Bude is home to a stunning tidal pool, a castle, a century-old carnival, a jazz festival, a star-gazer’s paradise and some of the UK’s best beaches

Home to a stunning tidal pool, a castle, a century-old carnival, a jazz festival, a star-gazer’s paradise and some of the UK’s best beaches - the North Cornwall town of Bude has much to recommend it


Bude is all about the beaches: the long, wide sandy Widemouth Bay just outside of the town has just been awarded its first Blue Flag, while Crooklets and Summerleaze beaches within the town itself have both won impressive Seaside Awards for their water quality, facilities and management. This means that any visitor to the area is guaranteed a top quality beach experience in 2015 - wherever they decide to lay their towel.

Bude is also well-known for it surf. The town was the founder club in British Surf Life Saving and there are plenty of places to test out the surf - and get some instruction.

Sandymouth Beach is owned by the National Trust, and has spectacular cliffs and rock formations with shingle below the cliffs and a large expanse of sand at low tide. There are also a number of other coves and beaches to be found and explored in the local area.

Eat (and drink)

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Bude has really put its fantastic array of produce on the map with a range of events and activities to promote their producers. Number one is the Bude For Food Festival (18-20 September) features fantastic local produce, top chefs and stacks to get involved with: it is quite simply one of the best food festivals in Cornwall. Expect special foodie guests, amazing food and a wealth of top Cornish produce. A must attend event for any foodies visiting Cornwall.

And if you can’t wait until then head to Bude Farmers Market which is held very Friday until the end of September. Featuring top notch locally-sourced food, drink, unique gifts, local Cornish crafts and stacks more, this is one of the best markets in the region and not to be missed.

You can also head for the nearby Cornish Charcuterie at Norton Barton which is also home to Whalesborough Cheese, Popti Cornish Bakehouse and North Coast Cider.


August is a great month to be in Bude. The grand event of the season, Bude Carnival takes place on the third Saturday of the month. The carnival dates from 1920 when events included a Grand Torch-Light Procession, a Grand Masked Confetti Fete, Hourly Concerts by four Jolly Sailor Men and an Exhibition of War Trophies.

The first carnival after the war was held on August Bank Holiday 1946 when as well as a Carnival Queen there was also a Carnival King, two pages and seven attendants. There has been a Bude Carnival every year since and it is now held on the third Saturday of August. Money collected on the day, after expenses, is donated to local charities and organisations.

Afternoon events start at 2pm with charity fete in the Castle Grounds. Judging starts at 5.30pm and the procession leaves the Lower Wharf at 6.30pm.


Bude Jazz Festival

2015 marks the 28th year of jazz in Bude. This fabulous event (1-4 September) really has to be seen to be believed. It focuses on Traditional and New Orleans Jazz. A single-day entrance ticket is priced at £22, a four-day Stroller ticket is £80. Among those playing are Big Dog Boogie Band, Black Cat Jazz Band, Bob Reynolds New Society Jazz Band, New Orleans Heat, Dennis Armstrong’s Great Northern Jazz Band and Richard Leach’s 7 Stars of Jazz.


Bude Castle was built about 1830 for Victorian inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney and is now a heritage centre. Head there to feed your imagination about the many shipwrecks that have occurred off the coast including Bude’s most famous wreck, the Bencoolen, in 1862 who was wrecked on Summerleaze beach – the very beach The Castle overlooks. Bring the horror to life by listening to the Reverend Hawker, vicar of Morwenstow, recount the horror of witnessing a shipwreck on the beach below the storm-lashed cliffs.

You can also learn how the Victorians flocked to the coastal town and created a resort that continues to attract holidaymakers today.

Join Dr Roger Hicks for his twice-weekly guided geology walks that have won rave reviews on Trip Advisor. The two-hour walk is the perfect way to discover more about the dramatic geology of the north Cornish coast. Bude Tourist Information: 01288 354240

Be amazed

Bude Sea Pool was created in the 1930s and refills twice a day during the Atlantic’s high tide. It is designed to provide a haven for safe swimming and nestles under the cliffs on the north Cornwall coast - but it’s amazing to watch the refill in action! Measuring 91m in length and 45m wide (approximately) it is a great spot to while away a summer afternoon.

local’s view

Jackie Bissell,

Trecane Beach House

Favourite walk: Coastal walk between Widemouth Bay and Bude.

Favourite beach: Widemouth Bay, also love Bosiney Bay but you have to get the tide time right.

Favourite place to eat: The Beach House - great food, amazing views and friendly service.

Jo Hartman from newly -opened boutique coastandcountry

Favourite beach: Sandymouth - where you can get away from it all a little bit more.

Favourite walk: The cliff top walks as part of the Cornish coast trail (with our two labradoodles and three energetic children).

Favourite place to eat: Elements Italian at Widemouth.

Rob Skeen, from the Hot Dog Surf Shop

Favourite place to eat:

Beach House - the best fish and chips.

Favourite walk: Widemouth Bay and across to Bude.

Favourite beach:

Widemouth Bay.

Robin Welby, from Beau Nidol

Favourite Beach: Summerleaze.

Favourite place to eat: The Bank, Petherick’s Mill.

Favourite thing to do: The fishing and surfing in Bude are second to none! Favourite walk: Upton to Widemouth - great for collecting driftwood.