What’s To See & Do At Bude, Cornwall

Bude is just 50 minutes from South of Bideford and is a delightful coastal town in Cornwall, England.

Bude highlights a history intertwined with smuggling, hidden coves, and traditional fishing.

This combination makes it an excellent destination for those seeking relaxation or action-packed adventures, in the sea surfing, in the shops or in the hills, walkways and paths behind and around Bude.

Key Takeaways:
Bude is a delightful coastal town in Cornwall, England, just 50 minutes from the South of Bideford.
Bude has a fascinating history intertwined with smuggling, hidden coves, and traditional fishing.
Bude offers a range of activities for visitors, including leisurely beach walks, water sports, rock climbing, and abseiling.
Bude has various shopping options, from local markets to unique independent stores, with a mix of large chain stores and independent boutiques.
Bude offers a diverse range of food offerings, from traditional seafood dishes to cafe favourites, pubs, fine dining experiences, and takeaway food options.
Bude has several must-see attractions, including Summerleaze Beach, Crockathen Circus Iron Age Hillfort, Bude Canal and Castle, and numerous museums, galleries, and art spaces.

Learn About Bude, Cornwall

The region has been inhabited since the Bronze Age and currently has a population of around 11,000. Its beautiful coastline, pristine beaches, and outdoor activities make it a popular tourist destination for s day or even longer.

Visitors looking for relaxation can enjoy one of England’s most beautiful beaches, Crooklets Beach, or the historic sand dunes at Summerleaze Beach. For a more active getaway, numerous hiking trails await nearby.

Adventure-seekers will find some of the UK’s best surfing spots in Bude, including Widemouth Bay, Summerleaze Beach, and Northcott Mouth. Water sports catering to all skill levels, such as paddleboarding and sea kayaking, are also available.

Bude’s fascinating past can be discovered through its historical landmarks, including Bude Canal and Castle. Built-in 1823, the canal is the country’s oldest, while the Norman castle ruins serve as a reminder of its medieval origins. Numerous museums, galleries, and art spaces are also available to explore.

With beautiful beaches, a variety of activities, and an intriguing history, Bude is the ideal destination for any holiday. Whether seeking a tranquil beach escape or an action-filled adventure, Bude has something for everyone.

Outdoor Adventures in Bude, Cornwall

From leisurely beach walks to rock climbing, Bude, Cornwall offers a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. This scenic coastal town is perfect for those looking to explore nature and engage in exhilarating adventures.

For a more relaxed activity, Bude’s beaches are perfect for leisurely strolls. The sandy coastline features miles of walking trails, offering stunning sea views and dramatic cliffs.

Adrenaline enthusiasts have numerous water sports options, including surfing, bodyboarding, and kitesurfing. Depending on your skill level, several great surf locations are available. For an extra thrill, try coasteering, which involves scrambling over rocks, jumping into the sea, and exploring caves along the coast.

Rock climbing and abseiling offer additional ways to explore Cornwall’s stunning coast, with climbing routes of various difficulty levels to choose from. Whether a beginner or an experienced climber, there is something for everyone.

For swimmers, Bude features two outdoor saltwater swimming pools, ideal for taking a dip without being battered by the waves!

Shopping in Bude, Cornwall

From local markets to unique independent stores, Bude, Cornwall offers a variety of shopping options for visitors.

The town centre features a mix of large chain stores and independent boutiques, with the High Street lined with unique shops offering a range of products, from fashion to gifts. Two supermarkets in Bude ensure all holiday essentials are available.

The Bude Farmers’ Market, held on the first Saturday of every month, is a must-visit. The market offers fresh local produce, artisan food and drinks, and handmade crafts, perfect for finding unique gifts for yourself or friends back home.

Stratton Flea Market, held every Sunday in the neighbouring village of Stratton, offers a wide selection of antiques, collectables, clothing, accessories, furniture, and more. Bude, Cornwall has plenty of shopping options to keep every visitor entertained.

Featured Places to Stay Near Bideford

Dining in Bude, Cornwall

Bude, Cornwall offers a diverse range of food offerings to satisfy all tastes. From traditional seafood dishes to cafe favourites, pubs and fine dining experiences, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Traditional Seafood Dishes

Bude is renowned for its fresh local seafood delicacies. Visit one of the many restaurants and pubs near Bude Harbour for a classic fish and chips meal or try more unique seafood specialities such as rock samphire and crab.


For a more casual dining experience, numerous cafes in Bude offer a range of light meals and snacks. Most cafes serve sandwiches, soups, salads, and other traditional English staples (which include pancakes if you’re with my family!).

Fine Dining

For a memorable evening, consider one of Bude’s top-class restaurants. Indulge in fine dining with locally sourced ingredients, expertly prepared. Complement your meal with a glass of wine or two.

Takeaway Food

If you prefer a night in, Bude offers various takeaway food options. Choose from local pizzerias, kebab shops, or Chinese restaurants for a convenient and easy meal.

Must-See Attractions in Bude, Cornwall

Bude is known for its stunning beaches and lush countryside.

This idyllic destination offers plenty to explore and discover, making it an ideal spot for seaside holidays. Here are some of the top activities and attractions to experience while visiting Bude.

Summerleaze Beach

The scenic Summerleaze Beach, an 800-meter stretch of golden sand situated at the foot of Bude’s iconic 300ft cliffs, is perfect for those seeking various outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, or simply lounging on the beach.

Crockathen Circus Iron Age Hillfort

Crockathen Circus is a massive Iron Age hillfort dating back to around 200 BC.

The fort remains remarkably intact, with well-defined ramparts, a double-enclosure system, and several visible roundhouses within. A visit to Crockathen Circus offers a fascinating experience for history enthusiasts of all ages.

Bude Castle Heritage Centre & Gallery

Constructed in 1845, Bude Castle is a stunning Grade II listed building located in the heart of the town.

Housing the Bude Castle Heritage Centre & Gallery, the building contains a wealth of local treasures, archives, and photographs, along with a gallery showcasing modern works by local and national artists. It’s an excellent place to learn more about Bude’s history.

Accommodation Options in Bude, Cornwall

From budget-friendly hotels to luxurious beachfront resorts, Bude, Cornwall, offers various accommodation options to suit your preferences and purse strings.

If you prefer something more secluded and rustic, consider one of Bude’s charming guesthouses or bed and breakfast establishments. Staying at one of these lodgings will make you feel at home, and the hosts are often friendly and knowledgeable about local attractions.

For a unique experience, try camping in Bude. Whether staying at a caravan site or pitching your tent in the countryside, camping allows you to connect with nature and enjoy Bude’s picturesque landscapes.

No matter your choice of accommodation, you’re sure to enjoy your time in Bude and create lasting holiday memories.

Festival Events in Bude, Cornwall

Bude comes alive with various festivals throughout the year. From jazz music to film screenings, and sports championships to traditional fairs, there are plenty of events to choose from during your stay in this seaside resort.

Bude Jazz Festival

Each summer, the popular Bude Jazz Festival features over 80 jazz acts and lasts for six days and nights. Concerts take place at various venues throughout the town, showcasing everything from classic jazz to modern melodies.

There are also many local festivals and events happening throughout the year

And Finally…

Bude, Cornwall, is a beautiful destination with plenty of reasons to visit.

With outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and surfing, there is something for everyone. The town also offers a wide range of shopping and dining options, featuring local and international food too.

Throughout the year, Bude hosts numerous attractions and festivals, and the area provides a variety of comfortable accommodation choices. All of these factors make Bude, Cornwall, a fantastic place to visit and an excellent option for your next holiday.

Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to Bideford.com! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

Do you want to see your favourite Bideford attraction, place to stay, event or activity listed here? Contact Us!