Some extra info for those with kids younger than 5 years old
There are some good adventure parks to take kids to near Bideford (not so local, about 45 mins drive), take A39 north into Devon. We’ve been to the Big Sheep, which Amy enjoyed and grandparents took Amy to the MilkyWay, which apparently was also good. As you’d expect they’re not cheap, but they do kill off the best part of a day very nicely.
Harlequinns playzone (Stratton Rd, A3072) in Bude is definitely recommended, cheap and great if wet weather. The complex features a bowling alley and a really big softplay area. Again another great way to kill some time and really handy if the weather turns bad. It is opposite the Splash Leisure pool and Morrisons supermarket.
There is a good children’s playground in Bude, near the little round-about by the Crescent Car Park (Visitor/Tourist Information Centre). Not easy to see from road/car, but it is there. Park in the car park, walk over the bridge and it’s on your right down a flight of steps.
My favourite beach for kids is Crackington Haven. It’s best to get to just about any of the local beaches a couple of hours before low tide. It’s definitely worthchecking the tide tables andor tide clock in the Granary before planning a day at the beach as many of the beaches simply don’t exist at high tide. Another lovely beach with facilities, i.e. cafe and toilets is Sandymouth, just north of Bude. National Trust parking. Northcott Mouth is similar to Sandymouth, but cheaper parking.
Bossiney Cove (Ed’s favourite) is beautiful at low tide with a sea arch and caves etc. There is a steep path to get down to the beach, tricky with kids but possible, we have taken Amy & Joe (in carrier). No beach at high tide.
At low tide Trebarwith Strand has a lovely sandy beach with big rocks and rock pools, the pub on the cliff, The Port William, is recommended and the cafes at sea level are also good. No beach at high tide.
There are 2 beaches in Bude: Summerleaze (main beach) and Crooklets are both pretty good, but not as rugged and impressive as any of the above; worth a visit if you’re in Bude already and fancy a dash to a beach. Crooklets has a cafe. There is a canal and a canal walk to the Stoke Tearooms.
Strangles beach also a lovely beach at low tide, a bit of a trek down (45 mins), but great views. No facilities. On High cliff near Trevigue farm.
Note: There is no beach at Sandymouth, Northcott Mouth, Trebarwith Strand or Bossiney at high tide, just rock.
Widemouth Bay always has a sandy beach even at high tide. No trek to beach either. Popular beach with surfers.
Lunch with kids!
This is tricky, as pubs/restaurants seem to be constantly changing hands,
- Coombe Barton Inn (Crackington Haven – does good food, a great carvery on Sunday, best to book, but worth it). Fish is always good, but not cheap. Ed says veggie food isn’t great.
- On last few visits the The Bay View Inn at Widemouth Bay was decent, has lovely view of the beach and food is OK. Gets busy in the summer so try to arrive by noon or you’ll be struggling for a table. Other times of year this is less of an issue.
- Both of the beach cafes at Crackington are better for vegetarians (and good all round). Of the two, The Cabin is more low-key, does more homemade food and their cream teas are better.
- Stoke Tearooms (sign posted off A39 near Bude) is good for snack lunch , great cream teas and sandwiches, lovely garden with small animals for kids to terrorise! ? We rarely visit The Granary without stopping in at the Stoke Tearooms.
- If in Bude, Wroes dept. store on the high street does a good cheap quick lunch in upstairs cafe. Decent space for kids. High chairs etc. Nice views of Summerleaze beach from the window too. Food is decent and basic (baked spuds, soup, baguettes etc.). Lacking in charm, but very functional.
- The Rectory at Morwenstowe does a good lunch and/or cream tea. Sign posted from A39.
- Lots of eating places in Boscastle, but has got touristy since flood disaster and can get quite crowded. Beware coach parties!
Nearest castle is Tintagel, which although primarily in ruins, is very dramatic. There is also a castle at Launceton, but we haven’t visited it.
The links below show photos taken from these walks:
- Crackington Haven to Bude: http://www.explorethesouthwestcoastpath.co.uk/crackington2bude.html
- Tintagel to Crackington Haven: http://www.explorethesouthwestcoastpath.co.uk/tintagel2crackington.html
Good local walks suitable for hardy 3 year olds and over (as tested by Ed & Jacqui with Amy).
- Sandymouth to Crooklets and back
- Northcott Mouth to Sandymouth and back.
- Crackington Haven to St Genny’s
- High Cliff (near Trevigue Farm) to Strangles Beach
- Tintagel to Trebarwith Strand
- Bude to Stoke Tea rooms (canal walk)