Bude, Cornwall

The best coast walk in Bude: Crooklets to Sandymouth

The best coast walk in Bude: Crooklets to Sandymouth

There’s something about walking barefoot on a beach isn’t there? The sand between your toes, the salty air, soaring gulls and the freedom to paddle on a whim. And let’s not forget the the bracing sea breeze (this is Cornwall we’re talking about, not the Bahamas). If you want to experience the rugged charm of the Cornish Coast, we strongly recommend this little hike across the sand from Crooklets Beach in Bude to Sandymouth Bay. It’s without doubt the best coast walk in Bude (even the owner of littlest legs in our family will agree on this one!) 

A few things you need to know 

Check the tides: You can only do the full walk from Crooklets to Sandymouth on the sand if you time it around low tide. For tides and surf forecasts we use Magic Seaweed

Parking: There’s pay and display parking at Crooklets beach. Postcode EX23 8NF. You may also be able to grab a space on one of the nearby roads for free in low season (from October to end of May).

Toilets: There are public toilets at both Crooklets Beach and Sandymouth

Cafes: You could start the walk with breakfast at Rosie’s Kitchen at Crooklets and get mid-point refreshments at the café at Sandymouth.

Duration: Allow at least 2 hours. 

Family friendly? Our girls are 6 and 8 and walk this with ease. However, it’s a long walk so it may be a challenge for younger children. And if you have a baby, choose a carrier or backpack over a buggy.

What about your furry friends? Dogs are not allowed on Crooklets Beach from Easter to the end of September. But you can use the coast path for this section of the walk. Use the steps next the Bude SSLC hut behind Rosie’s to get onto the path. You can either scramble down the rocks to the beach when you’re clear of Crooklets or for a simpler route onto the sand, walk to Northcott Mouth (dogs allowed from this point onwards).

What makes this the best coast walk in Bude?

We’ve done this walk so many times over the years. We have many cherished family memories along this stretch of coast. We’ve mulled over life-changing decisions as we’ve yomped across the sands. It’s banished bad moods, hangovers and lifted our spirits after a sleepless night with a teething baby. And here’s what makes it so special.

1. Sand, sand and more sand

Low tide exposes a huge expanse of sand that disappears at high tide. 

2. Dramatic coastline and unusual rock formations

The cliffs create a dramatic backdrop and there are lots of strange rock formations to explore along this sandy stretch. Great for clambering over and seeking out rockpools.

3. A shipwreck

As you wander north of Northcott Mouth, low tide exposes the wreck of the SS Belem poking up out of the sand. This shipwreck is what our girls always remember this walk for.

4. Get your toes wet

Is there anything better than walking through the shallow waters across the shore? We always take this walk slowly so we make time to just watch the waves roll in. For anyone who needs a dose of sea air, this walk is perfect.

But we can’t guarantee you won’t get your feet wet

The beaches at Northcott and Sandymouth more or less disappear at high tide. So, keep an eye on the tides (we’ve bookmarked the Magic Seaweed website) so you don’t get cut off. Although the option of the coast path across the cliffs is always available as a back-up route.

We’re definitely not experts on tidal patterns. And we have the soggy feet to prove this. We’ve had to wade knee deep through the waves on a few occasions when the tide has come in a little quicker than we predicted. But this definitely brings a sense of adventure to the walk.