With January safely under the belt and February making a promising rosy start, I cheerily set off this morning for my first explore of the season over to Northcott Bay.

I cycled the 15 minute scenic cycle into Bude, along the cycle path edging the river, and was greeted with much activity in the hedgerow – in the way of chaffinches and wrens popping out to greet the world. After scooping up an ever-keen fluffy explorer in the form of super loan-dog Basil, I headed off along the edge of Burn View and over to Crooklets Beach.

Up and over the Downs we admired the black-faced sheep and peeked through the turmeric-yellow gorse to see the fascinating rock formations and cresting waves below. We dipped down into Northcott Mouth and were presented with fabulous craggy coastal views. We admired and then took on the ‘giant causeway’ steps snaking their way up the other side of the valley. Once at the top I determined to take a picture of the words of wisdom etched into the viewpoint seat (this did involve falling into a gorse bush – which I wouldn’t recommend – but all in a good cause!)

After drinking in the Mediterranean view, we decided to venture back to Bude along the sands. I was keeping my eye on the tide but decided half way that the tide was moving quicker than we were. Basil appeared not to notice my rising anxiety and gaily made the best of rock-hopping and crab-pool jumping back to Northcott with the sea playing chase. I was relieved to make it back to Northcott safely and could hence return Basil all in one piece to my lovely, trusting friend, Viv!

We walked somewhat sedately (in an effort to regain our decorum) back along the SW Coast Path to Crooklets Beach and then finale-ed with a wet and wild romp (admittedly more Basil than me) along Summerleaze Sands. One dog: one walk: one unique experience – all for a wish in beguiling Bude.

If you and your dog are looking to put a ‘spring’ in your step – you’re up for a woofy welcome at Boots Cottage – nestled by the canal basin at Helebridge.  Check us out at visitbude.info/accommodation/boots-cottage/ and see what we have to offer. Winter prices hold until the end of March!

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