Bude's Beautiful Beaches
North Cornwall's beaches are famous for their haunting beauty and those in the Bude area are no exception. Vast expanses of clean, golden, sandy beaches, often backed by rugged cliffs, have captivated many a visitor's imagination over the centuries.
No matter whether the sea is calm and gentle, or raging with angry waves and white foam, her majestic beauty will always add to that romantic feel of our shores.With the enormous differences between high and low tide their atmosphere and shape is constantly changing. The water levels rise and fall dramatically within a couple of hours and the sea level will cover an area of 60 football pitches with up to 7 metres of water during high tide. It is this never-ending flow of the tides that gives you the opportunity to enjoy a 4-mile walk along the shoreline from the Bude beaches all the way up to Sandymouth and back when the tide is out.
Summerleaze Beach, Bude
With the prominent features of the breakwater, barrel rock, canal lock gates, and the river Neet flowing into the sea, it is probably the most picturesque beach of Bude inspiring painters, photographers, and visitors alike. The colourful little fishing boats resting on the sand whilst waiting to go out with the next tide and the Beach huts (which are available for hire) add to the special charm and atmosphere. Even at high tide there is a good stretch of beach available and with the tide out, Summerlease is truly a joy to behold. The nationally acclaimed open-air sea pool is popular with families and triatheletes alike. Summerlease has a large car park adjoining the beach, offering level access to the beach. Also there is the RNLI lifeboat station, public toilets and a beach office where the sand wheelchair, windbreaks, deckchairs and beach huts can be hired and general beach goods can be purchased. Full toilet and shower facilities are available. Overlooking the beach is a popular café, which doubles up in the evening as a lively restaurant. The beach has RNLI lifeguard cover from the beginning of May to the end of September between the hours of 10am – 6pm and during this time all the dogs must be on leads.
Crooklets Beach, Bude
Although a little pebbly at the top, Crooklets offers a huge expanse of golden sand and rock pools once the tide is out. It is popular with surfers and home to Bude Surf Life Saving Club (Britain’s First) and demonstrations occur every Tuesday evening. There is a café right on the sea front and access from the car park is level. There are public toilets and an outdoor shower. Beach huts are available for hire from the adjoining Summerleaze Beach office. The beach has RNLI lifeguard cover from the beginning of May to the end of September between the hours of 10am – 6pm. There is a dog ban.
Northcott Mouth, 3 miles north of Bude
A beach of haunting beauty. Although quite pebbly at the top, it offers a huge expanse of sandy beach when the tide is out. With towering cliffs on both sides it feels a little like a cove. Children will love exploring the fine sand, many rock pools and stream, which is running down through the beach. Owned by the National Trust, it has a little car park halfway down the hill. Although there aren't any facilities such as public toilets, there is a lovely tea garden just up the private road, which is open during the summer months. Lifeguard cover is provided in July and August. Dogs welcome.
Sandymouth, 5 miles north of Bude
Again, this is a National Trust-owned beach. The car park, also owned by the National Trust, is situated at the top of the cliff and the walk down to the beach leads you through quite a steep ravine, which is why we wouldn't recommend it for the less mobile. Once there, you'll be rewarded with a lovely quiet beach with its very own waterfall! There is a café with public toilets, which are open during the main summer season. Lifeguard cover is provided from the middle of May until the middle of September. Dogs welcome.
Duckpool, 6 miles north of Bude
A wild and romantic cove, which is appreciated most for its wild setting. Dominated by the spectacular peak of Steeple Point Cliff, it is favoured by many as a quiet retreat away from it all. Swimming is not recommended, as the currents are extremely dangerous and razor-sharp rocks only add to the hazards. No lifeguard cover is provided! Dogs welcome.
Widemouth Bay, 3 miles south of Bude
Widemouth Bay is very popular with bathers and surfers alike. Although it looks like one huge beach, stretching across almost 1.5 miles, it is actually divided into the North and South Beach (also called Black Rock) by a natural barrier of rock. Widemouth offers fantastic conditions to learn surfing or body-boarding, which is why many of the local surf schools have their base there. A big car park, public toilets and beach café are available. Lifeguard cover is provided from the beginning of May until the end of September (North Beach). Cover on Black Rock is from the middle of May until the end of September. Dogs welcome on Black Rock beach.
Millook Beach 5 miles south of Bude
Another beach of haunting beauty, yet not the perfect one for those looking for sand and surf. Covered with thousands of pebbles, it is more of a retreat for those wishing to observe wildlife such as seals and dolphins as well as birds of prey and waders. Millook is also of huge geological interest with its world famous zig-zag cliff, towering high above the shore. No lifeguard cover is provided. Dogs welcome.
Crackington Haven, 11 miles south of Bude
Dominated by truly majestic cliffs, Crackington Haven is a wonderful, but small beach, with hundreds of rock pools teaming with wildlife. It offers quite a stretch of golden sand with the tide out, and facilities such as car park, pub, café and public toilets will make a lovely day out on the beach for those who are looking for a quieter spot. Lifeguard cover is provided in July and August. No dogs.
Strangles, 12 miles south of Bude
Flanked by the most impressive High Cliff (the highest in Cornwall with its awe-inspiring 732 feet), Strangles is well worth a visit for its sheer magnitude. However, the climb down (not to mention the climb back up) is strenuous and certainly not suitable for small children or the less mobile. It is unsuitable for bathing, as the strong currents and razor-sharp rocks impose a life-threatening danger. No lifeguard cover is provided! Dogs welcome.
Therefore, always make sure you adhere to a few simple rules as outlined here. It will help you and your family stay safe in and near water!