Photography by Annabel Elston
1. Summerleaze Beach (above)
Where the River Neet, Bude Canal and the sea all meet to swap stories in the dunes. It also brags a breakwater joined to a stubborn rock and a free salt-water lido that is the envy of the coastal world but needs more friends to keep it going and lifeguarded.
2. ‘Earthquake’ Beach
What locals call the low tide spot between Northcott and Crooklets. Gets its name from the ribs of rock
that run out to sea. Nick swears by it. Fossil hunters also rave about the carboniferous sandstone.
3. Millook Haven
Small peaceful cove south of Bude on the tiny coast road. Stroll on south to Butterfly Valley (for meadow browns and red admirals) and straddle the ancient dwarf oaks that somehow survive the salt. Grab a pint at Crackington Haven and you might even catch Thom Yorke or Seasick Steve doing a secret set, as they have homes nearby.
At low tide it lives up to its name by the acre full, although when the tide is high, it’s pebbly. Nice hollow wave too.
5. The Strangles
SSW of Crackington Haven. At 735ft it’s Cornwall’s loftiest cliff but worth a scramble down if you’re fit and not carting kids or elderly relatives. Thomas Hardy’s good lady wife liked it here, so we’re told.
6. Northcott Mouth, Bude
In Ollie Gittins’ eyes, there’s no more beautiful spot on earth. We agree. Throw in Margaret’s Rustic Tea Rooms and this is Cornwall’s take on paradise.
“In Bude you can hear the sea from miles away.”
Nick THE TREE INN REGULAR