Bude Canal Walk
Starts and finishes at the Bude Tourist Information Office – EX23 8LE (Directions) This 6 mile moderate walk is flat apart from a low hill between the canal and the Coast Path, with no stiles.
The Bude Canal was built in 1823 to enable the transportation of unusually mineral-rich sand from beaches in and around Bude to the hilly interior of Devon and Cornwall’s border country, where soil was poor and farmers in great need of fertilizer.
Take a gentle stroll along Bude’s historic canal, through a peaceful pastoral landscape, returning via the Coast Path with its amazing sea views. The canal is a haven for wildlife both in the town and in the upper reaches, and an angler’s paradise (permits locally available). A great walk for children – if the weather’s dry take a picnic and watch the boats and kayaks on the canal or why not hire one yourself and take your picnic upstream?
In spring, there are ducklings and even cygnets on the canal, the hedges are full of primroses and warblers sing in the blossom-covered bushes. It’s as beautiful in autumn too, when pipits and buntings find rich pickings in the stubble of the newly-harvested fields.
Directions Bude Canal
- From the Tourist Information car park turn left on the canal bank to follow the towpath inland, passing the nature reserve at Bude Marshes and the footbridge over the River Neet to the iron mile-post.
- Going through a gate, cross the canal at Rodd’s Bridge, turning left to continue along the canal. Passing two lock gates and the weir, go through a gateway, pass the canal bridge signed to Helebridge and turn right over the stile along the riverside path towards Widemouth.
- Bearing right towards the tearooms, turn left just before, onto the footpath through fields to the main road.
- Cross the road and bear right on the path opposite to follow it to the South West Coast Path. Turn right, keeping to the path along here, because the cliffs are unstable.
- Follow the Coast Path out around the headland at Lower Longbeak, carrying on past Higher Longbeak and the Nature Reserve at Philip’s Point to the houses at Upton.
- Stay on the Coast Path at Upton, continuing to the trig point at Efford Beacon.
- From Efford descend to the Storm Tower at Compass Point and then to the waymarker above the breakwater.
- Turn right onto the metalled path towards Bude town centre, going down the steps and back along the canal to cross the road at the bridge and return to the car park via the steps.