Surfing Bude

Bude Holidays

...where coast and countryside collide

The small, welcoming resort of Bude, in Cornwall, is a fascinating blend of coast and countryside and boasts some of the most rugged and stunning coastal scenery in Britain, so why is it less well-known than it deserves to be?

The honest is answer is we’re not sure. Although holidays in Cornwall are more often associated with resorts such as Newquay, St Ives, Padstow and Penzance, places which enjoy substantially higher profiles, Bude is hardly a ghost town.

In fact during the summer months, Bude’s little streets and vast, golden beaches buzz with holidaymakers of all ages.

Situated in North Cornwall, near the Devon border, Bude enjoys a unique location whereby coast and countryside connect to form an awe-inspiring spectacle. Towering cliffs cascade down towards miles of vast, sandy expanses, creating dozens of rockpools, secluded bays and coves.

Bude Beaches

Bude is probably most noted for its fantastic selection of clean beaches. The town itself is to home to a pair of beaches – Summerleaze and Crooklets – while a range of other beaches can be found within very easy reach.

Summerleaze is a fantastic family beach, and features a tidal pool – a part man-made and part natural beach swimming pool, filled with water from the sea. The Atlantic ocean swells can be pretty lively, but the tidal pool’s waters are calm and safe for children.

Most of the beaches around Bude are patrolled by lifeguards, and the waves can get somewhat gnarly – which is great for surfers. Not as crowded as Newquay, Bude surfing offers opportunities for all, from novice to expert. Crooklets, Bude’s other beach, is a surfing favourite as is Crackington Haven.

Another surfers’ playground is nearby Widemouth Bay, a long expanse of beguiling golden sand beneath a dramatic setting of green-topped cliffs.

Bude’s compact town centre is small but popular, dominated mainly by independent boutiques and curiosity shops. A smattering of high street names can be found if you want them, but Bude’s independent streak is one of its unique selling points. If you’re looking for a gigantic shopping centre, then Bude won’t be for you.

A boating canal ambles through the town and down to the sea, with tow-path walks and burgeoning wetlands making the canal a great place for a gentle walk, bike ride or a spot of twitching. Much of Bude is a designated ‘Area of Natural Beauty’, and Bude’s rugged clifftops form some of the most breathtaking sections of the South West Coast Path.

Bude Accommodation

The selection of Bude holiday accommodation is almost as wide as some of its beaches, with Bude hotels, cottages, B&Bs and more from which to choose.

Bude Haven Hotel
is a four star hotel featuring ten en-suite rooms, and is located just a five minute walk from Bude’s beaches and town centre.

Sunrise B&B is a four star, contemporary bed & breakfast, with each of its seven bedrooms en-suite. Located opposite the local golf club, Sunrise is ideally placed for people on a golfing break and also welcomes dogs.

Once an old blacksmiths shop, The Old Smithy Cottage in Crackington Haven is now a self-catering holiday cottage sleeping four in bedrooms. This is also dog friendly and is close to a beach ideal for surfing.


Cornwall’s northernmost town, Bude may not be as famous as some of Cornwall’s other, more southerly resorts, but it is every bit as scenic – arguably more so. A rural seaside resort, Bude is a beautiful and hospitable holiday destination which appeals to families, surfers, sailors, golfers, walkers and more.

A seaside resort without the noisy and tiresome hedonistic traits of so many others, Bude is the thinking man’s UK holiday resort.

Sean Cummins

March 2011

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015