Cornwall Life finds out why Bude is a perfect holiday destination

PUBLISHED: 14:44 14 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:43 20 February 2013

Cornwall Life finds out why  Bude is a perfect holiday destination

Cornwall Life finds out why Bude is a perfect holiday destination

Ian Wilkinson explores this popular and friendly north Cornish holiday resort.

Work, Rest & Play in...Bude

Ian Wilkinson explores this popular and friendly north Cornish holiday resort

The north Cornish town of Bude is blessed with some wonderful beaches, spectacular surf, a number of decent shops, pubs and restaurants and a range of activities suitable for all the family. Add to this a setting that encompasses dramatic cliff-top scenery and beautiful rolling countryside. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Bude Jazz Festival another reason to visit.

It is both vibrant and lively but above all is a friendly town. On my recent visit I strolled along the towpath of Budes historic canal out into open countryside and met several couples walking their dogs or, like me, just enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this quiet backwater. Not one failed to give a friendly smile and a cheery good morning!

To find out more about the area, I asked three local residents what it was like to live and work in Bude.

Paul Mayor, Chairman of Bude Jazz Club, was born in Cambridgeshire but has always regarded Bude as his home. "My family moved to Bude when I was very small so I spent my formative years here. In 1972 I immigrated to Australia and didnt return until 2001 but even though I was away for nearly 30 years I always thought of Bude as my home and I knew I would return."

He continues: "People here are very friendly and there is a real sense of community. Theres always lots going on and I like playing darts or snooker in the evening. Bude Social Club is very good and I also like the Globe Hotel and the Brendon Arms. My favourite walk is across the cliffs to Upton and then back along the canal. But my real love is music and when I was in Australia I spent over 20 years broadcasting jazz for a local radio station."

"I am now chairman of the Bude Jazz Club and when the people who ran the Bude Jazz Festival decided last year that they wouldnt do it anymore I was asked to help organize the festival for 2012. Ticket sales have been going very well. This is the 25th anniversary of the Festival and it is being held on the 28-31 August. We have 35 bands in all, performing in 13 venues."

Tim Browning is the owner and General Manager of the Falcon Hotel. "I read somewhere that every man needs a garden shed." Tim tells me. "Well my wife says that the Hotel is my garden shed because I spend so much time here! Its wonderful to meet so many interesting guests. Bude, like most resorts, is quite seasonal and so most of our staff arent here all year and we employ a lot of students and young people."

Tim adds: "Other than seasonal work, employment opportunities in Bude are quite limited and many young people are obliged to move in order to build a career. But later in life they usually return its such a lovely place to live. Its relaxing and its very open theres always enough space for everybody. Its got that friendly feel about it and I always think of it as a town but with a village atmosphere. The surrounding area is lovely with easy access to the moors and to other towns and villages like Port Isaac and Padstow."

"To relax I like to play golf and the course is right in the town centre so its convenient particularly if I have to walk home from the 19th hole! My other relaxation is music. Friggin Riggin is a traditional folk band connected to our local lifeboat and Im also chairman of the Bude Folk Club. Both bands meet at the Hotel and perform at other venues and whenever I can I play with them guitar or accordion."

Paul Finn is a local solicitor and the senior partner of a family law firm. "Our business has been here since 1973. When something important needs doing, everyone pulls together in the town. For instance when the local Stratton Hospital was under threat we closed ranks and secured its future. The same thing happened with the Sea Pool on the beach. The council said they could no longer afford to maintain it, so a group of local volunteers known as the Friends of Bude Sea Pool have taken it over and secured funding so that it can stay open," Paul says.

"There are lots of activities for people in the town. Theres a surf life saving club, a pilot gig club and a rugby club. The Rotary Club, of which Im a member, is very active and we organised the levelling of the waste land near the town centre so that the rugby club had a decent pitch and we have the blisters to prove it! There is also a thriving Music Society and an Arts Society. Children are well catered for with activities such as dance and ballet classes, scouts and even a toy library."

Paul continues: "I am also chairman of the local RNLI branch and our annual lifeboat day is the largest in the country! Its actually a weekend event, which starts on the Saturday, continues on the Sunday with the big day on August bank holiday Monday."

Latest from the Cornwall Life