How to get there - Bude is on the north coast of Carnwall and can be reached from the M5 at Exeter via the A30 to Oakhampton then the A3079 to Bude.
For those with SatNav the postcode is EX23 8LQ.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - You can launch from the roadside in Breakwater Road where there is limited free parking if you are there early enough. Alternatively there is a Pay and Display car park just a few yards inland at the Tourist Information Centre in Vicarage Road.
Description - The Bude Canal network originally comprised over 40 miles of canals the majority accessed via a number of inclined planes. All but the first two miles were formally abandoned over 100 years ago.
The canal starts at the sea with a recently regated lock that can only be used arround high tide. The first 200 yards comprise a yacht basin but larger vessels are unable to pass below the first road bridge and therfore the character of the canal changes immediately. The next mile or so is well maintained with a well used towpath but gradually the condition deteriorates.
The two inland locks have been degated but are easily portaged however the canal soon becomes overgrown. In theory the canal is in water all the way to Helebridge (2 Miles) which was the site of the first inclined plane.
We turned round at the second lock - a brief but nevertheless enjoyable introduction to the canal.
Comments on this trip
Keith 30 Mar 2010
In the five or six years since I did this trip the restoration scheme has made quite a lot of progress. The two locks referred to are now gated and the reedy sections have been cleared. I've added a couple of more recent photos to the album. If you do this trip please take the chance to make updated comments or supply new photos.