Autumn breaks in Bude

Autumn breaks in Bude

It’s hard to believe it’s the last week of the school holidays and I’m thinking about Autumn. We had such a lovely warm spell in July and August; some beautiful sunny days on the beach. Today it’s raining and windy, a reminder of the other kind of Cornish weather! However, our guests are enjoying our pool which is open until the end of September. The water is always warm.

Living here has definitely made me more aware of the seasons and now the nights have started to draw in I am missing warm(ish) summer evenings. Autumn around Bude can be lovely though so I am reminding myself of some of the good things!

  • Walks on beaches and the coastal path.  If you are lucky enough to be able to visit Cornwall outside the school holidays you’ll find empty beaches. Walk from Bude to Sandymouth at low tide and find the remains of a shipwreck just north of Northcott Mouth.

Pieces of the wreck of the SS Belem which ran aground in 2018

On a sunny day take in the views from the coastal path. One of my favourite stretches is the section between Northcott Mouth and Bude, which has some amazing views over the beach, but is not too hilly!

View over Strangles beach

 

  •  Sunsets. We get some beautiful sunsets over the coast all year round, but in the Autumn and Winter they are really stunning.

    A sunset at Widemouth.

  • Blackberries are everywhere at the moment, a bit earlier than usual, but I think they’ll be around for a few weeks. I’m looking forward to crumble, or maybe cakes with some of our eggs.

    Blackberries and eggs from our hens.

  • The Budelicious food festival. This is a new event on 22nd and 23rd September, based around the Falcon Hotel in Bude. It includes demonstrations and an Artisan Producer’s Hall, where you can buy some great local produce. There will be a Foodie Fortnight from 15th-29th September, with lots of Bude’s great cafes and restaurants taking part.
  • Finally, sometimes it’s nice to chill with a book, maybe curled up by a woodburner. Three of our larger cottages have woodburners. Or perhaps take a dip in our hot tub, which is open all year.

Spring breaks in Cornwall

Are you looking for Spring breaks in Cornwall with family or friends? We offer short breaks up until the end of June (except for Easter and May half term). Our lovely Farmhouse sleeps up to 11 in 5 bedrooms. It is available for Spring breaks over weekends in March and April (from £650 for 2 nights). We just have one weekend left in May (19th May, minimum 3 nights £880) and one in June (9th June, minimum 3 nights £880).  Even better our heated outdoor pool opens at the end of March for the Easter holidays!

We have had some lovely feedback from guests who stayed in the Farmhouse for February half-term. They also booked some outside catering from local chef Nicky Vereker, who delivers freshly prepared food to your cottage. Nicky’s food is really tasty.

“Just a quick note to thank you very much for our stay. The house was wonderful, a really good size for us all. The kids loved the games room and the hot tub.  What great facilities you have there. I only wish I’d found time to have a quick knock about on the tennis court but it was either the weather or we were exhausted from our walks.  Maybe next time.  Thanks also for the recommendation with Nicky, her food was really good and it was a lovely way to end our last night.”

 

Try a walk on the South West Coastal Path

The Times featured a walk along one of my favourite sections of the South West Coastal Path (The Times, 20/1/2018 by Christopher Somerville, or find the walk on Christopher Somerville’s website). This particular walk starts at Northcott Mouth, just north of Bude and follows the South West Coastal Path above Sandymouth to Duckpool. It then heads inland to Coombe Valley and back to Northcott Mouth though woods and the countryside. Northcott Mouth is a short drive from our cottages (about 15 minutes).

The views of the coast are spectacular along here.

The wreck of the SS Belem can be seen just north of Northcott Mouth at low tide.

In the Spring you get lots of flowers which are  beautiful.

Spring flowers

Walking down to Northcott Mouth on a sunny day.

Even on a grey and murky day in the Autumn it is still worth walking along here. The craggy cliffs, waterfalls, the long run of sand and sheer drops to the sea are always stunning. There are some steep climbs on this stretch of the path and a long flight of steps up from Northcott. For an easier walk try walking from Crooklets in Bude to Northcott. This is an easier stretch of the South West Coastal Path. Time it right and walk one way along the South West Coastal Path and the other way along the beach, which is only possible at low tide. Check tide times online at Magic Seaweed.

Nortcott in the winter

One of the waterfalls at Sandymouth.

Stop for lunch….

The Times recommended the Preston Gate pub in Poughill for lunch. Definitely worth a visit, or try Margaret’s Rustic Tea Garden at Northcott Mouth in the summer or one of the many cafes or pubs in nearby Bude.

Margaret’s Rustic Tea Garden, Northcott Mouth.

February half term

Are you looking for a short break over February half term 2018? We have availability in our family cottages sleeping from 4 to 7 starting any day from Monday 12 February (minimum booking 3 nights). Our cottages are on a small peaceful rural site close to the North Cornwall coast. We are only 10 minutes drive from the coastal town of Bude and from Widemouth Bay, a popular surfing beach. Walk on the canal path, explore the rock pools, take in the sea views from the South West Coastal path and enjoy a cream tea or a hot chocolate in one of Bude’s many small cafes before heading back to relax in the hot tub. We have a play area, games room, tennis court and hot tub on site.

Family cottages

Pound cottage, sleeps 4, from £250 for 3 nights

Manor cottage sleeps 6, from £300 for 3 nights

Parsons cottage sleeps 7, from £320 for 3 nights

Bude canal, ending by Summerleaze beach. Walk along the tow path from Marhamchurch to Bude.

Walk from Bude along the beach at low tide to Northcott Mouth and hunt for the pieces of the wreck of the SS Belem which ran aground in 1918

Further afield you can explore the Eden Project and maybe try skating on their winter ice-rink before warming up in the tropical biome. Or try the indoor and outdoor activities at the Milky Way Adventure Park.

The ice rink at the Eden project

 

 

Family holidays in Bude

Well we are nearly at the end of 2017 and here in Bude we have our usual wet and windy wintery weather!  I think this one is Storm Dylan which sounds far too chilled. I found a blog by a regular visitor to the area about family holidays in Bude on Love Bude’s Facebook page yesterday. This was a lovely reminder of what makes Bude a good place to stay for families, even if the weather is typically Cornish. This writer mentions some of my favourite spots; the Breakwater, the Pepperpot and the lovely sunsets. Great photos too! If you are thinking of family holidays in Bude find out more at Picture Taker, Memory Maker.

This is one of my favourite places in Bude, the Sea Pool on Summerleaze beach. This is great for swimming in the sea in a safe environment with children, or if you want to swim some lengths in a pool with a difference.

Bude’s beautiful Sea Pool

Autumn in Cornwall

Well, October half term passed in a blur. We are enjoying Autumn in Cornwall this year. I hope our guests had a good week despite the winds that Storm Brian brought at the start of the break. The weather did get better though! It is hard to believe that it was Halloween this week and we are now into November.

Halloween pumpkin, carved by one of the kids (far more artistic than me)

We have had a beautiful, settled, sunny week. In fact the weather is better than it was in July. I’ve had some lovely walks on the beach with the dog and the views from the coastal path are stunning. At low tide you can walk along the beach from Crooklets to Northcott or Sandymouth. It is a long stretch of sandy beach and the cliffs and rock formations are also fun to explore.

Exploring the rocks between Northcott and Sandymouth

The beach on 2 November! Between Crooklets and Sandymouth.

 

The best thing about the clocks going back is the winter sunsets. We have a great view from here and you can see the sun disappearing into the sea. Even better on the beach if you wrap up.

Wet weather activities around Bude.

Unfortunately sometimes the Cornish sunshine does not appear.

After a wet spell…

This need not stop you surfing, walking or going to the beach but sometimes if it is really wet and windy it is good to plan some indoor activities around Bude for your holiday, particularly if you have young children. Here are some of our suggestions.

Activities around Bude

Harlequinns Leisure is a soft play centre with ten pin bowling in Bude, just next to the indoor swimming pool Splash. Splash has a wave machine, slide and beach style shallow end for toddlers.

If you would like to try something artistic visit the Wharf in Bude. You can try painting ceramics or book binding at the Kitchen Front or on facebook. Beau Nidol runs workshops in fused glass and bone carving. Find Beau Nidol on facebook or take a look at their website.

Find out more about Bude and the local area at the Castle museum and heritage centre (free).

20-30 minutes away

On the old WW2 RAF base on the moors near Davidstow you will find the Cornwall at War museum (open Easter until 30 October). This is a fun and slightly eccentric museum, staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. The museum’s exhibits about WW2, WW1 and the Falklands conflict are displayed in different buildings on the airfield, including some from the 1940s.

The village of Boscastle and the harbour is well worth a visit. You can find out more about the village at the National Trust visitor centre. While you are in Boscastle visit the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic . This is an independent museum with a large collection in Boscastle harbour (open April until end of October).

Further afield (within an hour’s drive)

On a wet day try Cornwall’s trampoline centre in Bodmin. ibounce Cornwall opened in late 2016. It is great fun for kids of all ages and adults too.

Also good on  wet day is Bodmin Jail. Creepy and atmospheric, the jail is well worth a visit. There are lots of small exhibits about prisoners, life in the jail, strange stories and executions. The Jail also organises evening events and ghost walks.

The Eden project is well worth a visit in all weathers. If the weather is not good enough to explore the gardens, the biomes are fascinating and in the winter there is an indoor ice rink.

The ice rink at the Eden project

Where to eat around Bude

We are often asked where to eat around Bude. Here are some of our favourites in the Bude area. Please tell us if you have any recommendations to add to our list.  We advise booking in advance in the school holidays.

Where to eat around Bude; evening meals

1. The Bullers Arms – Marhamchurch village pub.

The Bullers Arms has been very popular with our guests this summer. We have heard lots of good comments. Good value village pub. We are fans of their Sunday roasts! It is best to book in the school holidays.   The Bullers is a 10 minute walk down the lane. There are no street lights so you might want to take a torch if you are planning an evening meal.

2. Life’s a Beach

Life’s a Beach is a beach cafe by day and a great restaurant at night. It has great views overlooking Summerleaze beach. Some of the best food in Bude, especially if you like fish and seafood. The best burger in Bude according to my son (lunchtime menu only).

Summerleaze beach in Bude.

3. La Bouche Creole

La Bouche Creole serves New Orleans style food. A bit different. Spicy but not hot. Great fish, yummy puddings. The restuarant is in the Atlantic Hotel (the pink building) on Summerleaze Crescent.

4. The Beach at Bude

Good food in another great location overlooking Summerleaze beach. The Beach is a boutique hotel on Summerleaze Crescent. Great outside seating on a nice day and good cocktails.

5. The Weir

Just down the road, off the A39 opposite the turning for Marhamchurch. The Weir is a child-friendly cafe and restaurant with a play area. Open all day in the summer, including BBQ evenings.

6. Elements

Elements is an Italian restaurant in a hotel with great views overlooking Widemouth Bay.  Good food, including a children’s menu.

Widemouth Bay

 

7. La Bocca

La Bocca is a tiny pizzeria on the Strand, serving authentic Italian pizzas and a limited range of other food. They also deliver.

8.  Mumma Bears

Design your own burger at this burger bar in Bude. Good vegetarian options also available. Mumma Bears also serves breakfast.

Where to eat around Bude; snacks, lunches and cream teas

The Barge is a cafe on a barge moored on Bude canal. In the summer the Barge moves to the end of the canal, overlooking Summerleaze Beach. Open 9-5.

Cafe Bellini is a small Italian style cafe on Queen Street in Bude town centre. Cafe Bellini serves a good range of sandwiches, light meals and coffee.

Get Your Veg On serve really good vegetarian and vegan salads, wraps and toasties from a caravan in the car park by the Tourist Information Office. Seating is available by the canal.

Rosie’s Kitchen at Crooklets beach in Bude serves breakfasts, lunches and evening meals in the summer. Good icecream. Our kids like the milkshakes.

Visit Margaret’s Rustic Tea Gardens at Northcott Mouth for delicious cream teas. Margaret serves great cream teas and cakes, freshly made sandwiches and pasties from a caravan in a pretty garden at Northcott Mouth.

If you are looking for a good cocktail or a nice glass of wine try North Coast Wine in Bude. This is an independent wine merchant with a great bar and friendly staff. They also serve good coffee and soft drinks. Find them on facebook.

A couple of recommendations a bit further afield but definitely worth a visit.

The Rectory Tea Rooms in Morwenstow.  Delicious lunches and cakes in a beautiful old house. If you are celebrating something special their High Teas are amazing (must be booked in advance).

Cabin Cafe in Crackington Haven. Excellent cakes and cream teas at this friendly cafe overlooking the beach in beautiful Crackington Haven. They also do BBQs in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bude canal walk

Bude canal walk is one of our favourites. Follow the tow path along the canal into Bude. There is usually lots to see along the canal; birds, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, lambs in the spring, water voles. The tow path comes out by the Tourist Information office. You can cross the road to the Wharf and walk along to the Breakwater and Summerleaze beach. Bikes are not allowed on the tow path. If you want to cycle,  there is a cycle path which runs near the canal for much of the route.

The walk takes about an hour from Hilton, a bit longer if you have small children. The tow path is a good walk if you have a child in a pushchair. It is downhill to the canal and then a flat walk along the tow path. The path down to the canal is bumpy and quite steep. To avoid the hill on the way back you can park at the bottom of the village in the canal car park. To get to the canal car park drive into the village, turn right at the pub and head down the hill past the church and the school to Helebridge. Just before the junction with the A39 opposite the Weir, there is a turning on your right. There is a small car park on the right hand side just before the bridge. If you are walking from Hilton follow the instructions below.

Walking from Hilton

From Hilton take a left out of our gate and the first left at the top of the hill along Hilton Road. Follow this into the village. Take a left at the end of Hilton Road. You will see the pub opposite the T junction. Turn right and head for the church.

St. Marwenne’s church in Marhamchurch

 

Walk past the church on your left and the school on your right. Continue past the first house after the school. You then come to a track on your right (signposted Public Way).

View from the top of the path down to the canal

Take this path down to the canal. It is quite steep. At the end of the track you see some houses. Follow the path on the left hand side just past the SW Water station. There is a sign on the fence “Canal Walk”.

The canal path in Helebridge

Walk along the canal to the end of the path. The car park is on the other side of the canal. Cross the road and follow the path under the A39. This brings you out by to the Weir cafe and bistro. The Weir is a good place for a coffee or meal with children. There is a play area and lake. Bude Segway tours leave from here. For the Weir turn left. For Bude turn right along the tow path. Follow the tow path.

A lock on the canal after heavy rain

Bude Canal

Bude canal was completed in 1825, with a total length of 57km/36 miles. The lowest section of the Canal, between Bude and Helebridge, was built to be operable by barges. The rest of the canal was operated by small “tub boats”. The canal was used to transport sand inland. You can find out more about the history of the canal on the Bude Canal Trust site or from the Bude Canal and Harbour Society.  Just next to the car park in Helebridge is the Barge Workshop (owned by Bude Stratton Town Council, open Sunday afternoons late July-September only). Here you can see an example of a Bude Canal tub boat. These had wheels to get up the hills or “inclined planes”. There is a board along the Helebridge section of the canal walk which explains how the system worked.

Keep going along the tow path until you come to Rodd’s Bridge, a green painted bridge next to Rodd’s Farm. Cross the bridge and go through the gate onto the tow path on the other side of the canal. There are usually plenty of water birds to see along this stretch; herons, ducks, geese and swans.

Goslings on the canal

If you don’t want to walk all the way into Bude, you can loop back to the village here along the cycle path.

The tow path comes to an end by the Tourist Information Office. At the end of the tow path you can cross the road over to the Wharf and walk along to the sea lock at the end of the canal or down onto Summerleaze beach. You can also explore the Breakwater if the tide is out.

The Breakwater in Bude Harbour

Bude canal from the sea lock.

Where to eat by the canal

There are plenty of places to eat along the canal in Bude. If you like vegetarian food there is a caravan in the Tourist Information car park in the spring and summer Get Your Veg On. This sells delicious vegetarian salads, toasties and wraps.  Over along the Wharf you can try the Barge, a tea room in a Barge, open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The Barge is moored at the end of the canal by the sea lock in the summer and down on the main Wharf in the winter. On the Wharf itself try the Olive Tree or the Lock Gates Tea Room.

 

 

Favourite walks around Bude

Crooklets in Bude to Northcott or Sandymouth along the sand and coastal path

One of our favourite walks around Bude is along the beach from Crooklets to Northcott Mouth or Sandymouth at low tide, coming back along the coastal path for the views. You need to time it right as the tide does come in quickly and cuts off parts of the beach. You can check tide times at magicseaweed.com.

This is a beautiful long stretch of sand with lots of rock pools and with the backdrop of the dramatic cliffs and the strange rock formations. This walk is popular with all the family and especially our dog, Toby.

Start the walk at Crooklets beach. in Bude. Parking is available at Crooklets or Rosie’s cafe or on the street from October to the end of May. Dogs are not allowed on Crooklets from Easter to the end of September. However, you can still do the walk. Just walk up above Crooklets, either taking the steps next to  the Bude SSLC hut behind Rosie’s or following the road up behind Rosie’s. Go through the gate onto the coastal path where you will see a path going down through the cliffs on your left. Follow this and scramble down the rocks onto the beach. Head right and you will find a way through the rocks down onto the sand.

Walk along the sands to Northcott Mouth. This is a dog friendly beach and there is a lifeguard service in the summer. You can climb up the beach here. It is a bit of a scramble over stones at the top. You will see a cottage up on the top of the cliffs to your right as you face inland. The coastal path back to Bude runs up past this cottage. This is a fairly easy stretch of the coastal path with no really steep climbs or steps. The views are spectacular and the flowers in Spring are beautiful.

If you feel like stopping for lunch or a cream tea Margaret’s Rustic Tea Gardens  at Northcott Mouth are highly recommended. The cream teas and cakes are delicious. Sandwiches and pasties are good too. All seating is outside in a pretty garden just along the track from the beach. Margaret’s is open from Easter to early October.

 

Alternatively carry on along the sand to Sandymouth, a beautiful National Trust beach. If the tide is low, just north of Northcott Mouth you will see bits of a shipwreck sticking up from the sands. This is the wreck of the SS Belem which ran ashore in 1917.

 

Pieces of the wreck of the SS Belem which ran aground in 1917

From Sandymouth walk up the path leading up from the beach. Pick up the coastal path on the right towards Bude. There is a cafe and toilet at Sandymouth (March-November, times vary), or stop off at Margaret’s at Northcott along the way.

 

On a good day the sea is very inviting…

The path from Sandymouth to Northcott is more difficult than the stretch to Bude. There is a steep but short climb from Sandymouth to the coastal path and a steep run of steps down to Northcott.

You can walk from Crooklets to Northcott and back in an hour if you are quick. Allow and hour and a half to two hours if you want to explore the beach or stop off for lunch. Allow two hours to walk from Crooklets to Sandymouth and back.