Visitor Attractions In North Cornwall

This page will be growing over the coming weeks to provide lots more information about what’s on and where to go in North Cornwall that can be easily accessed whilst staying at Tamar Lake Farm.

If you would like us to add a place of interest to this section, please get in touch.

Bude Events, Dates For Your Diary

Whatever time of year you are camping in Cornwall, you won’t need to worry about whether or not you will find enought to do! If Bude is your destination, you have a choice of many popular annual events. Your only problem may be fitting them all into your schedule!

The Bude Jazz Festival was a popular annual event in the town, and when it was announced that it was to be end, there was a huge backlash, both from the local community and regular visitors. Fortunately, a group of volunteers have stepped up to the mark and pledged to save the festival. Under its new name of Bude Jazz, its first year will be 2012, which is actually the 25th anniversary of jazz in Bude. The festival takes place at the end of August and is a wonderful celebration of jazz music, with dozens of performers playing at various venues throughout Bude.

Bude Jazz

Bude Jazz Festival 2010 (from

Another annual treat of the musical variety is the Bude and Stratton Folk Festival, a completely acoustic festival in Bude and its neighbouring town, Stratton. A diverse range of sessions, dances and performers are featured and the event is growing in popularity every year, with many viewing it as one of the best small folk festivals on the circuit. This is a really inclusive festival, as everyone is encouraged to join in. ‘Sing around’ sessions, musical workshops and folk dancing are just a few of the activities you can participate in. Who knows, you might even discover a hidden talent! The Bude and Stratton Folk Festival takes place in June every year. Continue reading

Making a Splash in Bude, From Surfing to Kayaking

If you are camping North Cornwall this year, you should definitely consider making time for some watersports. Your first stop should be The Bude Surf Centre, which offers surfing lessons from the very best – British Surfing Association approved senior coaches. Bude is the perfect place to start learning how to surf! There are many great beaches, and you can be sure that your coach will take you to the most suitable beach for your ability.

Image from the BBC Cornwall website from their article about the Bude Surf Classic Event held at Widemouth Bay

If a lesson isn’t enough for you, why not join the Surf Centre’s “surfari” – a full day spent visiting many of the areas finest surfing beaches. It’s just what you need to catch the surfing bug!

Don’t worry if you don’t have any surfing kit – most beginners haven’t yet invested in their own kit. The Bude Surf Centre has an extensive selection of surfboards and wetsuits for you to hire, and they will be on hand to advise you what kit is best suited to your ability.

Of course there are many more water-based activities to enjoy during your camping North Cornwall trip. How about Canadian canoeing, kayaking and boogie boarding for starters? If you like the sound of these, head for Atlantic Pursuits, a small company based in Bude. Having traded for over 30 years, they really know what they are talking about when it comes to outdoor pursuits! Highly qualified instructors are guaranteed to give you the expertise, guidance and attention that you need to get to grips with the watersport of your choice.

Upper Tamar Lake

Image from the Upper Tamar Lake Sailing Club Website

Continue reading

Boscastle: Witchcraft, Walking And Wildlife!

If you are planning a holiday, whether caravanning or tent camping in Cornwall, make sure you take advantage of the beautiful attractions all along the North Cornwall Coast. Only 16 miles from Bude is the lovely village of Boscastle, which is the only natural harbour for 20 miles on the North Cornwall coast.

Although Boscastle is no longer a trading port, it remains a thriving community with lots of visitor attractions. The village itself, set on the side of the Valency valley with its quaint cottages, oozes charm. The High Street has many buildings with stone and slate porches and huge slate flagstones in their gardens. Spend a few hours exploring the former water mill, the Museum of Witchcraft, the pretty tea gardens and the many craft and gift shops – perfect for picking up a few mementoes of your trip. Don’t miss the 16th century Napoleon inn and the former warehouse known as the Cobweb, which is a popular inn known for its family-friendly environment and selection of real ales from local Cornish breweries.

Boscastle Harbour Scene

A Boscastle Harbour Scene, July 2006

The Museum of Witchcraft boasts the largest collection of witchcraft related artefacts in the entire world and is a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours if you are interested in witchcraft.

St Juliot Church is one of the must-sees of the area. The 19th century novelist Thomas Hardy worked on it while he was still working as an architect. In fact, Hardy met his future wife Emma in Boscastle, and set significant parts of his novel ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’ in the surrounding area. Continue reading

Cycle Trails In Bude Area

If you are a keen cyclist, you will be pleased to know that camping sites in Cornwall have plenty of room for you to bring your bike and all the necessary equipment! Bude is known for its secluded country roads, making it perfect for exploring the area on two wheels. Whether you want to enjoy the stunning coastal views or check out the nearby villages, Bude offers endless cycling opportunities.

Bude is most definitely a bike-friendly holiday spot, with lots of designated cycle parks where you can keep your bike secure while you do a little exploration on foot. Bude Canal, the South West Coast Path and a wide range of gorgeous beaches (including Summerleaze Beach and Crooklets Beach) are just a few of the most popular visitor attractions.


This is an example of the Flying Gate bicycle, a hand made model built by the son of regular Tamar Lake Farm visitors, Chris and Rich

Bude forms part of the main National Cycle Network (NCN3). Further south, the network links to the famous Camel Trail, which takes in some of the most beautiful coastal and moorland scenery in Cornwall. The Camel Trail is 20 miles of off-road cycling and runs from Padstow to Wenford Bridge, taking in Wadebridge and Bodmin. If you are heading north, you will reach Devon’s Tarka Trail through breathtaking Ruby Country. The Tarka Trail is 21 miles of flat cycle track, free from traffic, going from Braunton to Great Torrington through Barnstaple and Bideford.

More off-road cycling is available at Stowe Woods, Cookworthy Forest or Tamar Lakes. While in Bude, you are likely to meet lots of other cyclists of all abilities, including those who choose the village as an overnight stop during the ‘End-to-End’ (Lands End to John O’Groats, or vice versa). Continue reading

Camping In Devon And Cornwall, The Coast Path

From Coast Path To Crazy Kate!

If you are camping in Devon and Cornwall this year, you should really think about exploring the Devon Coast Path (also known as the South West Coast Path). The Devon coast is widely considered to be one of the most amazing coastlines in the South West (some would say in the whole of the UK!).

If you are staying in the Bude area, you have the North Devon section of the coast path on your doorstep! Many companies arrange organised walking tours – such as National Trails – which start on the Devon border and take you southwards along the Long Distance Path towards Bude. Whatever villages you want to visit while you are camping in Devon and Cornwall, you can make the coast path part of your trip and take in some stunning sea views along the way.

the waterfallFor serious walkers, the Bude to Hartland Quay stretch of the coast path is a fairly strenuous trek. It is just over 13 miles long and takes in some amazing views, including Maer Cliff, Higher Sharpnose Point, St Catherine’s Tor and Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall. See the full details of this Bude to Hartland Quay walk with the link provided.

If you want something a little gentler, the ‘The Hobby Drive Walk’ is a flat, easy walk through Clovelly, a beautiful village in some of the area’s most unspoilt countryside. The 3-mile walk starts at the top of Clovelly’s cobbled street and is marked with yellow ‘coast path’ way-markers, making it very easy to follow. Get more information on Clovelly walks in this pdf. Continue reading

Eating Out On Your Bude Camping Holiday

Sample The Local Produce On Your Bude Camping Holiday

While sausages on the barbecue and a picnic on the beach are an essential part of your Bude camping holiday, you mustn’t miss out on sampling some of the delicious local produce. Luckily you are spoilt for choice when it comes to experiencing real Cornish food.

We recommend:-

The Bush Inn at Morwenstow

The Bush Inn Morwenstow

Detail from the carved back of an old settle in the bar of The Bush Inn

The Bush Inn at Morwenstow is just off the south west coast path that runs between Bude and Hartland.

This 13th century inn serves a full menu all day, seven days a week. Try the wonderful beetroot and Cornish yarg salad with walnut and basil pesto to start, followed by the beer battered fish of the day with pea puree.

Make sure you leave some room for a scrumptious homemade dessert, such as sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and chunky ginger ice cream or apple and cinnamon crumble with custard.

The Falcon Hotel, Bude

Established in 1798, Bude’s Falcon Hotel boasts one of the area’s best-loved eateries – Tennyson’s Restaurant. It combines an elegant, traditional interior with excellent service and a diverse menu that showcases some of the finest local produce. Tender Cornish lamb, seafood caught off the north Cornish coast and award winning local cheeses are guaranteed to get your mouth watering! If you need any more reason to book a table at Tennyson’s, the view from the restaurant is of the hotel’s beautiful walled gardens and the Bude canal.

The Tearooms at Docton Mill Gardens

Docton Mill Tearooms

One of the labradors at Docton Mill, always pleased to help you with your Cream Tea!

If you have a sweet tooth, The tearooms at Docton Mill Gardens (in the Millhouse) is drfinitely the place to go. The Millhouse building dates right back to 1249, so you really will feel as if you are stepping back in time. On a cold day, the log fire is lit – the perfect backdrop to a warming cuppa and a homemade scone. In warmer weather, enjoy a tasty salad with homemade chutney or a locally sourced seafood platter on the terrace overlooking the beautiful garden. Whatever the weather, you must sample the cream tea, which has been voted the best in Devon by the North Devon Food and Drink Awards.
Below is a video slide show of pictures I took in the beautiful gardens

Other Great Places To Choose From

Other great places to eat in and around Bude include the Bay View Inn Restaurant, which prides itself on serving only the freshest food and giving traditional dishes a unique Cornish twist (such as the Bay View cheeseburger, topped with Cornish blue cheese) and Rosie’s Kitchen by Crooklets Beach, a welcoming, family-friendly cafe serving the award winning Treleavens Luxury handmade Cornish ice cream. Choose from dozens of flavours, from the classic vanilla and mint choc chip to the intriguing Cornish saffron and Cornish blue cheese!

Locals and tourists alike flock to these establishments again and again because they know they will get the very best Cornish culinary experience! Why not do the same on your Bude camping holiday?

Exploring Port Isaac and Port Gaverne

Camping in Bude provides the perfect opportunity to visit some of the surrounding villages, such as Port Isaac, which is only 15 miles from Bude. Buses (Western National) go from Bude to Newquay every day of the week during the summer season, stopping at Port Isaac en route, making it incredibly easy to get to.

Port Isaac

Port Isaac viewed from the west - attribution,

If you drive to Port Isaac, it is recommended that you park in the large car park situated at the top of the hill and then walk to the village centre, because the streets are extremely narrow. Port Isaac actually has one of the narrowest thoroughfares in the United Kingdom – which is delightfully and very appropriately called, ‘Squeezy Belly Alley’!

another view of Port IsaacPort Isaac was a busy coastal port until the mid-19th century. Nowadays fishing has taken a back seat to the thriving tourist industry in the area (although there are still fishermen working from its harbour).

The centre of Port Isaac is full of cottages dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which are listed as being of historic or architectural significance. Aside from exploring the old part of the village, there is plenty to do.

A coastal path walk is the perfect opportunity to savour the incredible sea views. During the holiday season, boat trips can be booked from Port Isaac harbour, whether you want to fish or simply relax, enjoy the views and soak up the fresh air and sunshine!

Port Isaac only has a shingle beach, but a few miles away is Polzeath, one of the best surfing beaches in the whole of Cornwall. Adjacent to this is Daymer Bay beach, which is perfect for families and pets. Golf, cycling and indoor leisure centres are also within short distance from the village.

Polzeath from Pentire

A view of Polzeath from Pentire

You may actually have seen more of Port Isaac than you realise. In recent years the picturesque village has been featured on screen – transformed into the fictional village of Port Wenn for the television series ‘Doc Martin’ and as the setting for the film ‘Saving Grace’, starring Brenda Blethyn and Martin Clunes.

Port Isaac is only a short walk from Port Gaverne, an incredibly pretty, secluded cove with a sheltered beach that is considered to be one of the safest in North Cornwall for children. If exploring the rock pools works up an appetite, your next stop should be in the centre of the village, namely The Port Gaverne Hotel. This inn, which dates back to the 17th century has been restored to a high standard yet has maintained its character. The Inn is well known for its delicious, homemade food and attentive staff.

If you take the opportunity to visit Port Isaac and Port Gaverne while you are camping in Bude, you won’t regret it.

When Camping In Bude, Beaches Will Delight Everyone

If you are camping in Bude this year, your trip won’t be complete without a visit to one of the area’s amazing beaches. Bude beaches tick all the boxes – long stretches of clean, golden sand, majestic cliffs, rock pools and plenty of opportunities to have fun, whatever age you are.

Bude beachesConsidered to be one of Bude’s most picturesque beaches, Summerleaze Beach is a favourite spot for aspiring artists and photographers. Its large wooden or standard concrete beach huts are available to hire (per day or per week) from May to September – perfect as a base for beach activities and storage space.

Summerleaze beach also has a nationally acclaimed open-air sea pool, which is really popular with families and adds to the quintessential British beach holiday experience. The busy cafe overlooking the beach turns into a restaurant in the evening.

Crooklets Beach is a mixture of pebbles and golden sand and is the beach of choice for surfers. It is also the home of Bude Surf Life Saving Club, an entirely self financed club. Several fund-raising activities are held throughout the year, including the popular Christmas Day Swim. So if you happen to be visiting Bude over the festive period, why not make your way to Crooklets Beach and join the 500 swimmers who brave the cold for a quick Christmas Day dip?

Northcott Mouth (3 miles north of Bude) is a stunning beach, with a huge expanse of sandy beach during low tide. The surrounding cliffs give this National Trust-owned beach a cove-like feel and it is perfect for families with young children who want to run free and explore every nook and cranny.

Mussels at Sandymouth

Mussels at Sandymouth

Sandymouth (5 miles north of Bude) is another National Trust-owned beach with a delightful surprise to first-time visitors – its very own waterfall!

Duckpool (6 miles north of Bude) has a dramatic setting, partly due to the impressive peak of Steeple Point Cliff. Duckpool is popular for those looking for a quiet, secluded beach away from the hustle and bustle of the busier tourist spots.

Widemouth Bay (3 miles south of Bude) is another popular spot for surfers, and the majority of the local surf schools are based there. This beach has great public facilities, including a large car park, public toilets and a beach cafe.

Millook Beach (5 miles south of Bude) is an entirely different kind of beach. Forget about walking on the sand and paddling in the water – this beach is all about the wildlife. Seals, dolphins, waders and many species of birds of prey can be spotted here, so remember to bring your camera! The famous zig-zag cliff truly is a sight to behold.

fun in the seaSo when you’re packing to go camping in Bude, don’t forget to pack your swimming costume and all your other beach essentials!

Family Days Out For Camping Holidays In North Cornwall

Choose North Cornwall for the Kids!

Many families choose camping holidays in Cornwall because of the wide range of child-friendly activities in the area. If you are thinking of bringing your little ones to Tamar Lake Farm near Bude for a camping holiday, you have no need to worry about them getting bored! In addition to all the great local attractions, there are many more within easy reach of Bude that are guaranteed to keep kids of all ages entertained!

camping holidays in Cornwall

Tamar Donkey ParkThe Tamar Valley Donkey Park (home of Tamar Donkey Sanctuary) is in Gunnislake, a short drive from Bude. For animal lovers in the family, it’s well worth making the trip. As well as boasting no less than 28 donkeys (including the winners of the 2004 to 2007 “Best Group of Working Donkeys in the Southwest”), the Park has pigs, goats and sheep to feed as well as smaller animals, rabbits and guinea pigs to pet. A large indoor play area keeps the kids happy, whatever the weather!

The Milky Way Adventure Park is in Higher Clovelly near Bideford, which is only around 20 minutes by car from Bude. This is the home the biggest roller coaster in Devon called the Cosmic Typhoon it is branded not only the longest and fastest, but also the tallest!. All members of the family will enjoy the live shows, such as Merlin of Britain’s Got Talent fame plus the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre giving breathtaking displays. The entrance fee includes the cost of all the rides, so get there early and cram in as much as you can!

Cornwall’s Crealy is located south of Bude near Wadebridge and is a fun family day out with indoor and outdoor play areas. The Dragon’s Kingdom is a huge indoor play area with mazes, nets, tunnels, ball pools and more – great for energetic kids! For older children, the Haunted Castle is always a success, with its spooky Slide of Doom, dark walkways and aerial glides! When it comes to outdoor adventure, highlights include the Fun Fort, the Sheer Drop Slides (if you’re brave enough!) and the Swamp Busters Nature Trail – ideal for youngsters who are interested in nature. Of course the highlight for most of Crealy’s visitors are the theme park rides. Thrill-seekers will love the Beast and the Viking Warrior Swing Boat, while Dizzy Dina and Pony Express are designed for younger children.

Other attractions within driving distance of Bude are Tamar Otter Park, the Eden Project, Newquay Zoo, New Mills Farm Park and the Blue Reef Aquarium. Why not arrange a day trip and explore the area around Bude during your camping holidays in Cornwall?

Castle Ruins and Arthurian Legends

If your family is fascinated by history and legend, you will find plenty of interest in North Cornwall. This page will be growing as we add more information.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle is a great family destination for all those fascinated by the legend of King Arthur and will be especially popular with those who have been watching the BBC TV series, “Merlin”. The climb to the castle is steep but the views are breath-taking from the top.

the view from Tintagel Castle

Just one of the amazing viewpoints at the top of the climb to Tintagel Castle

Tintagel is a very pretty place with lots of interest for the visitor including Tintagel Old Post Office (National Trust, admission free for members) and Tintagel Great Halls

Restormel CastleRestormel Castle is a Motte and Bailey style castle dating back to the 1100’s that now provides a beautiful picnic spot in a quiet area surrounded by deer park.

Launceston Castle is another English Heritage site and a fascinating day out can combine a visit to Launceston itself which is the only example of a walled town in Cornwall.