Located in the very north of Cornwall, nearly on the Cornwall/Devon border is the beautiful area of Bude. Because of its location Bude has the highest spring tides in Cornwall, which means that the appearance of the coastline can alter in a matter of minutes. There are a number of award winning beaches within a few miles of Bude which cater for a range of tastes and stretch for an impressive three miles. The main beaches in the area have full lifeguard support during the summer season but it is still unwise to enter the sea at low tide due to currents.
Being the nearest beach to the town centre, Summerleaze beach can get busy during the summer months with both surfers and families. The beach is surrounded by dunes on one side and the town’s canal on the other. The beach has a wide expanse of good fine sand at low tide. It is advisable to use the sea water swimming pool rather than the sea due to the currents. There is a tannoy system in operation to warn and inform users of the dangers present around the area. There is parking available in the nearby Summerleaze car park.
At low tide the beach stretches from Summerleaze beach to Northcott mouth and is very popular with beginners and intermediate surfers alike. The further north you head during the summer months the more space you will find on both the beach and in the sea. Way back in 1953 the beach was home to Britain’s first life saving club and as such is sometimes referred to as the ‘Bondi of Britain’. At the rear of the beach are a set of beach huts which have recently caused a stir with locals due to their run down state.
The beach and local car park are owned by the National Trust and has some spectacular cliff and rock formations including good rock pools for young children to explore. The actual beach is made up from both pebbles and a good expanse of sand which gets exposed at low tide. The beach is popular with both local surfers and holiday makers and is accessed via a fairly steep slope from the car park. There is a cafe/restaurant and a local shop which become popular during the summer months.
With over two miles of open sand at low tide the beach is very popular with families and with its spectacular waves, also with surfers. The beach has a good supply of rock formations which at low tide displays a fantastic selection of rock pool to explore. During the winter months due to its exposure to the elements the beach can get very wild with some amazing waves. There is a big car park with over 300 spaces and a range of facilities including shops and food outlets. Somewhere underneath the sand is buried the Trans-Atlantic hotline which connects Downing Street to the Whitehouse, so be careful with your bucket and spades.
Located in a lovely small cove with daunting cliffs over 400ft high, Crackington Haven beach is made up of a mixture of shingle, pebbles and sand. At low tide there are a number of rock pools to explore in this under used beach to the south of Bude. For the size of the beach it has some good facilities, a couple of cafes, a shop, pub and even a surf hire shop. From the top of the nearby cliffs there are some amazing views with Boscastle visible in the distance.