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From the Blog

Discover Widemouth Bay and Bude: your bespoke itinerary

Posted by Kate Giles on Updated on
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An unforgettable long weekend in North Cornwall

With its array of stunning sandy beaches, rugged picturesque coastline, wonderful walks and fantastic restaurants, it’s easy to see why Bude has become a top family favourite destination and voted the ‘Best UK Coastal Town’ for the third consecutive year in the British Travel Awards. What’s more, nearby Widemouth Bay is brilliant for surfing, sunbathing and walking.

The perfect opportunity for a long weekend away, take advantage of the quieter early summer months and explore this unforgettable region of North Cornwall before the crowds descend. To help inspire you, we’ve comprised an itinerary of the top things to see and do, as well as our favourite eateries to help you get the most out of your next visit to Widemouth Bay and Bude.


Saturday afternoon

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Once you've settled into your home for the next few days, head out onto the 1.5 mile stretch of Widemouth Bay. Continue onto the southern dog-friendly part of the beach known as Black Rock to let the children run around and your four-legged friends lap up the sea.

From here, take a walk along the South West Coast Path. If you’re feeling energetic, follow the picturesque route all the way to Bude and beyond where you can see the rugged coastline, the 1830s octagonal storm tower on Compass Point know to locals as ‘The Pepper Pot’ and the breakwater and Barrel Rock below. On your way back, stop off for a well-earned drink on the sun terrace at The Bay View Inn and take in the stunning sea view.

Saturday evening

When it’s time for dinner, head to Elements. This fantastic family-friendly Italian restaurant is set high on the cliffs between Widemouth Bay and Bude and offers some of the best views around. Indulge in delicious homemade pizzas and Italian gelato. Post-dinner, it’s the perfect spot to watch the sun set with a glass of wine whilst the children run around in the large garden. Dogs are welcome in the garden also.

Sunday morning

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Wake from a restful night’s sleep and hit the beach for a family coasteering session with Freewave Surf Academy, or try an energizing surf lesson with OA Surf School. With over two decades of experience, the enthusiastic team will have you riding your first wave in no time. Prices start from £35 per person and discounts are offered for families and groups.

Image right: © Freewave Surf Academy

Sunday lunch

After working up an appetite on the beach, head to The Rec Tea Rooms. This family-run eatery offers hearty breakfasts, delicious sandwiches, fantastic cakes and a never-ending supply of tea alongside beautiful sea views. You can also bring dogs into the garden.

Sunday afternoon

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Following your leisurely lunch, hit the fairways and brush up on your swing at Bude and North Cornwall’s Golf Club. This traditional links course is one of the best in Cornwall, with delightful countryside and sea views. If your enthusiasm outweighs your skill, then you can always head to the crazy golf down by the castle instead!

If golf is not your thing, try your hand at horse riding at Broomhill Manor Stables on the outskirts of Bude, which provides coaching for all ages and abilities. For the more experienced rider, two-hour cliff rides are available.

If you are a fan of live music and good beer, then a visit to The Barrel is a must. This intimate micropub hosts live music at their Sunday sessions. Named after Bude’s famous Barrel Rock, they serve locally sourced drinks and showcase talented Cornish musicians. Music is from 2pm to 4pm on a Sunday.

Sunday evening

For dinner, it’s got to be The Beach at Bude Hotel restaurant, with unbeatable views over Summerleaze Beach. Now with head chef Jamie Coleman at the helm, who has worked with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Michael Caines, this contemporary restaurant offers a modern take on British classics. Post-dinner, treat yourself to a delicious cocktail as you watch the sun go down. Dogs can sit with you on the sun terrace.

Monday morning

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No trip to Bude would be complete without swimming in the semi-natural tidal pool nestled beneath the cliffs at Summerleaze Beach. Created in the 1930s, the pool is open throughout the year and is free for all to use. The water temperature ranges from 11c to 18c so a wetsuit is advisable!

Post-swim, head to Life’s A Beach for a spot of lunch. Affectionately known as LAB, it is hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. Set above Summerleaze Beach, enjoy the delicious burgers, Cuban sandwiches and local mussels by day and fantastic seafood by night. The crab bisque and tiger prawn and spiced fish curry are a must. Dogs are welcome on the terrace.

Monday afternoon

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Dating back to 1774, the historic Bude Canal route is a hive of activity on and off the water. Explore the picturesque scenery by bike, on foot or take to the water where you will spot a wealth of wildlife. Choose between an easy flat walk along the canal to Helebridge or attempt a more challenging circular walk along the South West Coast Path from Helebridge to Widemouth Bay and back to Bude. There are various routes on offer to suit most abilities and bikes can be hired from Bude Bikes.

Canoeing and kayaking is another great way to see the canal and Shoreline Extreme Sports offer beginners and intermediate sessions for all ages. Or if you would prefer a gentler paddle you can hire rowing boats or even a giant swan pedalo from Bude Boat Hire.

If you are feeling peckish, you will find some great restaurants at either end of the canal route. In Helebridge, The Weir restaurant is set in Whalesborough Farm with a pretty lakeside position. Back in Bude, you will find The Barge on the wharf which offers a unique dining experience aboard a canal boat. This fantastic dog-friendly tearoom is the perfect spot for tea, cake and more!

Monday evening

After another busy day exploring, The Deck restaurant in Bude is the perfect place to recharge and refuel. The menu is full of British classics infused with continental influences and flavours, from delicious chargrilled steaks and burgers to their signature hanging skewers. Dogs are welcome in the bar area and patio outside. The food is delicious, the portions are generous, and the service is even better. It’s not difficult to see why it’s currently voted the best restaurant in Bude.

Tuesday morning

Depart feeling rejuvenated, with happy memories of another fantastic coastal escape.


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To book a stay at any of our holiday homes, get in touch with our team on 01208 895 570 and we'll be delighted to lend a hand.

Meet the team - Kate Giles.jpg

Posted by Kate Giles

Having swapped city life for North Cornwall, Kate is our go-to when it comes to outdoor activities and family-friendly recommendations. Outside of work, you’ll find Kate playing netball, running or relaxing with her young family.

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