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Things to do in Bude

Bude is renowned for its brilliant waves but there’s more to this beachside town than epic surf.  From beach days on some of Cornwall’s finest stretches of sand to dog friendly things to do along the coast to cycle routes in the surrounding area, here’s a round up of the best things to do in Bude

Go rockpooling

Whatever the weather has in store, a day spent exploring the rockpools on Bude’s beaches is always a day well spent. Kit yourself out with a bucket, net and a seashore guide so that you can easily identify your finds — you’ll be amazed at the number of different species that make a Cornish rockpool their home. Expect to find crabs, fish, starfish, urchins and anemones, to name just a few.

Surf’s up!


There is one thing that this area of north Cornwall is famous for and that’s surfing. Bude’s own beaches, along with Widemouth Bay, have easy white-water waves that are perfect for learning, alongside world-class surf for more experienced wave riders. Having lessons will ensure you get the most from your days in the waves. Freewave Surf Academy offers surf lessons as well as SUP sessions and hire as well as thrilling coasteering experiences along the intertidal zone of Bude’s stunning coastline. 

Take the plunge

The iconic Bude Sea Pool is open all year round and free to use. It’s a tranquil alternative to the open ocean which can get quite rough. And if you don’t fancy a dip, then it’s a peaceful place to sit and watch the world go by. Well behaved dogs on leads are also welcome.

Steeped in history

Set back just behind the beach, this Grade II Bude Castle is a listed building and one of the town’s finest, built in 1830 and houses a Heritage Centre, where you can discover Bude’s inventive genius, Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, the area’s unique geology, alongside a wonderful collection of Bude railway nostalgia, interactive models plus local military and maritime history. There are also three art galleries that showcase both established and emerging local artists in a regularly changing programme.

On two wheels

Forever Cornwall Camel Trail Bikes

Whether you bring our own bikes with you or hire bikes in Bude, exploring the town and the surrounding network of lanes and cycle paths is always a pleasure. There are some easy, level routes around Bude’s canal and nature reserve, as well as more adventurous rides taking in some challenging climbs and terrain.

Take to the lakes

Just a short drive away from Bude, The Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes are a haven for walkers, runners, cyclists, anglers, sailors, birdwatchers and families. There are circular paths around the lakes, or you can take to the water on hire equipment or launch your own. Wildlife abounds here and there are even handy bird hides for spotting some local feathered friends.

Find out more things to do and see in Bude, from dog friendly things to do to the best places to eat and drink, in our destination guide to Bude