England Cottages Holiday Cornwall, Walks In Bude, Coastal Walking Holiday UK
England Cottages Holiday Cornwall, Walks In Bude, Coastal Walking Holiday UK was 5 miles and undertaken on the first day of a walking holiday in Cornwall.
I walked this route on the South West Coast Path with my partner Anne in May 2011.
This was also our day of arrival in Cornwall.
We travelled south to Cornwall in our car from our home in Birmingham to the start of the walk which was the Crescent pay and display car park next to the Bude Tourist Information Centre.
After completing the walk we headed further south to St Teath where we were staying in a holiday cottage.
If you want to find out more details regarding the actual route of our Bude Day Walk then click here.
England Cottages Holiday Cornwall Bude Video
This video slideshow shows a summary of England Cottages Holiday Cornwall, Walks In Bude, Coastal Walking Holiday UK
Bude Local Information
Bude is located on the coast of North Cornwall at the mouth of River Neet. It lies to the north of Widemouth Bay and to the south of Flexbury, on the A3073 just off the A39.
Bude is a relatively small town and seaside resort. It used to be significant as a harbour as well as a sea sand resource. The sand used to be used as an improver for the soil of the moorland. During Victorian times it was popular as a watering place and in the 20th century it became favoured as a seaside destination.
Bude has two great broad sands beaches close by as well as being a good base for visiting neighbouring beaches. With Atlantic rollers coming in from the west, the sea front makes for some good surfing in the right conditions.
The cliffs surrounding Bude are the only Cornwall cliffs made of Carboniferous sandstone containing calcium carbonate. Being a natural fertiliser, it used to be taken from the beaches by farmers for scattering on their fields as a fertiliser.
May 2009 saw the completion of a restoration project for the canal for a few miles inland from Helebridge to Bude. At one time the Bude Canal went as far as Launceston but today there is only the restored section. The canal used to be used to carry fertiliser and the local sea sand to small Cornwall towns inland. However, it was abandoned during the 1880’s when it was no longer profitable.
The canal’s uniqueness stems from the way the local gradients were tackled. Horses used to tow barges in groups of four or five. At inclines, the barges which were on wheels were hauled up using a unique method. The method used was massive weights in the form of water tubs which were lowered down pits, some 220 feet deep. Chains were attached to the barges when pulled up the slopes. When chains snapped, the water tubs with tons of water inside would crash down the pits and the barges would roll down the slopes uncontrollably, a very dangerous situation for the barge crew.
Bude had a small harbour during the 18th century which was not protected from the tide. In 1819, Bude Canal Company complete construction of the inner harbour and sea locks as part of the Bude Canal. The sea locks at Canal’s mouth have been restored after storm damage and are now Grade II listed. About 20 small boats use the tidal moorings of the original harbour in summer, the majority of them being sport fishermen. In addition, there are some boats used for crab and lobster fishing on a small or semi-commercial scale.
The River Neet runs into the Atlantic Ocean at Bude and is also know locally as the river Strat as it passes through Stratton further up river. A worrying aspect of the river is its fast reaction after rain. Floods can be a problem and widespread flood defences have been put in place both at Bude and Helebridge.
Compass Point & Watch Tower
The headland at the northern end of Efford Down, overlooking the approach to Bude is known as Compass Point. Located on the headland is a former coastguard watch tower which was constructed in 1840 by the Acland family from the local sandstone and moved there in 1880. The design is based on the “Temple of Winds” from Athens, having octagonal sides. It is so named due to the carved compass points carved on each side.
Efford Down & Efford Beacon
Efford Down refers to an area of land above the cliffs south of Bude. Efford Beacon refers to a headland with a trig point at the top. The origins of the names most likely come from Efford Down Farm, formerly known as Ebbeforde and first recorded in 1183. The farm now provides riding, livery and camping services together with business units.
Upton is a small hamlet about a mile south of Bude and just south of Efford Down next to the coast with a small beach.
Phillip’s Point Nature Reserve
Phillip’s Point Nature Reserve is just south of Upton and is the property of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust with the South West Coast path running through it. You can view the sea campion and thrift that grow here, and if you are lucky, you may see grey seals playing in the ocean. It is one of the smaller reserves owned by the trust and has splendid sloping and vertical cliffs down to the rocks and ocean below with fabulous views south towards Widemouth Bay.
Higher Longbeak and Lower Longbeak
Higher Longbeak and Lower Longbeak are both headlands which lie south of Bude between Upton and Widemouth Bay. Higher Longbreak is just south of Phillip’s Point Nature Reserve whilst Lower Longbeak is a little furth south just north of Widemouth Bay. If you go out on these headlands you can get fabulous views up and down the coastline.
As the name suggests, Salthouse used to be an old salt store back in the 18th century. These days it is white-painted holiday home. It lies at the northern end of Widemouth Bay.
Widemouth Bay and Widemouth Sand
Widemouth Sand is a beach facing west and Widemouth Bay refers to the village just off the coastline. The beach runs about 1.5 miles from Black Rock at the southern end to Lower Longbeak at the northern end. There is good surfing and wind surfing to be had here for various levels of ability. Please note that it is best to avoid low tides because rip tides may arise close to the rocks. There are beach shops, surf hire shops, places to eat and toilets in the village and it can become fairly crowded during summer because of its good conditions.
Marhamchurch is both a parish and village located approximately 1.5 miles south east of Bude, a little way east from the A39. It gets its name from Marwenne, or Morwenna, a Celtic St. Marwenne was one of the 24 offspring of the Welsh king and saint, St. Brychan. Near the end of the 5th century, Marwenne was thought to have founded a hermitage here and the parish church is devoted to St Marwenne.
Helebridge is a western area of Marhamchurch and used to be a basin of the Bude canal. It was the terminal point of the wide canal section for the 50 foot coastal barges. Beyond this point 20 foot tub boats were used for transporting goods.
Rodds Bridge is the last point at which to cross over the Bude Canal before reaching the town of Bude.
Bude Nature Reserve
Actually called Bude Marshes Local Nature Reserve and managed by Cornwall Council. It was declared as the first Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in Cornwall in 1983 and has since been extended to cover an area of about 22.5 acres. In the main it consists of reed beds, wet grassland and willow carr. It is home to a wide range of birds, mammals and insects. Birds include: pied wagtails and bitterns; glossy ibis and Baillons crake; night heron and gargany duck; sandpipers and warblers, etc. Insects include: dragonflies and damselflies. You may even be lucky enough to see an otter.