Bude is a coastal town in North Cornwall, UK, close to the border with Devon. Its location makes it an ideal touring base for exploring Devon and Cornwall, but Bude has its own attractions, including eight sandy beaches and a number of secluded coves. These are just some of the things to see and do in Bude.
Bude Castle Heritage Centre
Bude Castle was the home of Victorian inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, who discovered limelight – used in theatres the world over. Today, it’s a heritage and visitor centre with stunning views over Summerleaze Beach. There’s an interactive shipwrecks exhibition, as well as lots of information about Bude past and present. Admission is 3.50GBP per adult, and the castle is open all year round.
Bude Marshes Nature Reserve
Situated behind the Tourist Information Centre, Bude Marshes is a natural flood defence and a breeding ground for many forms of wildlife. The area has one of the largest reed beds in the UK, attracting many species of migrant and breeding birds. Two species of orchid and several rare plant species grow here, and otters have been spotted in the vicinity. It’s a great place to get close to nature.
The canal was a major means of transporting freight to areas of Cornwall and Devon in the 19th century, but it fell into disuse in the early years of the 20th century. The canal has now been restored and regenerated, and you can take a walk along the towpath, or a ride the canal in a canoe or rowing boat. Find out more about the canal and its history in the exhibition in the Tourist Information Centre.
Take the A39 road inland for a couple of miles and you’ll come to the lovely village of Marhamchurch. The village is famous for its thatched cottages, and the 14th century church of St Marwenna, named after a 5th century Celtic saint.
Stratton is around two miles from Bude, and it was the scene of a great Royalist victory in May, 1643, against Cromwell’s Parliamentarians. The Royalists were outnumbered two to one, but they won the day. Stratton has a beautiful 12th century Norman church, and it’s steeped in history.
Bude is a great destination for those who enjoy peace, quiet and stunning scenery. That said, the town is host to several popular festivals, including the 8 day Jazz Festival each August. Bude has a number of interesting and original shops, restaurants and bars, and its location on the A39 trunk road makes it a great touring base for Devon and Cornwall.