The Bude lockgates are the only working lockgates on this part of the canal.
The lockgates are situated at the end of the canal where the Lock will be filled with water to draw it up to the same level as the canal, thus allowing the passage of boats. Bude canal was originally used to transport sand and goods from Bude all the way to Holsworthy, the canal having once had a length of approx 18 miles. Boats would shelter behind the breakwater and at high tide would enter the canal. In fact, the occasional boat still does. The canal is now mainly used for recreational purposes including boat hire (kyaks, roowing boats) and you can take your hire boat for about half a mile up the canal. Walk along the canal and a short distance from the start you will pass the Wildlife Bird Sanctuary, a large wet reed area with a varied and migrationary bird population. You can continue along the canal all the way to Whalesborough Farm where there are tea rooms and I believe some kind of pets corner. Continue along the footpath through fields to the beach at Widemouth Bay. Then return by the same route or by the coastal footpath and road back to Bude, probably a 6 miles round trip.