For walkers hiking the coastal path we suggest visiting two websites:
- Cornish Coastal Paths – for guided and self-guided walks
- Encounter Walking Holidays – who break up the path around Cornwall into sections. Bude is in the middle of what they call The Atlantic Wreckers’ Trail which covers the 57 miles from Westward Ho! to Padstow
The Coast Path takes you south to Crackington Haven, and further on to Boscastle, Tintagel and Port Isaac. A 10-mile (16km) walk to Crackington Haven has an easy start at Bude Canal and takes you past the ‘Tower of the Winds’ (or the structure at Compass Point aka ‘The Pepperpot’) where on a clear day you can see inland Devon and Dartmoor Tors.
Pass Widemouth Bay and the walk gets tough; down to the deserted cove of Millook, through Butterfly Valley and past the stunted ancient Oaks at Dizzard. A cream tea or pint of Cornish Ale will certainly be needed when you reach Crackington Haven.
Continue for 6.7 miles (11 km) into Boscastle or catch the regular bus back to Bude.
Head north to Morwenstow, and perhaps on to Hartland Quay (15 miles / 24km). With relentless ascents and descents, this is possibly the hardest stretch of the South West Coast Path. Here, the sandy beaches become rugged and the path gets steeper. Pass Sandymouth and Duckpool and you will find Coombe Valley a welcome rest spot, where in July the glow-worms are a fascinating sight. Finish the coastal walk at Hawker’s Hut, the National Trust’s smallest property, where you head inland to the famous pub, the Bush Inn, and tea-rooms, where you can get one of the best cream teas in Cornwall. Puffins, basking sharks, sunfish, grey seals, red admirals, pearl-bordered fritillaries, ringlets and meadow browns are amongst the wildlife you may see.