The Castle, Bude

Bude Castle, also known as The Castle Bude, stands as a beacon of heritage and culture in the heart of Bude, a charming seaside town in North Cornwall.

This historic building, set against the backdrop of stunning coastal scenery, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, alongside a vibrant programme of contemporary arts, events, and exhibitions.

Built in 1830 by the inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, the castle is not a traditional fortress but was one of the first buildings constructed on sand using a concrete foundation, making it an architectural curiosity.

Discovering Bude Castle

Today, Bude Castle serves as a hub of cultural activity and learning, housing a museum that celebrates both the local area’s history and Gurney’s innovative achievements.

Its picturesque setting, overlooking Summerleaze Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, adds to the allure, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring Cornwall.

Highlights of Bude Castle

Heritage Centre and Museum: Delve into the rich history of Bude and learn about Sir Goldsworthy Gurney’s life and inventions. The museum’s collection spans from the geological origins of the area to its development as a Victorian seaside resort.

Art Galleries: The castle hosts a range of art exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing work from local and national artists across various mediums.

The Castle Grounds: Enjoy the beautifully maintained grounds, perfect for a leisurely stroll with views over the Bude canal and estuary.

Café: The Castle Café offers a delightful range of locally sourced food and drink, with seating available inside the historic building or in the scenic castle courtyard.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Bude Castle is located centrally in Bude, easily accessible by foot from anywhere in the town.

For visitors arriving by car, there are several public car parks in Bude within walking distance of the castle.

Public transport options include local bus services that connect Bude with surrounding towns and villages.

Admission and Opening Times

The Castle Bude is open to the public year-round, with free entry to the museum and galleries, making it an accessible attraction for all.

The opening hours vary throughout the year, so it’s advisable to check the official website or contact the castle directly for the most up-to-date information before your visit.


Accessibility: Bude Castle is wheelchair accessible, with lifts to all floors ensuring everyone can enjoy the museum and galleries.

Shop: The gift shop offers a range of souvenirs, local crafts, and books, perfect for picking up a memento of your visit.

Events: The castle hosts a variety of events, workshops, and talks throughout the year, appealing to a wide range of interests.

Maximising Your Experience

Join a Guided Tour: To gain a deeper understanding of the castle’s history and its exhibits, consider joining one of the guided tours available.

Check the Events Programme: Before your visit, look at the castle’s events calendar to see if there are any special exhibitions, workshops, or activities happening during your stay.

Relax in the Café: Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a meal or a cup of tea in the castle’s café, with its inviting atmosphere and stunning views.

Tips for Your Visit

Photography: Guests are welcome to take photographs within the museum and galleries, making it easy to capture memories of your visit.

Weather Considerations: While the museum and galleries offer indoor activities, don’t forget to dress appropriately for exploring the grounds or nearby beach if the weather is favourable.

Stay Local: Bude and its surrounding areas offer a wealth of accommodation options, from cosy B&Bs to luxury hotels, making it easy to extend your visit.

Nearby Attractions

Summerleaze Beach: Just a short walk from the castle, this popular beach is perfect for swimming, surfing, or simply relaxing by the sea.

Bude Sea Pool: An iconic, partially man-made swimming pool in the rocks of Summerleaze Beach, offering safe bathing in a stunning setting.

South West Coast Path: Take advantage of Bude’s location on the South West Coast Path to explore some of Britain’s most breathtaking coastal scenery.


Bude Castle is more than just a historic building; it’s a vibrant centre of culture and history nestled in one of Cornwall’s most picturesque seaside towns.

Whether you’re interested in the area’s past, the arts, or simply looking for a pleasant place to while away a few hours, The Castle Bude offers a warm welcome.

With its fascinating museum, diverse programme of events, and beautiful surroundings, it’s a highlight of any holiday to North Cornwall.