Geology Walks

Bude and the surrounding area is one of the most fascinating geological areas in Cornwall. Special geology walks with Dr Roger Higgs, our friendly local expert, come highly recommended should you want to discover more.

The so called “Bude Formation” of North Cornwall has such fine examples for study that it has been popular with generations of geologists and also used by universities and oil companies. Enjoy the geology along this sector of the glorious South West Coast Path. Sand and mud layers deposited in a giant tropical “Lake Bude” 300 million years ago were folded due to Britain and France colliding, forming a Cornish mountain range, before dinosaurs existed.

As well as some spectacular rock formations, fossilized remains have also been found to evidence life forms from an era when and Bude’s climate was similar to modern Africa. Bude even has its own unique fossilised fish species (a toothy, goldfish-sized blighter called Cornuboniscus budensis) found nowhere else in the world.

The Bude Tourist Office has more fascinating information and literature on local Cornwall geology. This is also the place to book a fascinating expedition with Dr. Roger Higgs (Oxford 1982-86) who brings the subject to life in fun, informative style.

Two hour Bude Geological Walks are offered throughout most of the year, on Thursday afternoon at 2pm, starting from Bude Tourist Information Centre. £17 adults (16 and older); £10 children (7-15) and £15 concession (65+). Advance booking required.  Check out the events page to see what walks are available…

Sorry, no dogs are allowed and children must be at least 7 years old for the Public Walks.  Dogs and children are most welcome on a Private Walk.

Private walks at other times can be arranged for 1-25 people, including schools, colleges and universities.  Private walks are conducted in English or Spanish.

Click here to read this blog post, which has some amazing photographs of Bude’s Geology.

Roger gave the four of us a very interesting succinct story of the geology of the earth, when living things appeared, why a fossil fish was only found in Bude, the History of the Bude canal, the folding of the coastal rocks and much more, he is very personable and welcomes interactive questions from his guest geo walkers. We had little geological knowledge and he patiently explained everything clearly. Highly recommended

Excellent and very educational, fascinating afternoon on the geology of Bude and Cornwall

Spent a brilliant 3 hours walking around Bude learning about the rocks. Owe did a private tour and was so much fun.

Brilliant Guide

We booked the private tour so that we could bring 2 children and a dog, along with 4 adults. Roger connected very quickly with everyone, and his enthusiasm and passion rubbed off on us all. The tour was one of the highlights of our holiday and I would recommend it to anyone.

Bude’s very own Indiana Jones?

A great walk around Bude. Not too far to walk but lots of interesting information and things to see. We were in a group of 16 and it was easy to listen and ask questions.

A great walk with lots to see and listen to

I can’t believe i have lived in Bude for so long and have never done this before – we organised a private walk for 14 people, who were visiting Bude on a retreat.
On the feedback forms everyone commented how amazing it was so i speak for myself and 14 others – incredible.

Amazing - a must for visitors and locals

We looked at booking a private walk as something different to do with the boys. We weren’t sure what to expect but right from the start the tour was engaging and entertaining. Roger was full of energy and excitement and engaged extremely well with both our boys. (We now have a large collection of rocks that we had to drag back from Cornwall.) Roger even took time later to email us with information regarding some things from the tour. We would highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to enjoy a lovely walk in a beautiful little town while learning something and getting a deeper understanding of the world around us. As my boys said afterwards ‘rocks are so cool!’


We loved our afternoon with Roger learning all about the geology of Bude. Our children were also fascinated. Roger was very knowledgeable and interesting to learn from. We really enjoyed doing this tour with him early in our trip and throughout the rest of our stay could appreciate and understand the rock formations. Highly recommend.

Fantastic afternoon learning about Bude geology

Having a little background information on geology and being fascinated by it, I knew this walk was for me the moment I spotted it on the Bude Tourist Information site. As soon as we arrived in Bude, we went to the centre to book the walk, and I am so glad I did as it was extremely popular and there is a limit on numbers.

The next day a motley crew of us were met outside by Roger the Sedimentary Geologist. He made the tour fascinating and his insights and little bits of information were wonderful. As well as local Bude knowledge and overall geology he had historical facts galore too. He was patient with all in the group and very charming with the only child on the tour (who might I add was knowledgeable and a joy to have when so many children can be distractable)
The walk was not taxing, (there is a slight steep hill which those on heart meds like me may find slow going) and the scenery and of course geology stunning.
I would thoroughly recommend this walk to everyone.

Go on this walk, it will make you happy

This was an unusual and engaging experience. Roger is an enthusiastic and inspiring practitioner who shares his geological and historical knowledge in an accessible and illuminating way. He caters his delivery to his audience and is a tremendous advocate for the wonders of geology as a whole and the specific allure of the Bude formation in particular. Highly recommended for those with a thirst for learning or desire to encourage budding scientists, geologists and naturalists. A fascinating introduction to the rock bed of our world.


To be honest ~ I wasn’t sure why my daughter dragged me to the Tourist Information building to see ‘what was on’ in Bude. We had the sea and the sand ~ who could want more.
But then we saw the advertisement for a Geological Walk with Dr. Higgs and we joined up ~ totally ‘spur of the moment’.
From the moment we met in the car park, we knew we were in for a great afternoon!
Dr. Higgs was spellbinding ~ we could have listened to him speaking all day. He captured our imagination and was so passionate about his subject that we were totally transported in time. If you want to learn how and why the rocks move and see the miracle of Crystal formations inside the tiniest rocks – this is the trip for you. If you want to see fossils and climb among the rocks – this is a trip for you. If you simply want to listen to and learn about Bude, Cornwall from this amazing Geologist, this is the trip for you.
I have to say that since my trip, I travel everywhere with my magnifying glass (don’t worry, it’s tiny!) and tell everyone about the different types of rock and the wonders within.
I have to say this trip really has changed how I look at things and at 61 years old ~ I didn’t think that could happen. Thank you Dr. Higgs!

Totally amazing ~ this trip actually changed my life!
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