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Things to do inBude

Visitor information for Bude in Cornwall

Described as the place 'where coast meets countryside' Bude has something for everyone, with expansive award-winning beaches, spectacular cliffs and wide open spaces, and just a few minutes inland, a nature lover's paradise.

The initial popularity of Bude was in Victorian times as a seaside resort ­ it has moved with the times but remains unspoiled.

Today, the wonderful beaches, lifeguarded throughout the summer, form a backdrop to many water sports activities including, of course, surfing. There are several activity schools in the area teaching canoeing, kayaking, abseiling down real cliffs and much more. Walking, fishing, inland and beside the famous Bude Canal, and cycling (the Sustrans route visits Bude) are among the more leisurely pursuits.

Regeneration of the canal has seen the restoration of locks, towpaths, bridges and lower wharf. A new Tourist Information and Canal Interpretation Centre provide plenty of information about the canal, and visitors can also pick up walking and activity leaflets here.

Visit The Castle at Bude, the first building constructed on sand! It was built by Cornishman Sir Goldsworthy Gurney who also who invented limelight and made the world’s first journey by horseless carriage. In the Heritage Centre you’ll meet a Cornish giant, an eccentric vicar and Bude’s oldest resident. But that’s not all - there’s also an art gallery and excellent gift shop.

This whole area exudes a wild, spacious feel and doesn't rely on brilliant summer sun to capture the hearts of its visitors. Saying that though, Bude has one of the lowest rainfalls in the country so if lazing around on uncrowded beaches is your scene you will not be disappointed either.

Take the north road out of Bude and you're soon amidst scenery of unforgettable beauty. From the towering cliffs, which gird storm-lashed Morwenstow, you can watch the changing moods of the Atlantic. In the churchyard are graves of shipwrecked mariners, buried by the eccentric sea-booted poet, Parson Hawker. Then sit for a while in the hut, tucked into the cliff face, where he penned his verses.

Explore further inland. Choose your favourite village from Kilkhampton, Marhamchurch, Week St Mary, and many others, each with its individual charm. And as you're cruising the lanes you'll notice how the wild landscape of Cornwall is tamed into the rolling hills of the Upper Tamar.

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