Are you looking for the best day trips from Bude while staying in this town? Here’s a rundown of the best places to visit near Bude!
Nestled into the northeastern corner of Cornwall, right by the Devonshire border yet definitely Cornish in its culture, Bude is one of the best places to stay in Cornwall.
There are a few things to do in Bude that make it worthy of stopping for a day or two. These include some excellent beaches, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and a couple of sites of historical interest.
However, one of the main reasons to stay in Bude is its excellent geographical position.
If you’re driving to Cornwall from anywhere else in the UK, Bude is one of the nearest points of the county.
This makes it an ideal town to stay in if you can’t face the journey all the way down to Lands End!
There are also plenty of places to visit, for young and old, around Bude.
Here are the best day trips from Bude that you should take while you’re here!
I wouldn’t recommend staying in Bude if you’re relying on public transport – it’s meagre at best here.
There is one bus (the 95) that runs along the northeastern coast and accesses places like Boscastle and Tintagel, but otherwise driving is your best bet.
Top day trips from Bude!
The top day trips from Bude include visiting Widemouth Bay, exploring Boscastle, going back in time at Tintagel Castle, seeing Doc Martin’s home at Port Isaac, hopping over the border and exploring Clovelly and driving to Ilfracombe before taking a side trip to the beautiful Lundy Island.
How to get there from Bude: It’s a 10 minute drive or quick bus ride.
Just a ten-minute drive from Bude, Widemouth Bay is an easy place to visit if you want to go somewhere else but don’t want to drive too far – in fact, I consider it one of the best things to do in Bude – but you could visit it for a day, so I’ve included it on this list too!
Widemouth Bay is one of the most epic bays in this part of Cornwall; make sure to park on the road as you approach, so you can get out the car and take in some unreal sweeping views of the beach!
Widemouth Bay is a popular spot for surfers; if you aren’t experienced, there are surf schools in the area.
At low tide, there are lots of rockpools to explore.
Or, you could just take to the sands and relax, or enjoy a coastal walk.
It’s such a relaxing destination and definitely one of the best places to visit near Bude!
If you are holidaying with a dog, there is a dog ban at the northern part of the beach in the summer (May 15th – September 30th). Dogs are welcome in the southern part year-round.
Boscastle and Crackington Haven
How to get there from Bude: It’s a half-hour drive or the 95 bus connects the two and takes around an hour.
Further along the coast, you’ll find the beautiful National Trust-owned village and harbour of Boscastle.
Straight out of a fairytale, the River Valency babbles through Boscastle, with cliffs steeply rising on either side of the harbour. It’s a photographer’s dream – just be careful around the cliff edges!
The village is also home to the Museum of Witchcraft, which will detail everything you need to know about witchery in Cornwall!
Crackington Haven is around 6 miles from Boscastle. It’s a small community-run beach, the perfect place to relax after exploring the village.
How to get there from Bude: It’s a 30 minute drive, or the 95 bus takes around an hour and 10 minutes.
The ruins of Tintagel Castle sit on a foreboding rocky outcrop, which has been connected to the mainland by a modern bridge.
Legend states that Tintagel Castle is where King Arthur was born.
Whether you believe that or not, it’s still one of the best castles in Cornwall; steeped in history and mystique, you could imagine Cornish kings making home here or foreboding storms thrashing the island when it was an important trading place.
Once you’ve seen the castle, there are plenty of other cool places to check out in Tintagel as well – here’s my full list.
How to get there from Bude: It’s around a 40-minute drive.
Fans of Doc Martin should have this place highlighted on their Cornwall itinerary – it is where all eight series of this popular TV show were filmed.
Visitors to the quaint village can take a Doc Martin tour which will show them all of the highlights, or independently visit spots like Doc Martin’s house and Louisa’s school.
Even if you’re not a Doc Martin fan, it’s still worth visiting the scenic village.
It’s got a quintessential fishing village feel, with a small harbour and tiny cottages, and just a few restaurants and pubs to stop off at.
Strolling around the village is fun in itself; you can also hike up to one of the hills for a beautiful vantage point over the harbour.
How to get there from Bude: It’s a half-hour drive back over the Devon/ Cornwall border.
If you like historic fishing villages, Clovelly is a must-visit.
It’s over the border in Devon, but only around a half-hour drive from Bude.
The village is restored to look like an 18th-century fishing village.
Entering Clovelly is like being in a time warp; the buildings are from another age, some decorated on the inside to resemble fishermen’s cottages, and the harbour maintains its historic charm.
There are a few restaurants, all of which keep in with the 18th-century theme.
There are plenty of interesting things to do in Clovelly itself – you can see a full list here.
Note: because a lot of work has gone into its restoration, you do have to pay for the privilege of visiting.
If you want to make a full-day trip out of your visit to Clovelly, you could also visit the resort town of Westward Ho! and the quaint village of Appledore, which has coloured houses and a beautiful harbour. I also recommend visiting the Beaver Inn for dinner and drinks.
How to get there from Bude: Bude is about 1 hour 15 minutes from Ilfracombe, where a 2-hour ferry leaves at 10am most days, returning to the mainland at around 4pm.
A rocky island sitting where the Bristol Channel and Atlantic Ocean meet, Lundy is one of the most unique places to visit in Devon.
Go snorkelling with the seals, swim closer to the shore where you can look out for fish and other sea life or on land, go birdwatching or look out for the wild ponies.
The island is absolutely spectacular – just walking around it is a feast for the eyes.
A warden tour will tell you more about the complicated history of the island – it’s been a place of debate and contestation for centuries, and was even controlled by a group of Moroccan pirates for five years!
After exploring Ludy Island, you can enjoy a drink in its only pub, visit a small exhibition, and send a postcard with a Lundy postmark – it’s the world’s oldest private posting service.
See my day trip to Lundy Island guide for more information.
Bodmin Moor, Jamaica Inn and Bodmin town
How to get there from Bude: Around a 50 minute drive.
Back in Cornwall, Bodmin Moor is a must-visit for hikers searching for things to do near Bude.
There are lots of hikes to do around the enigmatic moors, ranging from a few miles to all-day, or even multi-day trails.
Jamaica Inn is also worth a visit when you’re in the area.
Jamaica Inn was the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier’s book of the same name.
A small museum that pays homage to her in the inn and a smuggling museum.
The inn was a point for smugglers coming from the coast to hide – before motorized vehicles, nobody bothered braving the wilds of Bodmin Moor to check it – so it has a lot of historical importance.
It used to be a barren, unwelcoming place, but nowadays there are friendly staff and a comfortable restaurant serving hearty pub food!
At first glance, Bodmin town doesn’t look like much.
However, the Bodmin Keep museum details Cornish military history and is very interesting, and Bodmin Gaol is a really unique Cornwall attraction.
The Bodmin Gaol has recently been refurbished to create a state-of-the-art tourist attraction, with an immersive experience that helps visitors bear witness to the Victorian jail system.
Expect 3D pictures and sound, as well as fascinating stories about real individual people.
I do recommend a guided tour of the Gaol, as there is a lot to learn here.
Trevibban Mill Vineyard
How to get there from Bude: It’s around a 45 minute drive.
Trevibban Mill Vineyard is run by a wine lover who fell into the vineyard business.
Winemaking in Cornwall is no mean feat – it is warmer than elsewhere in the UK, but it’s still the UK, after all – and doing a tour here will detail exactly how the owners make it work.
You can drop into Trevibban Mill for a tasting, or do a tour around the vineyard, learning about the winemaking process, and taste some wines at the end for around £15 per head.
The Eden Project
How to get there from Bude: Allow an hour to drive there.
The Eden Project is a little further – around an hour’s drive from Bude – but everyone who has been to Cornwall will tell you it’s a must-visit.
Two huge biomes contain flora from two climates – the world’s largest captive rainforest and a Mediterranean dome.
By walking through, you’ll learn about the plants that make up each climate, and what we can do in our life to protect these habitats. There is also an exhibition on Cornish nature.
It’s one of the best things to do near Bude with kids, but adults-only groups will love it too – where else in the country can you walk through a rainforest?
The Eden Project is an ideal place to visit in Cornwall in the rain, but it’s worth taking a day away from the beach for it even if it’s a perfect summer’s day!
How to get there from Bude: Newquay is an hour’s drive along the coast and is one of the most popular places to visit near Bude.
If you’re visiting Cornwall for some peace and quiet, you might want to avoid Newquay – it is the nightlife capital of the county.
If you’re looking for places to visit near Bude with nightlife, Newquay is your answer – there are tonnes of pubs, bars, and restaurants here.
If you’re a novice surfer and want some lessons, you may possibly get them at a cheaper rate here than in nearby Bude!
Being a popular tourist town, there are quite a few good hotels to stay at in Bude. Here are some of our favourites:
Sea Jade Guesthouse is one of the best budget guesthouses in Bude. It’s got a friendly atmosphere with clean, en suite rooms and it serves up a delicious breakfast each day. Click here to read more about it.
The Falcon Hotel is a lovely historic hotel in the centre. It dates back to 1798 but the rooms have been refurbished and modernised. There’s also a great restaurant on site. Click here for more information.
The Beach is stylish boutique guesthouse with luxury rooms and an on-site bar. Click here for more information about this hotel.
Here’s our full list of places to stay in Bude
Places to visit near Bude – which will you choose?
Cornwall’s best beaches, enigmatic moorland, villages bursting with character… there are so many places to visit near Bude.
If you just want to leave the town for a few hours, check out nearby Crackington Haven, Boscastle, Tintagel or Port Isaac, or if you want to go on some day trips from Bude, The Eden Project, Bodmin, Lundy Island, and Newquay are excellent options.