Home Travel Out and About: Bude

Out and About: Bude


If you’re a fan of surfing, outdoor sports, music festivals or good local pubs, Bude may warrant a summer visit. It’s about an hour and a half via bus, £5 single, £8 return by the 599 Western Greyhound or X9 Stagecoach.

Bude is undeniably an ideal Cornish holiday destination. Its beaches are famous for their beauty as are its woodland walks and coastal paths. Beaches like Widemouth Bay are well known for offering outstanding waves; in fact, Prince Will had his stag do not far away in Hartland. Several people I went to school with have gone on to be professional surfers, Bude girl Izzy Hamilton is even set to be an Olympic windsurfer in 2016. Go to Adventure International or Outdoor Adventure to try it out yourself, along with surf kayaking, canoeing and abseiling.

Of course, you can also fill out the archetypal Cornish holiday itinerary by visiting Pengenna Pasties or The Cornish Ice Cream Café. Almost every restaurant serves only local-caught fish and meat dishes. Every year Bude gains more great restaurants such as The Olive Tree for a bit of Cornish-Italian fusion, American-style Atlantic Diner and Hebasca for a good steak.

Image Credit: exetermogs
Image Credit: exetermogs

There are also several good country pubs and even a couple of bars! Bar 35 hosts local bands like The Sum Of, and themed nights catering for different music tastes with talented local DJs. The Preston Gate Inn in nearby Poughill holds a yearly beer festival that is quickly becoming renowned for offering over thirty delicious local ales and ciders. Rogue Nightclub, the only club in Bude, is worth a visit, if only to make Exeter seem like Ibiza.

What I love about Bude is that it is Cornish spirit embodied. There is a huge emphasis on local produce and hardly any chain shops. No matter what the locals get, they will make something good out of it. In the recent flooding and storms, videos of people surfing along the river that runs through the middle of the town went viral. It’s chilled out community ethos at its best.

I would definitely recommend visiting in the summer, as there’s much more going on. Lifeboat day is the perfect opportunity to drink a few ciders on the beach with a BBQ whilst watching the firework display. If you want to go further afield, Bude is close to the Eden Project in St Austell, King Arthur’s castle in Tintagel, The Minack Theatre in Penzance (which looks almost Ancient Grecian standing among the heather on the cliff) and Lundy Island with its Puffins and unique ecosystem.

One of the best things to happen to Bude in recent years is Leopallooza festival, held in early August every year in Week St Mary, Bude. What started off as “the greatest house party in a field” has come to boast artists such as Bastille, Scroobius Pip vs. Dan Le Sac, Eliza Doolittle and The Skints, whilst maintaining its Westcountry atmosphere. I’ve been for the past 6 years and it never fails to deliver.

Growing up, Bude may not have been a hive of nightlife or offered a wealth of opportunities, but going back home each summer I can’t help but realise how lucky I was to grow up in such a beautiful part of the country. For a seaside short break filled with extreme sports, cider and music, it doesn’t get much better. Geddon.

Emma Thomas

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Also, check out this Guardian article on heading to Bude!

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