Nicely away from Bude’s bustling holiday streets, tiny quayside and intriguing waterfront, Bude Coastal Resort in Cornwall is a calm, considered haven at the end of a tiny lane amid grassy fields and grazing horses.
The setting might be more leafy Cotswolds than the sea-splashed Cornwall coast, but that’s what makes this a special hideaway.
Up until 2022, this was Burn Coastal Retreat, now renamed after a £10 million investment to bring it in line with fabulous sister property Dylan Coastal Resort on the south coast of Carmarthenshire in Wales. The farm buildings that became the original resort – a farmhouse, stables, cottages and such – are this year joined by 27 luxury lodges tucked neatly away in an adjoining field.
A hedge-lined footpath heads downhill from the field’s gate, crossing a brook, and inside 10 minutes you’re at the golf course, a links course, meaning short, wildly-undulating holes. In fact, it’s like a world of grassy dunes as the footpath crosses and emerges a few minutes later in the town centre, a swift stroll from the crashing waves of Summerleaze Beach.
The lodges, which welcomed their first visitors at Easter, are individually owned but have a uniformly contemporary décor, lots of creams and pale greys, and timber panelling with a Scandi-countryside flair. The resort promises hotel-style luxury in countryside surroundings. There’s a choice of three bedrooms, sleeping six, and two bedrooms, sleeping four. The open-plan living area features a large sofa area with big-screen TV, dining table and an impressive kitchen, some with islands, all with dishwashers. All have French windows that open onto large, glass-fenced decks with tables and chairs that match the interior as well as a hot tub. Two also have roof terraces – which gain a modest sea view along with hilly countryside panoramas. Our lodge had a main bedroom with a large, luxuriously soft bed and an en-suite bathroom with a shower. Two other bedrooms had two singles, with a second bathroom for use by all. A washing machine and dryer had a room to themselves.
Newly-planted hedges and shrubs abound and the lodges circle a river-like pond with a fountain.
Half a dozen other options include the new-build two-storey Glasshouse, sleeping six, with floor-to-ceiling walls and a free-standing bath next to a glass wall (with blinds!) and Godolphin Stable, a traditional stone-built place with a modern interior, sleeping four. They, along with various cottages, also have patios and hot tubs.
All are perfect for families with young children but, given that this is a quiet spot rather than a full-on resort, particularly good for older family groups. There is also accommodation for those with dogs (which stay free).
The farmhouse features a café/bar, with smart country décor and furnishings, that stretches from the front to the back, opening out onto a wide terrace with sun shades. Food, from midday through to 8pm is simple but good – homemade pizzas, baked potatoes and sandwiches. The bar serves a straightforward selection of drinks as well as coffee. There is also talk of expanding hours and range of service, with later food to accompany sunset drinks.
On the lawn at the rear, there is a small children’s play area and a miniature putting green.
To one side is the spa, a couple of treatment rooms offering particularly good massages, notably deep tissue. The indoor pool is a good size in a smart hall with a timbered ceiling and a hot tub in the corner. There are two small saunas with a steam room on their way, as well as a neat gym.
The grounds around the lodges are newly planted with greenery and colourful shrubs that reflect the area and the comforting wildness of the Cornish landscape.
The stroll down to town is charming and Bude is a delightful cross between a little harbour town and a beach resort. There’s no sign of the sea from the main street with the little River Neet (also known as Strat) meandering through on one side, connected to the Bude Canal, once used to transport sand to Cornwall’s interior, on the other. On the island between the two is Bude Castle, a Victorian manor that is now a lovely (and free) museum, gallery and café (views across canal and beach), featuring trains (Dr Beeching made the town trainless), American wartime battalions and art. A small quayside has independent shops while the small bay gives way to Summerleaze Beach, backed by small cliffs. Here is Bude Sea Pool, a dramatic seawater swimming pool, free to use. The South West Coast Path passes by, giving stirring strolls to beaches and beauty spots.
Should you feel the need to drive, dramatic Tintagel Castle on its rocky outcrop is 30 minutes, Dartmoor, with plenty more walks, is 50 minutes and Rick Stein’s restaurant-filled home, Padstow, is an hour.
On a provisions note, there’s both a major Morrison’s and Lidl only a five-minute drive with a big Sainsbury’s in town
Unlike so many holiday parks, Bude Coastal Resort is a pleasingly calm and understated spot. Its size makes it manageable and the fact that there’s no road passing by makes it deliciously quiet, tucked away in the countryside. The café/bar is pleasing and the new lodges are a delight – roomy, stylish and contemporary yet with a coastal feel.
A three-night weekend stay in a two-bedroom lodge starts at £509, a four-night midweek break from £479, and self-catering (luxurylodges.com)