Bude is a small seaside resort town on the North Cornish Coast close to the Cornwall/Devon border. The growth of Bude in the early 20th century as a resort town was in part due to the arrival of a railway branch line, the Victorian liking for bathing in the sea, and the romance of wild seas and scenery.
The Arthurian legend also drew attention to the area around Tintagel, which is a little further down the coast.
Bude has a small fishing industry, and a range of small local businesses, but tourism is the mainstay of the local economy. Bude has a wide range of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and even at the height of the season it offers plenty of variety.
In times past Bude was a coastal port of some significance. The Bude Canal, built between 1819 and 1825, was designed in the main to carry 'Bude Sand', which was high in salts and suitable for digging in to the local clay soil, throughout the area to improve its drainage and to augment yields.
The Canal company improved Bude harbour and constructed a breakwater, which provided shelter from the sometimes cruel seas. The sea-lock was eventually enlarged to allow vessels of up to 300 tons to enter the canal and tie up in either the Lower or Higher Wharf. Some of the grain stores and warehouses are still standing today although they have been converted for a variety of different uses, from apartments to shops and restaurants. 2009 saw the regeneration of the Lower and Higher wharves and the higher canal lock gates have been reintroduced. A walk along the canal path is a must, the natural beauty of the canal and the wildlife is spectacular.
The Old Lifeboat House is situated between the two wharves by the site of the former swing bridge, and is now converted into four comfortable self-catering holiday apartments.
As well as having a very interesting history, Bude has much to offer people of all ages, throughout the year.
The environment is superb. The South West Coast Path follows the cliffs and beaches through Bude, and offers excellent and sometimes challenging walking. Bude is on the Sustrans cycle network and is a focal point for many routes throughout Devon and Cornwall. Crooklets Beach, Summerleaze Beach and the fine beach nearby at Widemouth Bay offer fine waves for swimmers, surfers and kayakers.
Families can relax in the safety of the Bude Sea-Pool, which has just been upgraded to meet modern safety standards. You can take to the waves under the supervision of RNLI lifeguards (throughout the holiday season at specified times of the day).
Attractions such as Clovelly, Dartmoor, Padstow, Eden Project, Morwellham Quay, The National Maritime Museum, Tintagel Castle and many others are within easy reach by car and there are bus links to most attractions and villages.