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Top 10 things to do in Bude and Widemouth Bay

The coastline of Bude and neighbouring Widemouth Bay is renowned for its brilliant waves but there’s more to these beachside towns than epic surf.  From beach days on some of Cornwall’s finest stretches of sand and dog friendly things to do along the coast to cycle routes in the surrounding area, here’s a round up of the top ten things to do in Bude and Widemouth Bay.

Go rockpooling

Whatever the weather has in store, a day spent exploring the rockpools along the beaches of Bude and Widemouth Bay 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!

Surfers

If there is one thing that this area of north Cornwall is famous for, it’s surfing. Bude and Widemouth Bay’s own beaches have easy white-water waves that are perfect for learning, alongside world-class surf for more experienced wave riders. There are a number of surf schools in Bude and Widemouth Bay, including Freewave Surf Academy in Widemouth Bay, and Bude Surfing Experience and Big Blue Surf School off Summerleaze in Bude, all of which offer surf lessons and board hire throughout the year. 

Take the plunge

The iconic Bude Sea Pool is open all year round and is 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.

Soak up some history

Set back just behind the beach, the magnificent Bude Castle is one of the area’s finest. Built in 1830, it also houses a heritage centre where you can discover the area’s unique geology alongside a wonderful collection of Bude railway nostalgia, interactive models and local military and maritime history. There are also three art galleries that showcase both established and emerging local artists in a regularly changing programme.

Try coasteering

If you want to try an activity in the water but surfing’s not your thing, how about throwing yourself off rocks during an afternoon of coasteering or a gentle paddle on a paddleboard? Freewave Surf Academy offers paddleboarding sessions and hire as well as thrilling coasteering experiences along the stunning coastline, whilst Bude Surfing Experience also offer paddleboarding lessons. 

Eat out

Bude and Widemouth Bay have some fantastic places to eat and drink. Hidden down a backstreet, the Electric Bakery serves up pastries and other baked goods from Wednesday through to Sunday (check out their online sourdough courses), whilst laid-back Life’s a Beach is perfect for anyone who’s worked up an appetite in the waves. Potters is also a firm favourite with locals and visitors. In Widemouth Bay, The Bay View Inn is a popular beachside restaurant with cracking sea views, whilst the Break Beach Bar serves up things like seafood skewers, moorish fish curries and delicious cocktails from its colourful garden which leads straight onto the sands of Widemouth Bay. 

Explore 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.

Visit a nature reserve

Starling Murmuration Over Marazion Marsh RSPB At Sunset, Cornwall, England, UK.

The beautiful wetland reserve of Maer Lake welcomes thousands over overwintering birds each year, making it one of the most important breeding grounds in the area. Spoonbill, marsh harrier, sandpiper and whooper swans inhabit the 22-acre site each year, and there are a number of interesting plant species here too. Don’t forget your binoculars!

Take to the lakes

Just a short drive away from Bude and Widemouth Bay, 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 and Widemouth Bay in our guide to Bude and Widemouth Bay