Walking Bude Haven to Sandy Mouth
Distance 2 miles (3.2 km).
Grid reference SS202065 to SS201099.
Park your car beside the Tourist Information Centre in the large car park at The Crescent, Bude. Leave the car park and walk along The Strand in the town and over to Summerleaze Beach before heading behind the cafe to pick up the metalled path above Summerleaze Sea Pool.(Open during the summer usually from 10-6pm) and Coach Rock. Along the path you pass a granite pillar resembling a Trig Point, have a look at its top and landward sides before continuing along the path.
Arrive at Crooklets Beach Cafe about 20 minutes after setting out. As you proceed north above Crooklets look left after passing Wrangle Point to see a small track leading to the beach. Once on the beach turn to face the cliff to see the spectacular folded sandstone rock layers you will be surprised. Return to the coastpath and climb slightly as you pass from Maer Low Cliff and onto Maer High Cliff. A kissing gate is marked with the customary NT omega for Maer Cliff to confirm this.
Read the shank of the next waymark post to note that you are now '1 mile from Northcott Mouth'. Walk up the grassy rise to the crest of the large clifftop field where you can pause for photographs. South lies Bude along with the umistakeable headland of the Cambeak and Tintagel 'Island' whilst the white satellite dishes at Cleave Camp (GCHQ) Morwenstow grow ever larger to the north. Negotiate another kissing gate - this one fenced to seaward due to its proximity to the sheer cliff edge. Dogs must be kept on leads on these cliffs. TAKE CARE on your way as the path nears the cliff edge again at a couple of places. A short distance later the cliff seems to be slipping seaward and a few metres further on still you encounter the large landslip of Furzey Cove - Grid Ref SX202079.
It is almost possible to walk down to the shore here but it requires a bit of a scramble. Ahead lies the building noted on maps as 'The Bungalow' but as you will see later actually called 'Northcott House'. Take either of the paths down the grassy field pausing here to see if you can make out the shape of Lundy Island lying in the haze behind Menachurch Point. Walk through the gate behind the bungalow and along the path to another waymark post. This post informs you that you are 1 mile from Bude and 1 mile from Sandy Mouth. An excellent guidebook to carry with you along this stretch of coast is the National Trail Guide: SW Coast Path - Minehead to Padstow by Roland Tarr. Arrive at Northcott Mouth about an hour after leaving your vehicle.
Please be aware that although at low tide it is possible to walk the sandy beaches stretching all the way north from Bude to Sandy Mouth it is NOT ADVISABLE unless you have local knowledge of exits to landward and a very good grasp of the state of the tide on the day chosen.
Walk Two - Northcott Mouth to Sandy Mouth
Part 2 - Northcott Mouth to Sandy Mouth
Grid ref. SX201086 to SX202101
Cross the wooden footbridge and climb the steps up the steep southern side of Menachurch Point - grid reference SX202088. After a short, sharp climb, you reach a large field, making rapid progress on the gently undulating grass. As you pass above Menachurch Point, pause at the conveniently sited bench for photographs or to catch breath. Now about ten minutes into your walk, continue north passing to the left of a Bronze Age Tumulus. One of many along this stretch, this one is unusual in that it has a dip in the middle. Look back at this point to view the clifftops and headlands stretching all the way down the North Cornwall coast as far as the cambeak and Tintagel 'Island'.
Crest the hill ahead to see a linear brick structure below right. Resembling a 'wall in the middle of nowhere', this is actually the remains of an old rifle firing range. The tips of GCHQ's 'ears' at Morwenstow visible in the bright sunshine. Head carefully to a stile and footbridge combination, taking care as it is close to the irregular cliff edge. the path remains close to the edge so pay attention here. Cross the field to a wooden footbridge before climbing steeply upwards. Look at the cliff edge and see how the elements have eroded the soil and rock. Its poor structure making landslips and rock falls possible at any time.
Look below to see the more resistant rocks stretching out like fingers into the sea, seemingly unworn by the incessant waves. Head along the undulating Houndapit Cliffs to Reg's gate, a kissing gate, before dropping down into Sandy Mouth for refreshment (in season) or to pause briefly before heading on towards Duckpool. There are a number of benches and picnic tables available behind the cafe if it is closed and you have carried your own refreshment.
THE CLIFFS BETWEEN BUDE AND MARSLAND MOUTH ARE EXTREMELY FRACTURED AND CRUMBLING. DO NOT LEAVE THE PATHS OR SIT BELOW THE CLIFFS IF YOU ARE VISITING THE BEACHES AS ROCKFALLS CAN OCCUR AT ANY TIME. KEEP CHILDREN AND ANIMALS UNDER CLOSE SUPERVISION.
Stay at a nearby Holiday Park and keep the kids amused all day! Parks in the vicinity include those at:
Plenty of hotels are available locally. Consider those in the local towns: