Our guide to self-catering Bude holiday cottages
If your idea of Cornwall is waves, flip flops and beautiful beaches then you should probably head to Bude. Right in the north of the county, Bude offers the perfect combination of gorgeous scenery and a laidback lifestyle. Home to Crooklets and Summerleaze beaches (both of which have something of a reputation for their surf by the way), Bude’s popular with families, couples and just those who fancy escaping the hustle and bustle for some real time out.
If you fancy getting out and about on some walks during your Bude holiday, you’ll find mile after mile of coast path to get your blood pumping, and we can’t think of a nicer way to take in all those views than with a stroll along the clifftops. Don’t be fooled by the tranquil scenery though, Bude also finds itself attracting visitors from all over the country now and then thanks to its variety of events. The Bude Jazz Festival takes place every August, and it’s fast becoming one of the biggest events on the jazz scene.
Places to visit in Bude
One of our favourite places to visit in Bude is less than five minutes away from the town, and that’s Summerleaze Beach. There’s a huge car park, and it leads you right to the fluffy dunes that back the sand…perfect. This beach is a favourite with families and surfers, and even if you’re not quite ready to get into a wetsuit this time you can sit back and watch the professionals dance on the waves. There’s lifeguard cover during high season, and the sea pool at the bottom of the cliffs makes a lovely spot for a dip if you don’t fancy getting into the sea.
There’s another beachy slice of bliss just three miles from Bude itself, and that’s Widemouth Bay. This wide open bay sits on the South West Coast Path, and even though it’s popular there’s plenty of space for everyone. There’s a selection of surf schools right on the beach, so if your kids have been nagging you to let them try their luck in the surf you’ll be able to get them started safely with lessons. Most of the schools can have beginners standing on their boards within a few hours of tuition, so sign them up early in your holiday so you can get them into the swing of things.
Things to do in Bude
It may be a magnet for beach lovers, but there are plenty of things to do in Bude that don’t involve getting into the water and strutting your stuff on a board. For one thing, you can to Bude Canal for a stroll. Thanks to its level towpath, this historic waterway’s perfect for a walk if you have a pushchair or use a wheelchair (or you just don’t like hills), or you can hire a bike and cycle your way along.
Now, if you’re happy to pack the kids into the car and drive for half an hour or so towards Devon, you can explore the unique village of Clovelly. Set on the coast of north Devon, Clovelly is a historic village set on a steep cobbled hill, and it’s almost an attraction in itself. There’s a small charge to enter the village (used by the residents to pay for its upkeep), and everything about it feels like a world from another era.
Step into the whitewashed cottages and get a glimpse into what life was like for the fishermen who called them home, visit the donkeys who once carried loads up and down the hill (these days they just rest in their donkey stable), and take in the views around the harbour.