Bude is laid out on the southern slopes of a broad tongue of rising land almost filling a mile-wide gap in the rocky wall that Cornwall presents to the Atlantic.
There is no formal front at Bude; the Parade” is a broad stretch of open turf bounded on the west and south by low cliffs below which are wonderful expanses of firm golden sand.
If one part of the town more than another resembles a promenade it is the Strand, part of the business thoroughfare, bounded on one side by shops, hotels and banks, and on the other by the picturesque Strat River, which after considerable windings contrives here to pour its waters into the sea.
The river is crossed by two bridges, either of which leads to another pleasant waterway that is recognisable as a canal only by its straightness in this last reach to the sea. Here are the Falcon Hotel, the parish church and some very attractively placed houses. Behind them the ground rises to resume the Cornish cliff wall; half a mile away to the north, where the ground rises again to form the magnificent cliffs on towards Hartland, is the suburb of Flexbury.
Some attempt has been made to describe the open situation of Bude, no photograph can do justice to the place as a whole. Although
a busy little town, it is almost surrounded by open common and though a seaside resort it overlooks two fresh-water spacious channels.
That it is an outdoor resort should need no emphasising. Bathing and surfing, tennis, golf, bowls, cricket, riding, hunting-practically every sport is followed with and the wide grass-covered common, known as Summerleaze Down, with the glorious sand render it an ideal playground for children.
Moreover, when the winds are too boisterous to make the sands or the downs altogether pleasant, there an many sheltered combes and villages easily accessible a mile or so inland. As a centre for the exploration of the country between the Camel and the Torridge, Bude is unrivalled.
The district possesses an equable climate. Frost and snow are rare, and the summer heat is tempered by the Atlantic breezes. The records show that Bude enjoys an exceptional number of hours of bright sunshine
The town is, like most young resorts, somewhat uneven, but there are good shops, and well-lighted streets. There is an excellent supply of pure water and the drainage is thoroughly efficient. The reservoirs, 2 miles east of Kilkhampton, are stocked with fish.
On the farther (southward) side of the Canal is the Church of St.Michael and All Angels, consecrated in 1835, with baptistery and font added a few years ago.
The Bude and Holsworthy Canal was constructed in 1819-26, at a cost of £128,000. Originally extending over 30 miles, it is now navigable for only a mile and a half, having been superceded by the railway. The Canal communicates with the seay means of a lock, the gates of which serve as a footbridge for those who wish to ascend Compass Hill and the Downsall bay opening to the sea at the mouth and here is of darker colour than usual and is highly valued for agricultural purposes.
Bathing in the open sea at Bude is safe except at low water when it is best to use the excellent Bathing Pool the cliffs under Summerleaze Down. The pool is on extent, with graduated depths and dressing boxes. With its background of rocks and its views over the sands and down at the foot of the coast the Pool is delightfully situated, and provides a pleasant alternative to the open sea.
Here can be seen waves mountains high, and like a thousand thunders, can be heard for miles inland The Breakwater, reached by a path at the end of Breakwater Road, close to the lock gates, protects the Canal entrance and also serves as a promenade. Its irregular stones are certanly unconventional, but the structure affords a means of getting into close contact with the sea, and is a sheltered spot for writing or reading.
The rock with flagstaff at the end of the Breakwater is called chapel Rock, for legend says that a hermitage, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Michael, once stood here.