|Canal side Tearooms
Bude canal is a favourite with walkers. The scenic canal walk extends all the way from Summerlease beach at the canal lockgates for about 1 mile length ending at the Weir where you will find the Weir Bistro and Cafe, an impressive new and large eating place with nature views over a lake. There is also a pets and wildlife corner, great for children. Carry on walking in a circular route all the way to Widemouth Bay and back to Bude along the coastal path and road (a round trip of nearly 5 miles). The canal passes through a reeds and wetlands bird sanctuary - great for bird watchers with resident and migratory birds. At thye start of the canal there are tea rooms overlooking the canal and canal boat hire (rowing boats and kyaks).
Bude canal is on of the few number of canals in the South-West of England.
The original purpose of the canal was to take small boats of lime-bearing sand from the beaches at bude and to carry them inland for use on the fields.
The canal closed down with the arrival of the Holdsworthy railway and the availability of cheap fertiliser as this considerably reduced the demand for local sand. It was then sold off to the district municipal water company however it still makes a stunning historical site and there are many nature walks to take advantage of alongside the canal.
Today the sea lock is the only lock on the section that is still in working order and as such it is no loonger possible to navigate the whole canal.At the beginning of the canal near the tea rooms is a small Bude Museum, sitting on the banks of the canal.
A history of the canal
A series of inclined planes carried the boats over 400 vertical feet to Red Post, where the canal branched south along the upper Tamar Valley towards Launceston, east to Holsworthy and north to the Tamar Lakes, that fed the canal. The
enterprise was always in financial difficulty, but it carried considerable volumes of sand and also coal from south Wales. The
arrival at Holsworthy of the railway, and the production of cheap manufactured fertiliser undermined the canal's commercial
purpose, and it was closed down and sold to the district municipal water company. However the wharf area and harbour enjoyed a
longer success, and coastal sailing ships carried grain across to Wales and coal back to Cornwall.
In 2005 a major project to re-develop the canal was approved. Work included improving the banks and opening-up a long-closed
section of canal.