Take the coast road south from Bude towards Widemouth Bay and you are almost immediately rewarded with fabulous coastal views as the road runs parallel with the South West Coast Path. Stop off at the Break Bar for refreshments or food… have a paddle at Widemouth Bay using their private access path to the beach!
Second stop is the historic harbour of Boscastle (just 18 miles from Bude) which is a super place for either a decent walk (visiting St Peter’s Woods, the lovely Valency River Valley, stunning coastal paths and interesting churches) or to simply wander around the harbour. Boscastle is famous for its potatoes, seasonal fishing trips and the Visitor Centre is well worth a visit for a fascinating display about the Boscastle Flood of 2004. There is a witchcraft museum, numerous cafés, little shops and a couple of pubs if you’re ready for refreshment!
Next, take the coastal road from Boscastle towards Tintagel. You can stop along the way if you fancy a stroll to the pagan waterfall at St Nectan’s Glen at Trethevy or head down to the tidal beach at Bossiney, a popular haunt for those who enjoy coasteering.
As you progress along the road you’ll drive into Tintagel, which is made up of various little hamlets such as, Trevenna, Treven, Tregatta and Trevillick. Tintagel is full of romantic history – of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and a pre-Christian heritage which was discovered in the excavations near to the ancient church of St Materiana high on the cliff top.
Tintagel Castle, owned by English Heritage, is well worth a visit and benefits from a brand-new accessible bridge to the island where the ruins are located. The rest of the village has much to entice you, from souvenir shops full of kitsch piskies and fudge to the National Trust-owned Old Post Office, which is the picturesque old manor house in the centre of the village Street.
With plenty of parking and a volunteer-run visitor centre Tintagel is lovely for a mooch and you will find a good choice of eating places if you are ready for a cream tea or a cold pint! If you’re still in an active mood a walk up to the Church will provide you with stunning views of the castle ruins and of the coastline beyond Pentire Point to the South and to Hartland Point and Lundy Island to the North.
From Tintagel, follow the signs for Camelford and then take the road to the A39 via the old Camelford Station and Slaughter’s Bridge, the site of an ancient battle and the Arthurian Centre. The views of Bodmin Moor, with the boulder strewn Roughtor (the second highest point in Cornwall) and the cheese factory at Davidstow (where they make the famous cheddar with local milk) are easily visible from the road. Why not take a slight detour and call into the Cornwall at War Museum, located at the old WW2 airfield RAF Davidstow Moor?
As you journey ‘homewards’ to Bude, call into the Poundstock Gildhouse – they offer free tours on a Wednesday afternoon. Approaching Bude you’ll see the distinctive satellite dishes of GCHQ Bude in the distance and, on a clear day, the dramatic high cliffs along the coastline to your left. After all that exploring you will be ready for a relaxing evening watching the sunset over the breakwater or the embers glow in the wood-burner depending on the time of year you’re visiting!
TOP TIP… Call into the Bude Tourist Information Centre before you head off. We have lots of walking leaflets and guides, trails and treasure hunts which will help you explore.