A top ten UK beach destination, Bude is perfect for family beach holidays and surfing getaways, featuring a wide choice of surf schools and two fantastic central beaches – Summerleaze with tidal sea pool and Crooklets popular with surfers. To the north and south of Bude sit many more spectacular beaches including Widemouth Bay to the south, a top spot for learning to surf and a choice of National Trust cove beaches to the north.
Central Summerleaze Beach is Bude’s prettiest beach located where the River Neet flows into the sea, with an open air sea pool, colourful beach huts available to hire and fishing boats. Good expanses of sand are at low and high tide. Popular with families, Summerleaze has an adjacent cafe which becomes a restaurant by night, shower facilities, toilets, a lifeboat station and a lifeguard service across the summer season (May to the end of September). Dogs are permitted but must be kept on leads.
Popular with surfers and more exposed to Atlantic rollers, Crooklets Beach is located at the northern end of Bude, only a short stroll from the town centre and Summerleaze Down. Flanked by rocky outcrops, Crooklets is also a popular spot for family rock pooling and has excellent facilities, extensive golden sands, a play area, skate park, beach cafe and adjacent parking. A lifeguard service operates across the summer season and a dog ban is in place from Easter to October.
A huge choice of fantastic beaches surround Bude, each with their own unique character, and many offering world class surfing facilities. North of Bude pushing towards Hartland you’re in National Trust territory and a spectacular rocky coastline dotted with dog friendly cove beaches. Just 3 miles north of Bude is Northcott Mouth (National Trust), a dog friendly pebble cove beach popular for family rock pooling. Further north (5 to 6 miles) sits the National Trust’s Sandymouth cove beach with cafe and toilets, accessed via a path down from the cliff top and wildly spectacular Duckpool, a hidden cove beach with dangerous currents (swimming not recommended) overlooked by Steeple Point Cliff.
Great surfing and wildlife beaches sits to the south of Bude including Widemouth Bay just 3 miles to the south, a mecca for surfers and families with over a mile of golden sandy beach bay offering two beach stretches – North beach and South beach or Black Rock. Conditions are perfect at Widemouth Bay for learning to surf which is why most of Bude’s surf schools run courses here. Excellent facilities include a huge adjacent car park, toilets, a beach cafe and lifeguard service across the summer season. Black Rock beach is dog friendly.
Around 5 miles south of Bude is pretty pebble beach Millook where you’re likely to spot off shore seals and dolphins, as well as many sea birds. Dogs are welcome and a famous zig-zag coastal path popular with walkers sits high up on the cliff overlooking Millook. Further south (11 to 12 miles) is Crackington Haven beach, a golden sandy small beach popular for rock pooling with a cafe, parking and an inn. No dogs are permitted here. Beyond Crackington Haven is Strangles beach framed by the highest cliffs in Cornwall, accessible by a steep and strenuous path unsuitable for families and the less mobile. Dogs are welcome. Strangles has dangerous currents and jagged rocks – strictly no swimming here.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.