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Budemeadows Touring Park. Everything Tended To Go Triplicate.
Villages & Resorts in Cornwall in general
Member Name: Farting Weasel
Villages & Resorts in Cornwall in general
Advantages: Oh paradise, a civilised bolthole. Read on....
Disadvantages: Public transport? What public transport?
Budemeadows Touring Park,
Telephone: 01288 361646
Fax: 01288 361646
1st January to 25th May & 4th September to 31st December.
Adults. (over 14) £3.90/night..
Children. (3 to 14) £1.95/night.
Electric Hook-up. £3.00.
5th June 13th July.
Adults. (over 14) £6.90/night.
Children. (3 to 14) £3.45/night.
Electric Hook-up. £2.75.
26th may to 4th June & 14th July to 3rd September.
Adults (over 14). £9.00/night.
Children (3 to 14). £4.50/night.
Electric Hook-up. £2.50.
1st January to 25th May & 4th September to 31st December.
Adults. (over 14). £24.02.
Children. (3 to 14). £12.01.
Electric Hook-up. £21.00.
5th June 13th July.
Adults. (over 14). £42.50.
Children. (3 to 14). £21.25.
Electric Hook-up. £19.25.
26th may to 4th June & 14th July to 3rd September.
Adults (over 14). £55.44.
Children (3 to 14). £27.72.
Electric Hook-up. £17.50.
Specific pitch requests, caravan storage and Insurance (for up to 9 people) are chargeable extras.
(Note: I donít think these prices are bad at all, considering that they have not risen that much over the past five years and in some cases, the prices have dropped. Iíll leave the comparison palaver up to you, dear reader.)
For the money you get:
Free hot water, free showers, no charge for car, caravan, motorhome, tent or awning, Infants under 3 are not charged for, access to the heated pool and no pitch fee.
Budemeadows do let pitches at a moments notice if any are available. So feel free to land on speck. If not, there is plenty of space on the lay-by just outside the entrance, courtesy of NCDC, bless their little cotton socks.
As Iíve said in previous articles, Cornwall can prove to be a paradise for holiday- makers. Especially if you are looking to spend your time in the region, out and about enjoying the fresh air. A great place to get away from the remorselessly stressful mundanity of your everyday life.
But where to pitch your tent and establish a base camp? Breaking camp to only have to pitch it again elsewhere every few days, can prove a bit of a pain. That; and the fact that it is a waste of precious time when you could be doing something less boring instead. Unless you know where you are going, you can never be sure of how good your pitch is going to be either. Then again, to some, thatís half the fun of it all.
However, if you would rather stay in one place, explore and chill out, you could do a lot (and I mean a lot) worse than Budemeadows. A family run touring park just 3 miles south of Bude on the A39 (The Atlantic Highway), it offers a good place from which to do your thing.
Itís clean, tidy and well looked after. Budemeadows caters for everything from the lowly backpackers to the full on mobile home owner. For those that require them, there are electric hook-ups too. Some of the pitches have their own dedicated hard stand, for those who have a road-hogging juggernaut of a mobile home. I would say that it could provide for a hundred or so families. So not a small site, but by no means so big as to leave you feeling that it hasnít got that personal touch. Just right, I think.
The place has a shop, a laundry room, shower blocks and toilets, and a place to wash your pots and pans. For those that desperately need a television quick fix, there is also a telly room with a games room attached. For the kids there are bits Ďní pieces for them to play on and plenty of space to run around in. But, the big bonus, to us at least, was the swimming pool. Now, the brochure proudly stated that it is heated, and unlike a lot of other places that make the same boast, Budemeadows pool is lovely and warm. Oh yes. A very pleasant surprise indeed.
Our first camping trip to Cornwall started at Budemeadows. And when we moved on to a different site, we assumed that their pool would be heated too, and just dived in. We were wrong. What a bloody shock that was. Needless to say, the same mistake was not made again. In fact, we used Budemeadows exclusively for our Cornish trips from then on. No messing about with us you know.
Surprisingly civilized; compared to others Iíve been to over the years, Budemeadows entrance is actually off a lay-by. Itís well signposted so you have no excuses for missing it.
Despite being situated right next to the main drag down the North Cornish coast, Budemeadows can be surprisingly tranquil. On an evening, you can hear the surf breaking onto the beach at Widemouth Bay. Quite enchanting, especially as you lay flat on your back, drunk, staring at the stars and trying to remember where you left the tent and family. I used to enjoy lying flat out on the grass, with a pint, staring at the night sky, waiting to see if I could spot a satellite fly over. The night sky can be that clear. A bit of a bugger after the third jar though, everything tended to go triplicate. Ho hum.
Yes, youíve guessed it, Budemeadows has itsí own little bar too (hic). Nothing fancy; donít go expecting a cabaret show every night, but as a place to go and relax after a hard day on serious pest control (i.e. entertaining the kids) duties, it makes an ideal little bolthole.
To be honest, on those very hot summer days, when the thought of doing battle with the hordes on the local beaches just doesnít appeal, Budemeadows offers a great place to lounge about, relax and just chill. We often did. There are recliners by the pool on which to sit and read and some gazebos under which you can escape the sun without having to resort to becoming a hermit in your tent (or caravan etcÖ). The kids can be cut loose a little without fear of turning the place into a war zone as there is enough to keep them occupied for at least an hour or two and enough space for them to do it in. Ah, bliss. Even in very wet times, Budemeadows does not get boggy, and remains a pleasure to be there.
Oh happy memories.
However, if you want to be out and about, where can you go? Well: whatís your fancy?
Bude is the nearest town, being only three miles up the road. It has itís own supermarkets, Morrisons, Co-op and Somerfield, and all sorts of eateries, cafes and shops. The town is quite vibrant with a nightclub and a few pubs. And no theme pubs either. Thereís at least one that could still be called a proper drinking den. Even in winter, Bude still has a bit of zip about it that keeps it ticking over. No dying in November here, like so many other resorts. The shops are a good mix and there isnít too much tat about. It has a second hand book shop that any bookworm would die for. Thereís even a great little hardware shop where you can just about buy anything. A rarity indeed in these graceless times.
There are loads of little fishing villages doted along the coast, all fairly easy to get to from Budemeadows. Locally, there is Boscastle (a famed smugglers landing place) and Tintagel (King Arthurís place of origin, apparently). In land, Holsworthy and Launceston are well within easy reach. Wherever: theyíre all worth a visit. And the beauty of it all is that you donít need to spend the whole day travelling. There are not many places (well; none that I can think of) where you could feasibly spend an entire day, but that just means you can soon get back to Budemeadows to enjoy an afternoon siesta and pint. Or a surf and a pint. Or just a pint, even.
The choice is yours.
If you want to go further a field, Budemeadows is within easy striking distance of Plymouth, Exeter, Newquay, Truro, Bideford, Barnstable and Bodmin. Padstow is just so cute; it could be used as a basis for a Lilliputian collection. All worth a visit. Go early though. The traffic, especially at Truro, Padstow and Barnstable, can be torture. Even Torbay on the South Devon coast is not too far away.
If itís the beach youíre after, you are spoiled for choice. Widemouth Bay is literally a mile away. Bude has two beaches. All are a surfers dream. When the barrels are rolling in it can be quite spectacular, and challenging. You can hear the surf calling your name, daring you to have a go. The clean(ish) sandy beaches offer a place for those of us (myself included) who are not inclined to risking life and limb chucking ourselves about the North Atlantic.
Widemouth Bay (pronounce Widmuth) has a pub at each end of it, which both serve meals through the day and a shop and cafť. The shop offers various fish that have been freshly caught that morning locally. There is a post office too; and a cafť. Plenty of parking too, and not too expensive. Now take a breath here, the parking attendants are quite reasonable human beings. There are surf hire places doted about so you really have no excuse, do you? A good day is guaranteed, even if it is raining hard (which, I might add, can happen, often). Lifeguards patrol the beach, as they do in Bude. On an evening, when the sun goes down, the pubs become little nightspots and they offer a perfect way to end the day whilst you watch the sun sink below the horizon. Budesí beaches are literally on itís doorstep, so you get the added advantage of the town.
Mind; surfing isnít the only sport to indulge in. Thereís canoeing, body boarding, skim boarding, kite flying and even fishing (deep sea and beach) to be done. The waters fairly clean so if turd spotting is your thing, go to South Shields. You are wasting your time around Bude and Widemouth.
There are several companies offering outdoor pursuits. Theyíll give you tuition on surfing and the like. Some even offer orienteering and mountaineering. Try Outdoor Pursuits for these..
For those who really do not want to go to the beach, then there are loads of other places to be. The National Trust and English Heritage are quite prominent down here, and there are quite a few theme parks. Local farmers, out of necessity, have proven themselves to be quite experten at diversification. As have the local fishermen. Thereís loads of stuff to take the kids to. There are Tourist Information places at Bude and Tintagel (Boscastlesí got washed away, but is in the process of being rebuilt) where there are leaflets by the tonne and plenty of inspiration. Budemeadows has itís own collection of leaflets and brochures. Check them out.
If dadís a bit of a blobby, he wonít be after two weeks down here. Oh no. Iíll tell you, heíll return home a bronzed god-like passion-wagon thatíll keep mum very busy for months (and I donít mean doing the washing up either, baby!).
And as for the singletons amongst us. This part of the country offers a great place to go boozing, cruising and chatting. Oh yes, the beach beauties are a sight to see. And if youíre into surfing, get your coat, youíve pulled!
Weather? Ah yes, the weather. This can be a bit intimidating at times. A good old summer storm can prove quite spectacular. Noisy too. Winter ones are exhilarating. With the craggy coastline and hidden fishing hamlets, itís all very romantic. The summers are on the whole hot and dry. I reckon 2006 will be a scorcher.
Which reminds me, for those who like to walk, there are footpaths and rights of way all over the place. But the biggy takes you right down the Cornish north coast to Lands End. This could be done with the barest of necessities, as there are plenty of B&Bs along the way. Hotels and pubs with rooms to let too. The veteran walkers amongst you will know what to take.
Places to eat. If you want to sample some of the local eateries there are plenty to choose from without having to travel miles. Stratton (just outside Bude) has a couple of pubs that serve good quality evening meals, and there are loads of restaurants and cafes in Bude itself. Takeaways too. You can get Chinese, Italian, fish Ďní chips, kebabs, southern fried or pasties.
Or, you can sort yourself out on site. Budemeadows has BBQs doted about all over. They also have a visiting fish Ďní chip van most nights, or at least they did have. I donít know if they are doing that this year. Youíll have to ask.
Whatever; you have no excuse for going hungry, or thirsty.
If you time it right, your holiday will coincide with the Bude Jazz Festival (no blues though. Why?), the Bude Model Boat Festival or the Sealed Knot (I think) re-enactment of the Battle of Stratton (an obscure English Civil War skirmish). Everyone dresses up for that one and the beardy weirdies (ok, so Iím a rocker) gather on a night to sing ĎYe Olde Englisheí trad folk thingyís in the local hostelries. A rare old time these boys have too. As does every one else. Thankfully, muskets are left outside.
Then, of coarse, Tintagel has itís own King Arthur gathering where any one with a broad sword and longbow can pretend to defend the realm and look forward to their eventual arrival at the doors of Valhalla. Watching that particular bunch of nutters beat each other up in a mock (and sometimes not so mock) medieval battle provides exceptional value and entertainment for your money, especially when Arthur gets carted away, not in an ethereal boat by the maidens of Avalon (as some would wish), but by the Cornish Air Ambulance. Iíll tell you, there is some serious weaponry at this annual gig. And again, the beardy ones gather on a night, to sing of the exploits of ancient fallen heroes. After a jug or two, it can be quite disconcerting to find yourself chatting to a six foot Viking called Sven from Liverpool (especially when heís still got his bloody helmet on. Those horns can be quite dangerous yíknow). Just donít upset the witches. I havenít met Conan yet though. Thankfully.
There is one draw back to all this. Public transport. There isnít any. There are no trains locally, and the bus services would be laughable if they existed for you to laugh (or cry) at. Make sure you have your own means of getting about. Be it cycle, car or whatever. Drive, or pedal, carefully too. The roads here are killers at worst: unforgiving at best. So do not go whizzing about. There should be no need to do so anyway. You come here to chill, maaan, not to have a stress-fest.
For breakdowns and repairs, I fully recommend Red Post Garage, just outside Bude/Stratton, on the Holsworthy road. They know their stuff and wonít rob you blind. I know, Iíve had to use them often enough.
However, if you are without wheels, the furthest you have to walk to get anywhere is three miles. Which, although not that far, can still be a bit of a bugger when youíre lugging a 9í surfboard about. Good networking skills would offer you a distinct advantage in this predicament. However, if youíre not the chatty sort, look on the bright side, at least youíll stay fit.
Now, you may think Iíve been a little gushing in my praise of Budemeadows Touring Park. And in my opinion, rightly so. There are three good reasons for this. Firstly, the family and I never, ever had a bad experience whilst staying there. Secondly, when we had the solar eclipse of 1999, we holidayed here during that particular week. And, unlike many other sites who in some cases tripled their site fees, Budemeadows did not, did not, raise their prices at all. Not one penny. Top marks for that alone. And thirdly, and more importantly, we enjoyed it here so much we moved to this part of the West Country permanently.
Need I say more?
However, do not come expecting everything to be done for you. The owners are good and helpful to their clientele and provide an excellent and secure place from which to enjoy your holiday. The rest is up to you. Donít come expecting them to wipe your arses for you. In other words, donít take the mickey, people. Enjoy the flexibility and peace of mind that self-reliance gives you.
Iíve heard some folk complain that the Cornish can be quite surly and unfriendly. I donít agree. The Cornish are a delight. Itís the unproductively retired and smugly well-off ťmigrťs that are surly and unhelpful. But they are easy to spot, so treat with extreme caution (and prejudice?) and avoid like the plague (A note here. I am an ťmigrť, but neither retired, unfortunately, nor smug, luckily. Too busy).
Do you like going to the movies? Further, do miss the intimacy of the old fashioned cinema? Yes? Well try the Rebel Cinema. Itís about a five-minute drive, or a twenty-minute walk down the A39 from Budemeadows. A single screen theatre with room for maybe a hundred or so viewers; itís a nice tight, snug little place to go and see a good film. Itís not expensive either. Certainly cheaper than your local multiplex (though there is one of those in Plymouth).
I donít get to holiday there anymore as I life in Bude these days, but I still visit on occasions as day visitors are welcome. As Iíve said, itís a good peaceful place to de-stress for a couple of hours where no one can find me (this little extravagance does cost, but not enough to put me off).
So in summary, Budemeadows Touring Park is a good place to leave your tent or whatever it is youíre sleeping in, and go enjoying yourself. Itís sufficiently out of the way to be a place to hide from it all and relax. But close enough to civilization for those who choose to party. Ideal for those who want to do both, especially when a hangover is going to be involved the next morning. Budemeadows Touring Park will not be the cheapest place to lay your sleeping bag, but for your bucks you still get plenty of bang. In fact, more than enough bang to make it the best choice on this part of the Cornish coast.
Chill, relax and enjoy, dudes, dudettes, mini dudes and dudettes.
Budemeadows Touring ParkÖ
Thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommended.
Summary: Chill, relax and enjoy.