Beautiful Bude

Now that we are quieter over the winter months I am making the most of my dog walks around beautiful Bude, especially when it is not raining! We are very lucky to live here, in such a lovely part of the country.  We often head for the beach which is glorious on a clear, sunny day at this time of year. There are still a few hardy surfers in the water on a good day and keen swimmers in Bude’s Sea Pool. 

One of Bude’s landmarks, Barrel Rock, at the end of the breakwater.

The waterfalls at Sandymouth beach are always worth a visit, especially after a rainy spell.

 

I’ve also been trying to find some good spots to take in Autumn colours this year – too often the leaves get blown off the trees in a gale. The new footpath/Segway route/cycle path between Whalesborough, just down through the village, and Widemouth is a great place for a walk, as is the Bude canal tow path.

Bude canal – walk into Bude along the canal. Use the car park at Helebridge for a shorter walk.

Bude canal – walk into Bude along the canal. Use the car park at Helebridge for a shorter walk.

 

Rustling through the Autumn leaves on the footpath between Whalesborough and Widemouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn colours on the footpath near Widemouth.

The sunsets at this time of year are also spectacular. A guest recently took a photo of the sunset reflected in the pond in our field (open to guests when the cows aren’t around).

A November sunset reflected in the pond.

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.

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.

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.