Bude to Sandymouth Circular Walk via Summerleaze, Crooklets and Northcott Mouth Beach

This circular walk will take you on the South West Coast Path from Bude to Sandymouth via Summerleaze, Crooklets and Northcott Mouth. The return route will be via footpath and bridleways (mostly flat), or if the tide is just right, it’s a lovely flat walk on the sand where you will see shipwrecks and amazing rock formations which are world renowned.

From (1) the Bude Tourist Information Centre, head across the car park towards the Post Office. Continue ahead towards Bude Castle and bear right at the Bude Light. Cross the River Neet via (2) Nanny Moore’s Bridge.

Cross the road, climb the steps and follow the path up hill to the left. Cross the road and continue ahead to Summerleaze Crescent. Turn left walking past The Beach Hotel onto Summerleaze Downs (3). Follow the cliff top path, passing the steps down to Bude Sea Pool. Stay on the path, past the Beach Huts to Crooklets Beach. The sea will be on your left at all times until you begin the return route.

Cross the footbridge to approach the Surf Lifesaving Club (Rosie’s Café is situated to the right should refreshments be needed). Bear left past the Surf Lifesaving Club to reach a flight of steps.
Climb the steps and follow the path until it emerges onto a track.

Turn left and follow the track and a short path up a flight of steps to reach a kissing gate.

Go through the kissing gate and follow the path ahead up the hill waymarked for Northcott Mouth.

Continue ahead over (4) Maer Cliff/Maer Downs, offering stunning views, walking past the end of two stone walls.

Keep along the well-worn coast path until you eventually reach a gate beside a large bungalow. Go through the gate and follow the track a short distance to (5) Northcott Mouth Beach.

The Rustic Tea Rooms are situated slightly inland from the beach should refreshments be required. At the beach, which is pebbly at high tide, follow the path ahead along the wall to reach a small footbridge and climb (6) the very steep steps. Follow the path along the coast with stunning views of the coastline and beaches below until you reach Sandymouth Bay.

(If you fancy a visit to the beach, head down the slope).

Turn right onto the gravel track and follow it up the hill to the wooden bollards past (7) the café (seasonal opening).

(If you walk 1km up the lane you’ll reach Sandymouth Holiday Resort. They’re open all year and have a lovely cafe, bar and restaurant).

Continue ahead up the very steep hill until you eventually reach a (8) track on the right, (not the first entrance on the right as this takes you into a field) next to a parking zone sign (the track on the opposite side of the lane is signposted “Public Bridleway”).

Turn right onto the track marked with a blue arrow and follow it until you reach (9) a fork. Bear right at the fork passing through the gate and continue ahead following the track to a gap in the hedge in the next field.

Continue ahead along the track, heading towards Bude in the distance, following it until it reaches another gateway. Go through the gate and follow the track along the left hedge of the field to a gap in the hedge in the corner on the far side of the field.

Go through the gap and follow the track straight ahead winding down hill until it eventually ends beside the The Nook at Northcott Mouth (property on the right hand side) passing (10) the Rustic Tea Room’s on the way (seasonal opening).

At the The Nook, bear left onto the lane and follow it uphill to a bridleway which departs from the right beside the green National Trust Northcott Mouth sign.

Turn right onto the bridleway and follow it past the car park to (11) the gate. Go through the gate and follow the left hedge to a gap on the far side of the field. Go through the gap and follow the track along the left hedge, through another gap, until it eventually ends at a gate onto a lane.

Go through the gate, seeing the Cliff Hotel on the right. Take the narrow footpath opposite the hotel. Keep left and follow the track downhill past the houses until you reach the junction by (12) the Car Park at Crooklets Beach.
Walk into the car park, and bear left at the Skate Park. Skirt the Cricket Field fence, and continue ahead to Sainsbury’s.

Continue downhill, passing the main Post Office of your right until you reach The Strand (with the river to your right).

Turn right at (13) the mini roundabout and cross the bridge, turning left into the car park and (1) the Bude Tourist Information Centre, to complete the circular walk.

The Bude Tourist Information Centre is open daily from 10am has a seating area where hot and cold drinks can be purchased. Public toilets are adjacent, in the Pay and Display car park.

This alternative route from Sandymouth Bay to Bude takes you away from the footpaths and you’ll walk across the sand, passing Northcott Mouth, Crooklets and Summerleaze Beach.

This route is only possible when it’s an extremely low tide and it is essential to time the walk very carefully to avoid being cut off by the tide as there are some large outcrops of rock along the way.

You must confirm the tide tides with an RNLI Lifeguard before considering this route.

Sandymouth Bay RNLI Lifeguard Times
Normally mid-May to end September, 10am to 6pm.

Head down the hill from (7) the cafe towards the steps onto the pebbly Sandymouth Bay (less than 5 minutes).

This beautiful National Trust Beach has a pebble ridge at the top with sand exposed as the tide recedes. Seasonal lifeguards operate on this beach. Make your way towards the sea and walk in the direction of Bude along the beautiful long stretch of sand with lots of rock pools and a backdrop of sheer dramatic cliffs, dating back millions of years, and unusual rock formations.

Just before you reach Northcott Mouth, you may see a shipwreck in sand. This is the wreck of the SS Belem which ran ashore in 1917.

(5) Northcott Mouth is pebbly at high tide but as the tide goes out ridges of rock and then a large expanse of sand is revealed. The Rustic Tea Rooms (10) are situated slightly inland from the beach should refreshments be required. Continue past Northcott Mouth heading along the sand towards Bude.

The next beach you will reach is Crooklets. Continue ahead to Summerleaze Beach and you’ll soon reach Bude Sea Pool. This is a beautiful, part natural, part man-made swimming pool in the rocks at Summerleaze Beach. It was created in 1930 and has provided safe bathing at Bude for over 90 years.

On passing Bude Sea Pool make your way off the beach heading towards the beach huts on Summerleaze Beach. Leave the beach via the sandy access path leading to the large car park passing the Beach Office (seasonal opening) , RNLI base and public toilets.

Walk through the car park heading towards the river and (2) Nanny Moore’s Bridge.

Continue ahead on the pavement alongside the river.

Turn right at (13) the mini roundabout and cross the bridge. Follow the road a short distance and cross the road to (1) The Bude Tourist Information Centre to complete the circular walk.

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