Bude's Beaches, North Cornwall

Bude's Beaches, North Cornwall

Tucked below the Devon border in the northernmost reaches of Cornwall, the seaside town of Bude is famous for its stunning beaches that range from quiet coves to sprawling sandy swathes. Setting the perfect scene for days by the shore, a number of these gorgeous beaches are found within a 3-mile radius of Bude. So, whether you can’t wait to sprawl out on the sand and bury your nose in a book, play seaside games with the family or discover the most scenic spot for a swim, here’s our guide to the best beaches in Bude. 

Summerleaze Beach

Summerleaze beach in Bude, North Cornwall, at sunset

Nestled at the foot of Bude is Summerleaze beach. All of a 5-minute stroll from the town centre, this large sandy beach is served by a wealth of shops and eateries – not to mention car parks, toilets and other handy conveniences – and is one of the most popular for families. It also happens to be home to Bude sea pool, a stunning 91-meter-long tidal pool open to the public 365 days a year. With easy access to the beach, lifeguard service in summer and equipment hire in the town, Summerleaze is the town’s main beach and one of the best for those looking to be in amongst the action.

Crooklets Beach

Just half a mile from the town centre, Crooklets beach is a superb sandy beach that joins up with Summerleaze to the south and Northcott Mouth to the north at low tide. Boasting a popular beach café, a bistro and a pub, it offers the perfect self-contained bubble from which to enjoy sun-kissed hours lazing or playing by the shore. It’s also the base for Bude’s Surf Life Saving Club and as such is lifeguarded throughout summer. Not just a summer wonder though, Crooklets attracts a year-round gang of hardy swimmers and, when the weather allows, is the setting for Bude’s Christmas Day swim.

Breakwater Beach

Situated on the opposite side of the Bude Canal to Summerleaze beach, Breakwater beach is another beach within walking distance of the town centre. Despite its proximity to the sandy expanse of Summerleaze, though, Breakwater enjoys an entirely unique character of its own. Made up of a jumble of rocks carpeted with coarse shingle, its only pockets of sand are revealed at low tide. There’s no lifeguard service here, but it’s great for walks (with access to the South West Coast Path) and is dog-friendly year-round.

Northcott Mouth Beach

Looking down onto Northcott Mouth Beach near Bude from the cliffs

The National Trust Northcott Mouth beach is a large bay mottled with sand and shingle and specked with rocks of all shapes and sizes. Set to the north of Crooklets beach, it joins up with Crooklets and Summerleaze to form one huge stretch at low tide. You won’t find any amenities at this year-round dog-friendly beach, but you will find lots of natural beauty – including dramatic 300-million-year-old cliffs and far-reaching sea views – that make it perfect for wilderness chasers. At low tide, you may even see the remains of Belem, a steamship that ran aground here in 1917. 

Sandymouth Beach

One of the great things about North Cornwall’s beaches is their sheer size – and the dog-friendly Sandymouth is no exception. Just 2.5 miles from Bude as the crow flies, this expansive beach is nearly 2 miles long at low tide and as such always has somewhere quiet to sit and relax for a while. Backed by cliffs, topped with a pebble ridge, decorated with waterfalls and covered with sand, it offers a stunning back-to-nature escape that’s as popular for dog walks as it is for daydreaming on the sand. 

Widemouth Bay

A distant view of Widemouth Bay, just a few miles from Bude - one of the most popular beaches in North Cornwall

Just 3 miles south of Bude is Widemouth Bay, a popular beach that reaches around 1.5 miles in length. From surfers with wax-encrusted boards tucked under their arms to families laden with picnic hampers and buckets and spades, it draws all generations of beachgoers looking to enjoy its soft sand and refreshing waters. For convenience, there is parking, a café and a shop near the beach and there is lifeguard cover in summer. Dogs are also allowed year-round on the southern end of the beach towards Black Rock, though the rest is subject to seasonal restrictions. 

Duckpool Beach

If you head a short distance north of Sandymouth beach, you will come to Duckpool, a wild and secluded beach that is very much off the beaten track. Sitting at edge of the Coombe Valley and overlooked by Steeple Point, it has a tucked away feel and features a small river that emerges onto the beach from the valley. Needless to say, there aren’t any facilities on this beach and it’s not lifeguarded; however, it’s perfect for those looking to head a little further afield and soak up some peace and tranquillity surrounded by the beauty of the North Cornish coast.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Bude here.

Overlooking some of the beaches in North Cornwall not far from Bude


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