Bude offers a great selection of things to do and see. And better still, the best days out don’t need to cost a fortune. We’ve chosen our top 5 things to do for free to keep you entertained during your stay.
1. Swim in Bude Sea Pool
The iconic Bude Sea Pool is one of the last remaining truly tidal lidos in the UK. Whether you choose to paddle in the shallows, dip your toes in over the edge or swim its length, we promise you’ll be impressed!
Created in the 1930s as a safe swimming environment for the people of Bude, this unique semi-natural, part man-made pool has enduring appeal. Set amid the rocks on Summerleaze beach nestling under the curving cliffs, it’s the perfect place to take a safe salt water dip. Measuring 91 m long by 45 m wide the majestic Atlantic Ocean tops it up twice a day.
Bude Sea Pool is open throughout the year but check the tide times before visiting to avoid disappointment. Entry is free. But keeping the pool open is dependent on donation, fundraising, grants plus the support of local businesses, residents and visitors.
2. Visit The Castle Bude
Grade II listed, steeped in history, The Castle Bude offers lots to see and do for free, whatever the weather. Originally built as a private residence by arguably Bude’s most famous resident, the Victorian inventor, Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. Now home to the Heritage Centre, two art exhibition rooms and a cafe. And on selected summer Sundays, sit on the lawns in front of the bandstand, to enjoy free live music.
The Heritage Centre offers a fascinating insight into Bude’s history, from the English Civil War to the canal and railway of the Victorian era. And highlights the inventions and achievements of its founder, Gurney. Children will love the interactive models and displays.
Discover the work of local artists, craftspeople and artistic collectives in the Willoughby Gallery and Blanchminster Room. The programme changes regularly throughout the year.
The Castle Bude regularly offers free workshops, discovery days and hands on fun learning for children during school holidays.
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is free.
The Castle Bude, Lower Wharf, EX23 8LG Tel: 01288 357300
3. Stroll Along The Bude Canal
The Bude Canal system was one of the most unusual in Britain. A unique pioneering Victorian engineering feat with a sea lock and six inclined planes. The first canal in the world to use permanent wheels on tub boats.
Celebrating its bi-centenary this year, the canal now offers a pretty scenic stroll as well as water-based fun. The level towpath makes it an ideal amble for little legs and those with less mobility.
In town start from the vibrant regenerated wharf area. And guests staying at Court Farm can also walk from the village to pick up the canal path at Helebridge.
The busier section by the wharf and Falcon bridge is a great place to feed the ducks and admire the waterside homes on the opposite side. But stroll a little further towards the Marhamchurch end to discover the locks and weir.
The Canal is home to otters and kingfishers. While the adjacent Bude Marsh with its reed beds is a habitat rich in flora and fauna.
4. Go Rockpooling
Rockpooling is a fantastic activity for people of all ages to enjoy. Traditionally associated with summer holidays, in fact you can explore this hidden world at any time of the year. Grab your bucket or borrow one from our boot and laundry room. And you’re ready to go!
Bude’s cliffs have a unique geology. And as the tide draws out the rocky shore is exposed, ready for exploration. You need to get stuck in to have the best chance of spotting something.
Gently inspect seaweed to find what creatures are hidden within. Slowly lift rocks to discover what lies beneath. Investigate cracks and crevices to find shellfish. Then submerge your bucket slowly and see what’s inside when you pull it out. Don’t forget to return all creatures to their home!
As well as the area between Crooklets and Summerleaze beaches, we recommend visiting Northcott Mouth, Duckpool or Sandymouth beaches.
5. Do a #2minutebeachclean
We love where we live and hope you will too! Bude has been at the forefront of the beach cleaning and plastic movements. And we’re proud to be the home of the 2 minute beach clean, founded by Bude resident Martin Dorey.
The idea is simple. Every time you visit the beach spend 2 minutes (or more if you want to!) picking up litter, with the focus on plastic. You can take your own bag or if visiting Crooklets beach find bags on the sponsored #2 minute beach clean board.
Every piece of litter removed will make a difference. And helps to reduce marine pollution as well as keep our beaches clean.
For further information on this fantastic initiative visit https://www.beachclean.net