so good for the soul.

  • Reply April 30, 2018


    Chloe your photos are always so so beautiful and each one tells a story! I have never visited Bude but it looks beautiful – you know how I have a love for a rugged beach and sorbet beach huts! There is nothing like a day at the beach – it is so good for your soul 🙂
    Katy recently posted…6 Hotels with a sea view in St Ives CornwallMy Profile

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks so much Katy 🙂 You would LOVE Bude – there is so much to do and I know your littles would have an absolute blast there. I can’t recommend The Beach Haven highly enough – it would be perfect for you and your family.

  • Reply April 30, 2018

    Zena's Suitcase

    It looks like you had an amazing holiday in Bude. We fell in love with Cornwall this year and you’ve inspired us to go back and explore some more
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Online Photo Storage: The Modern Family AlbumMy Profile

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      That’s great to hear! What I love about Cornwall is that there’s always somewhere new to explore and each place is quite distinct and different from the next. We’ll never get bored of going there.

  • Reply April 30, 2018

    Erin Ek Rush

    You took some fantastic photos! You did right to break up this loooong winter – looks like the holiday was a success all around!

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Erin, that’s such a lovely thing to say. We needed the break for sure – it’s felt like the longest winter ever.

  • What a dreamy holiday!! I now really want to go to Cornwall. Also, your pictures are so beautiful, loving the car family selfie and those little colourful beach huts.
    Heledd – Running in Lavender recently posted…Favourite Disney World Rides, Shows, Snacks and More…My Profile

    • Reply May 1, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Have you never been to Cornwall Heledd? You must go! It’s so beautiful there and your girls would love all the beaches.

  • Reply May 1, 2018


    Aww Chloe what a gorgeous post, I love the same photos you do – the one with the reflection in the water is my favourite. We’re off to Padstow for May half term, fingers crossed we have as much fun x
    Kerri-Ann recently posted…My Family Adventures {April}My Profile

    • Reply May 3, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Kerri-Ann! Padstow is beautiful – we’ve not been with the girls yet (that’s on the agenda for next year) though Neil and I went when I was pregnant with Ella (I think). Hope you have a wonderful time – looking forward to seeing all the photos already 🙂

  • Reply May 16, 2018

    farenexus nexus

    So naturals pictures to your article. Thanks for sharing your sweet moments.

    • Reply May 16, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway


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