Our Top Ten Things To Do In Bude (Part 1)

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know by now that we regularly visit Bude in North Cornwall.  It’s long been a favourite place for my husband and I – we’ve both been going there since we were small children.  Now that we have daughters of our own we wanted to continue our family story by taking them there every year to share our memories with them and create new traditions that they can pass down to their children if/when the time comes.

We all absolutely love it there and have had many happy adventures together on our visits.  As a result we know it pretty well and so I thought that with the summer holidays coming up I’d put together a list of our top ten things to do in Bude, in case any of you are planning to head down there for a seaside break.  There are many, many more things I could have included – it was so hard to narrow it down to just ten favourites!  I also had soooo many photos that I wanted to share and it all made for a bit of an epic post.  So I’ve divided it into two parts – this is part one.  Part two will follow in a few days time.


The first thing we do when we arrive in Bude is go for a long walk to blow away the cobwebs of the four-and-a-half-hour car journey by walking ‘over the top’.  We start off at Crooklets Beach, stopping to collect a few shells and pebbles and maybe have a quick paddle in the sea, before heading south along the cliff-top coastal path to Summerleaze Beach.  The whole walk takes about an hour from start to finish, coming back around full circle through the Town Centre.  The views across the ocean are absolutely spectacular: white-tipped waves cresting far out to sea; the rugged coastline snaking it’s way into the distance in the form of rocky outcrops and beautiful hidden coves.  As we amble along we see the familiar sights of surfers and bodyboarders riding the waves, the wonderful Bude sea pool, the Half-Tide Cross, the colourful beach huts, Barrel Rock and the Storm Tower, and it feels like coming home.

The view from the clip tops looking at Summerleaze Beach. you can see the Storm Tower in the top left corner of the photo, Bude Sea Pool in the bottom left, and Barrel Rock in the middle on the right hand side.

Looking back towards Crooklets Beach from the cliff tops

Bude Sea Pool looking very inviting!

View of Barrel Rock – I love the flowers that adorn the cliffs in the springtime



A few miles north of Bude is Northcott Mouth Beach.  It’s beautiful enough in itself, with rockpools galore and a vast expanse of sandy beach, but at low tide it has an extra point of interest – the shipwreck of the SS Belem, which ran aground in 1917, becomes visible.  You can go right up to it and explore it – it’s pretty cool.  You need to time it right with regards to the tides (we’ve been caught out and got soaked a couple of times!) but it’s well worth it.

We also love to walk up over the clifftops, heading north towards Sandymouth – the views are utterly breathtaking and the coastline is dramatically beautiful.  Honestly, there aren’t enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe it!

Walking down to Northcott Mouth Beach

Northcott Mouth Beach is pretty quiet – there was hardly anyone else there when we went!

Part of the shipwreck of the SS Belem – I believe this is part of the propeller!

Making the steep climb up to the cliff tops at Northcott Mouth Beach

Admiring the view 🙂

The teenager having a contemplative moment

The coastline going north from Northcott Mouth to Sandymouth is pretty spectacular!



No trip to Bude would be complete without a game (or two or three!) of crazy golf.  It’s a quirky little 9-hole course right in the middle of the town, and with Bude Castle providing a pretty backdrop it makes for a really fun way to spend an hour or so.  Of course some of the holes are trickier than others, but it is perfectly possible to get a hole-in-one, much to the delight of our girls.  There’s a little café and ice cream shop next door for refreshments after the match which, if you’re anything like us, can get pretty competitive 😉

Hole in one! 🙂



We have a tradition of eating an ice cream every day whilst we’re on holiday, and it’s pretty much the law when you’re by the sea.  Our favourite place is a little ice cream parlour called Taste of Cornwall, at the top of the main high street (Belle Vue) opposite Boots.  They have so many flavours and whilst I always go for chocolate, the girls like to try out different ones each time.




One year we decided to spend an afternoon doing the Bude Treasure Trail.  It took us about two and a half hours altogether and we saw parts of Bude that we’d never been to before!  Our brains got a good workout too – some of the clues are really quite tricky.  The girls absolutely loved working out the answer to the mystery and it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend time together as a family working as a team whilst exploring.  Packs (only £6.99 – a bargain!) are available from the Bude Tourist Information Office or you can download them from the Treasure Trail website and print them out.  There are trails all over the UK (we’ve done one near where we live!) and at least a couple more in Cornwall, so if you did a daytrip to another town it might be worth checking to see whether there is a trail there.  It’s a great way to see the hidden places in a town that you might not normally stumble across.

The Bude Treasure Trail pack, available from the Tourist Information Centre

The trail took us up to the War Memorial

That’s it for Part 1 – and having written it I’m wishing I was back in Bude right now!  Part 2, with the final five of our list of ‘Top Ten Things To Do In Bude’ will be posted in a few days time, so watch this space if you want to know more.  And if you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned or want a bit more detail, please do feel free to leave a comment below or email me at hello@picturetakermemorymaker.co.uk – I’d love to hear from you!

Please note:  no one has asked or paid me to write this post.  All thought, ideas, opinions, feelings, words and images are my own.



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  • Reply July 15, 2017


    Thanks for this, we also go to Bude at least once a year, only been home a week, it’s like a bereavement for us when we have to leave. The draw of this lovely seaside town is infectious, the five hour drive there for us is nothing, the same trip home is horrendous. I didn’t know about the treasure trail, and will be giving that a go next time, everything else we do. I personally think Pengenna do the best pasties, and the Olive Tree the best cream tea. Totally agree with you on the ice cream establishment. We have probably walked past each other at some stage in our individual pursuits, all the best to you and your family, and I hope it’s not too long before your back.

    • Reply July 15, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you so much for your comment Andy. I always feel sad when we have to leave to come home too – the holiday blues can be terrible and we always book to go back again straight away so we can start counting the days until our next visit! Pengenna absolutely do the best pasties – we completely agree with you there and we’ve not tried The Olive Tree – thanks for the tip, we’ll give that a go next time we’re down. The treasure trail is super fun – definitely give that a whirl next time you’re there!

  • Reply July 15, 2017


    Thanks for this we too loved North Cornwall so when we took early retirement moved to Bude exactly two years ago, we have never looked back and love our new life. Some of these things we did not know so thanks, heading off to see the wreck at Nortcott today, a beach we walk to with our dog regularly. Will also do the trail too. Looking forward to your next blog.

    • Reply July 15, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thank you for your comment Amanda. How wonderful to have been able to take early retirement and move down there! We regularly talk about buying a place in Bude so we can visit whenever we want – we need to save up a fair bit before we’ll be able to do that though. I hope you find the shipwreck – it’s pretty cool to see 🙂

  • Reply July 15, 2017

    Vicky Kirby

    My parents had the amazing foresight to buy a run down bungalow in Bude more than 50 years ago. (Before I was born, the last of 9 kids!) So I spent ALL holidays there and loved every minute! We still go at least once a year, off down there in 2 weeks with kids and dogs, can’t wait! Surprised you didn’t mention Margaret’s tea garden at Northcott? If you haven’t been YOU MUST! This is where you’ll find the best cream teas! And I’m afraid I’ll never go back to Pengenna pasties after they were incredibley rude to me ( and I’m a really nice person honest!!) Best pasties at Tasty Pasties at top of town xx

    • Reply July 15, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Oh wow, you lucky thing – every holiday?! We didn’t go to Margaret’s tea room at Northcott Mouth, though we’ve heard wonderful things about it. I’ve added it to our list of things to do next year 🙂 Sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Pengenna Pasties – they’ve always been lovely when we’ve visited. We’ll give Tasty Pasties a go too though – thanks for the tip 🙂

  • Reply July 17, 2017


    Oh I love Bude! My dad used to have a caravan nearby so we went down for a couple of holidays there when the girls were smaller. This just makes me want to go back! xx
    Morgana recently posted…The Mutha.Hood’s Start Up StoryMy Profile

    • Reply July 24, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Do it! I know it’s a long way but it’s soooo worth it. I’m more than happy to recommend places to stay 🙂

  • Reply July 25, 2017


    Such a great post Chloe. I love the treasure hunt. I do love exploring a new area when we first arrive x
    Kerri-Ann recently posted…A letter to my son at the end of Year 1My Profile

    • Reply July 27, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks Kerri-Ann 🙂 The Treasure Hunt is a BRILLIANT way to explore a new place, and they’re all over the country too!

  • Reply July 28, 2017


    My friends go there all the time, but I’ve yet to make it there. I really must make the effort. We were meant to be going camping somewhere by the sea this weekend, but have you seen the weather??? So much for the summer holidays xxx

    • Reply August 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Oh Kerry you MUST go – Bude is so much fun and very beautiful as well – your littles would love it there. Did you go camping in the end? If so, I hope the weather was kind to you and that you had fun.

  • What a beautiful post. I love seeing pictures of your girls together, it gives me a sneaky peek at what my three will be like when they’re a little older. Those ice creams looks amazing xx
    Heledd – Running in Lavender recently posted…Summer Tints from Pixi by PetraMy Profile

    • Reply August 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks so much Heledd x

  • Reply August 1, 2017


    Oh this sounds like an amazing place to visit. I love too places to visit always gives people like me ideas of what to do and what not to do. Fab advice and tips here. Lovely photos sounds like you had a great time. #wrc

    • Reply August 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Bude is brilliant Jenny- your two would LOVE it there! We always have a good time, whether we’re ding something we do every year or if we’re trying something new.

  • It sounds like a great place to go and visit! It’s on my bucket list for sure xx
    Pamela | Life With Munchers recently posted…Bloggers’ Homes Interior Link up | August ’17 Feat We The ParentsMy Profile

    • Reply August 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      It really is Pamela – move it to the top of your list! (And add the rest of Cornwall to it too!)

  • Reply August 31, 2017


    Bude is lovely however, I have noticed no one is saying on the blog, you MUST have plenty of money as all the shops are ridicously expensive. I know this is a seaside resort but come on cater for non fortunate who have also travelled four and a half hours to get here who have also worked very hard to be able to have a holiday. Think the hotels are over priced, a hotel I’ve stayed in (never been to bude before) only caters six parking spaces, so when you decide you want to venture out in the car, remember you may not be able to get parked. Bude has wonderful scenery, great if you have kids. Once you’ve been round it though nothing much else.

    • Reply September 2, 2017

      Chloe Ridgway

      Thanks for your comment Kim. We’ve honestly not noticed Bude being hugely expensive – no more so than any other holiday town anyway. Obviously the accommodation in peak school holiday time is more (as it is wherever you go) and we save up throughout the year to be able to treat ourselves to ice creams and pay for entry fees to attractions. We find self catering works better for us than hotels as we can feed ourselves far more cheaply than having to eat out all the time. We visit every year and still find new things to do! 🙂

  • Reply December 30, 2017


    We have been going to Bude every Summer since our two girls were small- they are now both teenagers.
    We do all the things on your list- apart from the treasure trail- we will try that next time! Looking forward to the second half of the list for other ideas.
    We always hire a rowing boat too.

    • Reply January 3, 2018

      Chloe Ridgway

      How lovely that your girls have grown up with such lovely memories! Hiring a rowing boat is on our list to do this year – or maybe a peddalo. Enjoy the Treasure Trail, it’s super fun and I discovered lots of places in Bude that I didn’t know were there. The second part of the blog is here: https://picturetakermemorymaker.co.uk/our-top-ten-things-to-do-in-bude-part-2/ if you want to take a peek 🙂

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