Darwin Escapes

Hidden Gems of Bude

Welcome to this month’s Hidden Britain post lovely readers! Let’s explore the stunning coast of North Cornwall and North Devon and find the hidden gems in and around beautiful Bude!

The Cornwall/Devon border is one of the most popular locations in the UK, it can sometimes be rushed and busy, however there is a beautiful unhurried charm about Bude. Our own Sandymouth Holiday Resort is located in Bude and offers a wonderful traditional family holiday atmosphere. With a fantastic family entertainment’s programme and great facilities, including a large indoor heated swimming pool, air conditioned and state of the art gym, and family activities to enjoy like our own football field. Even with all this going on you may still want to venture out and sample the local scenery, well I’m here to help you find those little gems off the beaten path…

Read on to find a few hidden gems of beautiful Bude below…


Docton Mill – The Best Cream Tea in North Devon


This award winning RHS Partner garden, tea room and mill is a stunning place to visit at any time of the year. The Docton Mill, the leat, head weir and terrace have all been traced back to Saxon times, around 750AD, at the time it would have been promoting the relatively new technology of water-powered milling. The Mill continued to work for hundreds of years supplying local bakers with flower, ceasing to trade in 1910 it became a private house and in the mid 1930’s was modified to generate electricity and continued to supply the town with electricity until the 1950’s! The current owners purchased the mill in 1977 and gave it a massive overhaul, bringing it up to the 20th Century and beyond; the gardens were extended, adding the new and magical woodland gardens, the beautiful stream gardens and peaceful greenhouse areas, winners of the Gold Medal Award Flower Gardens. The Tea Room is equally as popular, winning Best Cream Tea in Devon and Best Tea Room in North Devon, serving local and homemade produce, such as soups, pasties, cakes and delicious desserts. With its beautiful wood burning stove, award-winning Devon Cream Teas, stunning garden terrace and wonderful range of loose leaf teas, you will be in heaven with the friendly and welcome service.


Pencarrow House – Fascinating Family History


Surrounded by outstanding garden the Pencarrow House has been occupied by the Molesworth family, and their descendants, since Elizabethan times, approached by a magnificent mile-long carriage drive, through an Iron Age hill fort you can feel the history surrounding everything. There was a period in the 20th Century where the house and gardens were left inhabited and overgrown, before being taken on by the current owners Lieutenant Colonel Sir Arscott and Lady Molesworth St Abyn, who spent decades reclaiming the gardens from the overgrown state and lovingly bringing it back to full beauty. Open to the public since the 1970’s, a guided tour around the 50 room Georgian mansion reveals a fascinating collection of antique furniture and paintings, the gardens include a large Victorian rock garden and ice house, with 50 acres of parkland, a lake and magical woodland. Today, the family inhabits one wing of the house, while the rest is a window to the past, the gardens are a combination of formal landscaping and woodland walks, with the Peacock Café on hand for a bite to eat and a cuppa!


The Tree Inn – Music, Food and Friendly Atmosphere


This former Manor House is one of the oldest and most historic inns in Cornwall, The Tree Inn dates back to the 13th Century and is situated around a beautiful courtyard. The restaurant is stunning with its ceiling beamed with timbers from ships wrecked on the local coast, and 13th Century Galleon, the gallery above is ideal for more intimate dinning and the Bevil Bar has a beautiful flagstone floor and a wood burner that creates a wonderful warm and welcoming atmosphere on those winter days and nights. On those days where the weather is on your side you can enjoy a delicious meal in the glorious court yard, soaking up the warmth in the natural suntrap. The Tree Inn offers modern British pub food, with locally sauced produce, a stunning Sunday carvery, selection of cask ales, draught ciders, as well as local bottled ciders. Live music is played every Friday night, with the house band playing traditional folk music, along with the blues from The Tree Dogs, and foot-tapping bluegrass from the Smoky Mountain Boys and visits from the ever-popular local Lifeboat Singers! Why not drop in and say hello to Bob & Emma the landlords, as well as the resident furry friends Bella & Brodie, and the stunning Cassie the cat, friendly atmosphere and fantastic food!


Port Isaac – Breath Taking Scenery


Port Isaac is a place of pure beauty, a real coastal small town to marvel at, whilst losing your breath walking up those steep hills! It was a busy coastal port with an active harbour, where cargoes like stone, coal and pottery were traded, from the Middle Ages to the mid 19th Century, most of the old centre of the village is 18th and 19th Century cottages, many of which are officially listed architectural and of historical importance. Port Isaac’s beauty has graced the TV screen a number of times, frequently used as a set for Poldark, but is probably most popularly known as the fictional Port Wenn for Martin Clunes’ hit TV show Doc Martin, where Clunes’ tactless manner causes mayhem in the small Cornish community. With tourism becoming an increasing factor for the village, traditional jobs such as fishing and fish processing are taking more of a backseat, you can now book fishing and scenic boating trips from the harbour. The village was first registered as a fishing village in 1340, with its sheltered harbour, on an otherwise inhospitable coastline offering refuge to many boats and ships. Take a trip to Port Isaac and walk the street that Doc Martin does, see the stunning scenery for yourselves and navigate the narrow alleys and steep hillsides.


Tintagel Castle – King Arthur’s Legend


One other place to visit while in Bude would be the stunning Tintagel Castle, located on the breath taking Tintagel headland, this castle is forever associated with the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Sometimes named as King Arthur’s birth place, but built by King Richard’s brother, Henry the Third in 1225, the castle became a tangled mixture of folklore and legend. Immerse yourself in the history, myths and stunning scenery on this rocky eminence battered by the sea.

So next time you are visiting us at Sandymouth Holiday Home Park venture to these hidden gems and let me know all about your adventure!

Happy Adventuring Kings and Queens!

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Photo Credits: Humphrey Bolton, Bob & Anne Powell, Michael Garlick, Manfred Heyde, Rarb, Sage Solar, Robert Linsdell, Scott14 and Nilfanion.