The small resort of Bude nestles away at the top of Cornwall a sort of best-kept secret, immensely popular with those in the know, yet to be discovered by the hordes. Described as the place "where coast meets countryside" the area has something for everyone, with expansive award-winning beaches, spectacular cliffs and wide open spaces, and just a few minutes inland, a nature lover's paradise in fact there are few places in the British Isles where there is such variety, so many things to see and experience, in so compact an area.
The initial popularity of Bude was in Victorian times as a seaside resort it has moved with the times but remains unspoiled. Today, the wonderful beaches, lifeguarded throughout the summer, form a backdrop to many water sports activities including, of course, surfing. There are many accredited activity schools in the area teaching canoeing, kayaking, abseiling down real cliffs and much more. Walking, fishing, inland and beside the famous Bude Canal, and cycling (the new Sustrans route visits Bude), are among the more leisurely pursuits.
The whole area exudes a wild, spacious feel and doesn't rely on brilliant summer sun to capture the hearts of its visitors. Saying that though, Bude has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country so if lazing around on uncrowded beaches is your scene, you will not be disappointed either. Take the north road out of Bude and you're soon amidst scenery of unforgettable beauty. From the towering cliffs, which gird storm-lashed Morwenstow, you can watch the changing moods of the Atlantic. In the churchyard are graves of shipwrecked mariners, buried by the eccentric sea-booted poet, Parson Hawker. Then sit for a while in the hut, tucked into the cliff face, where he penned his verses.
Explore further inland. Have a ploughman's lunch at Stratton, in the birthplace of Giant Anthony Payne, who threw his massive bulk behind the Royalists in the Battle of Stamford Hill. Choose your favourite village from Kilkhampton, Marhamchurch, Week St Mary, and many others, each with its individual charm. And as you're cruising the lanes you'll notice how the wild landscape of Cornwall is tamed into the rolling hills of the Upper Tamar. You'll enjoy the best of both worlds here: a traditional rural atmosphere within easy striking distance of the coast the popular beaches of Duckpool, Sandy Mouth and Northcott Mouth; the sand and surf of Widemouth Bay; and, just a short drive away, unique Clovelly, where twisting cobbled lanes wind down to an ancient fishing harbour.
Use the map of Bude below to zoom in or out to view directions or click the satellite button for an aerial view. For a larger version of this Bude map Click Here.