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.

 

 

September 2017 holidays

September 2017 holidays

Are you looking for a break with family or friends in September 2017? Cornwall is lovely in September, after the summer rush. Explore empty beaches or the coastal path. Pick some blackberries from the hedges.  Catch some spectacular September sunsets. Hopefully we will see some late summer sunshine!

Family cottages – 10% off!

We are currently offering 10% off when you book one of our family cottages for a week between 2 and 16 September. We have cottages sleeping 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11. Contact us by email at enquiries@hiltonfarmholidays.co.uk, facebook messenger or call us on 01288 361521 for details. You can find out more about our cottages on our website .

Short breaks (minimum 3 nights) also available. Email enquiries@hiltonfarmholidays.co.uk for details.

Cottages sleeping 4-5 1 week

Pound (sleeps 4 plus cot)

2-9 September – 1 week NOW £610 (usually £680).

Swallow’s Nest (sleeps 4)

2 September – 16 September 1 week NOW £555 (usually £620).

Primrose (sleeps 5)

2 September – 16 September 1 week NOW £590 (usually £660)

Cottages sleeping 6-7 1 week

Badger (sleeps 6) 2 September – 16 September 1 week NOW £610 (usually £675)

Manor (sleeps 6) 9-16 September NOW £730 (usually £810)

Parsons (sleeps 7) 2 September – 16 September 1 week NOW £750 (usually £840)

Our Farmhouse.

Farmhouse

Our beautiful Farmhouse is available from 2 – 16 September. We have a 10% off late availability offer if you book for a week (usually £1600). Our Farmhouse sleeps up to 11 in 5 bedrooms. There is plenty of space for a large group, with two comfortable living rooms, a dining room and separate kitchen. There is a private garden with BBQ. Find out more about the Farmhouse here.

The Farmhouse is always popular with larger family groups or groups of friends. Our heated outdoor pool is open until the end of September. We also have a tennis court and hot tub on site, as well as a play area for any children in the group. See some of our reviews on Trip Advisor.

One guest who stayed in the Farmhouse commented: “Our family of 10 recently stayed in the farmhouse and we all agreed that the accommodation and facilities were first rate. The farmhouse was spotless, the pool was used every day and so too was the hot tub. My grandsons enjoyed the football goals and my little grand daughters were in their element feeding the animals. Faye and her husband were very friendly and welcoming and I would highly recommend Hilton Holidays to anyone who wants a lovely place to stay for a holiday. We will definitely be returning!”

Blackberries and eggs from our hens.

A September sunset at Hilton.

Bude

There is lots to do around Bude. The town has two lovely beaches, Summerleaze and Crooklets. Summerleaze also has the Bude Sea Pool. Most local attractions are open in September. Watersports are available at most beaches and on the canal all year round. See some of our other blog entries for ideas on what to do in the area.

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.

Things to do around Bude

We are about 10 minutes away from Bude, a small seaside town on the beautiful North Cornwall coast. Bude has won the British Travel Awards Best UK Coastal Resort two years in a row! Visit the Tourist Information site or drop into their office by the canal to find out more about Bude.

Here are some of our favourite highlights from what the area around Bude has to offer.

The beaches and Bude Sea Pool

The beautiful Bude Sea Pool at Summerleaze beach.

Bude has two beaches in town – Crooklets and Summerleaze. Try the Sea Pool on Summerleaze beach which offers safe swimming in the sea. The Sea Pool was built in the 1930s and is run by a community group. Surfing and body boarding are popular on both beaches, or try surfing at nearby Widemouth Bay. Board hire and lessons are available on all beaches. If it’s too cold for a dip, explore the rock pools at Crooklets or Black Rock (south end of Widemouth).

 

A walk along the coast

If you feel like a walk, you can walk along the sand from Crooklets to Northcott Mouth or Sandymouth at low tide. Please check the tide times as parts of the beach do get cut off! Walk one way along the coastal path for the spectacular views. You can pick up the coastal path at Crooklets, Northcott or Sandymouth. At low tide you can see the remains of a 1917 shipwreck, the Belem, just north of Northcott Mouth beach. Stop for a cream tea with Margaret at her Rustic Tea Rooms at Northcott Mouth (open from Easter-September). Dog owners this is a good walk with a dog but please note that there are sometimes sheep on the path in the winter and Crooklets is closed to dogs from Easter to the end of September. This does not stop you from doing the walk with a dog though. If you go through the gate onto the coastal path above Crooklets a path leads down through the cliffs onto the beach just beyond Crooklets where you can scramble over the rocks onto the beach. Or park at Northcott or Sandymouth which are both dog-friendly beaches (National Trust car parks).

The coastal path from Sandymouth to Bude on a winter’s day

You can walk from Marhamchurch into Bude along the canal and go along to the breakwater at the end of harbour – at low tide you can walk out along the breakwater. Or head south from Bude towards Widemouth Bay along the coastal path to take in more fantastic views of the rocky coastline.

 

Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre

The Tamar Otter and Wildlife Centre is about 20 minutes away and well worth a visit. The otters are fascinating to watch and the small park also has deer, wallabies, owls, giant rabbits and meerkats. It is great for children of all ages. You can see the otters being fed and walk in the woodlands, looking out for the deer and wallabies.

Tintagel and Boscastle

If you are feeling energetic visit the castle ruins at Tintagel. The ruins, which are linked to the legends of King Arthur, are on a dramatic rocky outcrop jutting into the sea, with some amazing views. This is an English Heritage property so there is usually lots going on in the school holidays (open Easter-30 September). Stop off in Boscastle to explore the village and harbour or visit the Witchcraft Museum.

Cornwall at War Museum

The Cornwall at War Museum is on a bleak spot on the moors near Davidstow (open Easter-end October) on an old WW2 airfield, with exhibits in some of the original buildings. This is a small and atmospheric museum, run by volunteers, great if you have an interest in WW2 and popular with children.

St Nectan’s Glen and Rocky Valley

Two lovely walks along the river between Tintagel and Boscastle. Walk along the river to St Nectan’s Glen and see the waterfall crashing through a hole in the rocks (fee payable at cafe).

The waterfall at St Nectan’s Glen

The walk along Rocky Valley follows the river on its way to the coast, passing a ruined mill and ending with some spectacular scenery. You can walk back to the road along the coastal path above Bossiney Haven, a secluded and beautiful beach, worth visiting if you are feeling energetic enough for the climb back up to the car park.

Dramatic scenery at Rocky Valley

 

 

Great Easter holidays come to an end

We have had a fantastic Easter here in Cornwall, with three weeks of dry weather and a lot of sunshine. Our Easter visitors made the most of the weather. Lots of children enjoyed the pool and there were a few trips to the beach. Unfortunately our dry weather came to an end today with a hail shower at 7.30. This was not popular with my eldest, who refused to get up.

Our pool looking inviting over Easter – wish the weather was always this predictable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had some lovely feedback in the visitors’ book in the Farmhouse. Our Farmhouse is always popular with extended families and groups of friends as there is plenty of space. Take  look at some photos on our cottages page http://www.hiltonfarmholidays.co.uk/our-cottages/the-farmhouse/. There were some great comments from our guests this Easter:

“The Farmhouse had everything we needed.” “Very comfortable.” “Fantastic.” “Thanks for the high standard of the Farmhouse.”  We also had a note from some younger visitors “It was really fun here in the swimming pool”.

They recommended visits to Boscastle and Padstow, a walk on the coastal path and the steak night at the local pub, the Bullers Arms http://www.thebullersarmshotel.com/. The most popular beach seemed to be Summerleaze in Bude which is a big sandy beach. It is also home to Bude’s Sea Pool, definitely worth a visit if you enjoy swimming in the sea http://www.budeseapool.org/.

 

 

 

 

Spring is in the air.

Spring is in the air – hopefully. As I write this Storm Doris is howling round the house, bringing gales and lots of rain. However, we are now into February and this week I have seen lots of snowdrops and a few primroses.

The first daffodils are out, although the wind will probably flatten them tonight. It definitely feels warmer this week when I am walking our puppy (who is now  in the naughty toddler stage), despite the wind.

Our hens have started laying again as well. Unfortunately, we had a visit from the fox at the end of November. The cheeky thing had three of our newest hens. The others went on strike, except for one who laid an egg every day all through December. However, now the days are getting longer we are getting more eggs each week. Good for baking!

While we are quiet we are busy trying to fit in work to update the cottages, with the help of our local builder /handy man and his daughter . They have started taking off the rendering on the outside of our lovely Farmhouse, revealing a lot of old stone wall which we are re-pointing. This is a very time consuming and painstaking job, not helped by the winter weather. We are also re-fitting bathrooms in the Farmhouse and Manor, doing some decorating and laying new flooring.

This week I booked the local pool maintenance company to re-open our pool at the end of March, ready for Easter! Only a couple of months to go now and hopefully we will see some sunshine. If not, you can always hide in the hot tub.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our past and future guests! We’ve had a busy Christmas and New Year with lots of guests enjoying the hot tub, tennis court and local beaches.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a beautiful stretch of beach between Crooklets in Bude and Northcott Mouth. When the tide is out, you can walk all along the coast from Bude to Sandymouth. The beaches and cliffs are spectacular and you can also see parts of the wreck of the Belem just beyond Northcott. Then walk back along the cliffs on the coastal path to take in the views. We had a puppy in June so we have spent the second half of 2016 discovering some great walks around this beautiful, but hilly,  part of North Cornwall.