Bude lies on the slope of a hill overlooking wide golden sands, surrounded by rugged cliffs.
During the 19th century this area of Cornwall was notorious for wreckers, local villains who lured stricken ships onto the rocks and plundered the cargoes. There were more than 80 recorded wrecks between 1824 and 1874 alone. It was Bude canal that helped to establish the town in 1819. Initially dug to carry fertiliser inland and for exporting local goods, it is now used mainly for pleasure-boating and fishing.
The Atlantic-pounded beaches all along this coast make it a surfers' paradise. Australians have termed Bude the "Bondi of Britain".
Tourist Information Centre:
|The Crescent, Bude, Cornwall EX23 8LE - Tel: 01288 354240|
A castellated stone mansion that currently houses council offices, was built circa 1830 by local inventor Sir Goldsworth Gurney, the first man to drive a mechanically driven vehicle (steam carriage) on British roads.
The nearby town of Stratton, which dates from pre Roman times, contains steep streets of Georgian houses, that climb up to St Andrew's Church, built in 1348. Stratton's Tree Inn was once the home of the 17th-century "Cornish Giant", Anthony Payne. Payne, who was 7 feet 4 inches tall, was a retainer of the Royalist leader Sir Beville Grenville; who won a Civil War battle at Stamford Hill in 1643.