The Bude Canal Bicentenary – July 1819 – 2019
Mid July is always a fantastic time to come to Bude, but this year there is more reason than ever we are celebrating the Bicentenary of the Bude Canal. If you can squeeze in a weeks holiday and arrive either the 19th or 20th July, we have plenty of things to do and some wonderful places to stay in and around Bude, many with last-minute discounts.
The 23rd July marks the 200th Anniversary of the Bude Canal. To give you an idea of the Canal’s importance, a huge public celebration with an estimated 12,000 people gathered on Summerleaze Downs when there was dancing and food and general merriment.
Friday 19th July, Bude Farmer’s Market is a great place to browse and pick up a tasty treat or purchase some handcrafted gifts. In the evening you can catch The Dreamers formerly Freddie and the Dreamers and the Temple Brothers along with the Everley Brothers Tribute band, all performing at the Falcon Hotel.
Saturday 20th July, Bude has an Artisan Market in the Methodist church, always full of tempting local produce. Take a short stroll over to the cricket ground on Summerleaze Downs and watch a local game, probably one of the most picturesque grounds in the UK with its views over the beaches and the sea.
Sunday 21st July, to mark the occasion of the Bicentenary, head over to the Bude Castle and Heritage Centre (opposite the Bude Tourist Office), where Bude-Stratton Town Council are hosting the Bude and Stratton Heritage Festival. This free, family fun packed day starts at 11am through to 4pm and will be held on the beautiful Castle Grounds and inside stalls in the nearby Parkhouse Centre.
There will be two full size tub boat replicas on display, bouncy castle, demonstrations from the Bude Pilot Gig Club, live entertainment, vintage fairground, birds of prey, surf simulator, dog show, face painting. Our very own ‘Vicko’ will be hosting a guided walk in the afternoon.
Tuesday 23rd July, To commemorate the actual day that the canal construction began, Falcon Hotel are providing entertainment and a buffet. Cousin Jack and local singing group Frigging Rigging will keep the party going as you enjoy a delicious supper prepared by the Falcon’s fantastic catering team, tickets are £22 and need to be booked in advance.
Local artist Harry McConville, known for his stunning watercolours, his exhibition entitled ‘On the Canal’ can be viewed at the Blanchminster Gallery inside the Bude Castle Heritage Centre. The exhibition runs actually runs from 13th July to the 1st August and like all exhibitions at the Castle, entry is free. If you want to try water colour techniques for yourself, Harry runs his Water Colour Workshops from the Falcon Hotel each Wednesday, with a minimal charge to cover costs.
Sunday’s, To find out more about the history of the Canal and to see artefacts including the collection from the late 19th and early 20th century visit the Canal Barge Workshop at Helebridge, open on Sunday’s from 2pm -5pm up until the 29th September, free admission.
There is an informative commemorative booklet available and copies are for sale for just £1 at the Bude Tourist Information Centre.
As always, if you need any help with booking accommodation or with your visit to Bude, please get in touch we are open every day from 10am to 6pm.