CategoriesLocal Tips

The best local beaches in North Cornwall

The best local beaches in North Cornwall

When you’re staying in Cornwall, you can more or less guarantee that you won’t be far from a fantastic beach; no Cornish town or village is located more than 18 miles from the sea, making it the perfect place for a seaside staycation!

Here at Great Hills Lodge, we’re only about five miles from some of the best beaches in the whole county. During a stay with us, you won’t have to travel far to enjoy silky sand, welcoming waters and that bracing sea air that somehow always makes you feel tired at the end of the day!

So with so much choice, where’s best to explore in the limited time you’ve got in the area? Here are our recommendations:

Summerleaze Beach

Summerleaze is Bude’s central hub of sand, surf and sun — and with good reason! Summerleaze is home to the famous Bude Sea Pool, while its large expanse of clean sand, colourful beach huts and gorgeous views make it a real hit with families, beach bums and surfers alike.

There’s so much to do at this beach; surf schools, kayaking, sea fishing and coasteering are all on offer at Summerleaze, while its level access and flat viewing area make it perfect for those on a disability-friendly holiday. Put simply, Summerleaze Beach is an absolute must during your stay.

Sandymouth Bay

The beach at Sandymouth is a completely different offering from Summerleaze, often a bit quieter than the other main beaches. The sandy beach is fully exposed at low tide, set against a dramatic backdrop of sheer cliffs. At low tide you may be able to see a shipwreck buried in the sand, while the honeycomb structures of the sandcastle worm are worth keeping an eye out for.

This dog-friendly beach is just a short walk from a National Trust car park with a café and toilets. At low tide, you can walk the two miles from Sandymouth to Crooklets Beach, which is also worth a visit…

Crooklets Beach

Don’t let the pebbles at the top of Crooklets Beach put you off; at low tide there’s a huge expanse of sand, with plenty of rock pools for exploring. As well as being connected with Sandymouth, it’s also attached to Summerleaze Beach too! During low tide, you can walk between the two across the sand in 15 minutes.

Crooklets’ sloped promenade offers level access and a flat viewing area, while there’s always the chance to hire a colourful beach hut. The one thing to bear in mind is the summertime ban on dogs; they’re banned from Easter Sunday to 20th September, though they’re welcome in the winter months.

Widemouth Bay & Black Rock

Though Widemouth Bay looks like one huge beach, it’s actually divided in two, with the southern end, Black Rock, dog-friendly all year, while your canine chums are banned on the other section from Easter Sunday to 20th September.

There’s good access, with a ramp onto the sand, while there are lots of facilities nearby, including beach cafes and pubs. It’s ideal for a relaxing day out, as well as activities with the family that will tire out the kids for the evening.

Northcott Mouth Beach

The final entry on our list is a secluded alternative to the main beaches in the area; it is rocky at the top, but once you get past that, there’s soft sand and rockpools to enjoy. Its towering cliffs, rich with geological folds, give it the feelings of a cove, as does the shipwreck in the sand.

It’s ideal for those wanting some peace and quiet during their trip to the beach — plus it’s dog-friendly and close to the famous Margaret’s Rustic Tea Garden, which opens seasonally.

CategoriesLocal Tips News

Best Places to Explore With Your Dog

Best Places to Explore With Your Dog

We love dogs here at Great Hills Lodge — so we’re lucky that there are so many dog-friendly places for our guests to visit in the nearby vicinity! More and more places are becoming more welcoming to dogs than ever before; with so much choice, it can be tough to know where you should go first on your stay with us!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of dog-friendly places for you and your four-legged friends to visit while you’re enjoying a stay here at Great Hills Lodge. You’re spoiled for choice!

Bude’s beaches

We’re only a ten-minute drive from the fabulous beaches at Bude; the gorgeous sands and welcoming waters are a huge draw for visitors and luckily, most of the beaches in the area are happy to welcome dogs. There are a few caveats for some beaches, but our list below spells out any restrictions or bans.

Fully dog-friendly beaches:

  • Duckpool Beach
  • Sandymouth Bay
  • Black Rock Beach (at Widemouth Bay)
  • Millook Beach
  • Northcott Mouth Beach

Doggy-friendly but with restrictions:

  • Summerleaze Beach — Dogs are welcome on Summerleaze Beach all year round, but from 21st May to 30th September, dogs must be on a lead between 10am and 6pm. If you’re going for an evening stroll though, they can roam lead-free!

Dogs banned from Easter Sunday to 20th September, but welcome in autumn and winter:

  • Crooklets Beach
  • Widemouth Bay

South West Coast Path

We’re so proud to be a short distance from the South West Coast Path; dogs are permitted on the entire path, providing that their owners look after them responsibly to avoid disturbing livestock, wildlife and other walkers. Any section of the path is worth a visit, but some sections are more challenging than others.

The stretch on the north coast near Great Hills Lodge is renowned for being spectacular, though there are sections that are among the toughest of the entire 630 miles of the path. The 15-mile section between Hartland Quay and Bude is said to be the toughest of the whole path, but views from Higher Sharpnose Point and Steeple Point make the entire challenge worth it.

Bude Canal

Once you’ve gotten your fill of sea air, we recommend going into Bude and walking along the hidden gem of the Bude Canal. It’s unique; constructed between 1819 and 1825, it was built to carry sand from the beach to enhance the poor-quality agricultural land nearby.

A flat tarmac two-mile path follows the line of the water up to Helebridge, making a great dog-friendly walk any time of year. The path’s also pushchair and wheelchair friendly, so it’s a walk the whole family can enjoy.

Local attractions

Many of our local attractions now allow dogs so it’s worth checking with an attraction before you set off as to whether they allow dogs. Everywhere has their own rules, so they’re worth checking before you go, but here’s our list of some dog-friendly attractions in the area worth checking out:

  • Clovelly Village
  • The Eden Project
  • Pencarrow House and Gardens
  • Docton Mill Garden & Tearooms
  • Bodmin & Wenford Railway
  • Hartland Abbey’s Gardens

Woodland walks here at Great Hills Lodge

If you fancy a day where you don’t want to venture too far from the comforts of Great Hills Lodge, the woodlands surrounding our property are perfect for a walk; all we ask is that guests are considerate of our free range hens, two cats and the sheep that are sometimes in the field directly to the rear of the property.

There are plenty of places off-site to walk dogs locally too, including into the village of Week St Mary, which has dog waste bins conveniently located on the village green at the top of the lane.