This site is no longer maintained
This website should only be accessed for School Messenger, SIS or planning agents information.

Bude Canal and Marshes

Bude Canal and Marshes is an award winning, unique site with;

  • an important engineering history
  • fascinating landscape
  • and outstanding habitats
Continue reading

These provide a rich tapestry of cultural heritage rooted deep within the vibrant community. 

Bude’s Canal and Marshes is located in the heart of a busy seaside town.

It provides opportunities to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the Bude valley.

Other activitis include;

  • fishing
  • kayaking
  • or gentle stroll along the accessible tow path and or network of well marked walking routes
  • Car park on the Crescent (Pay and Display)
  • Toilets
  • Interpretation and Tourist information centre
  • Wheel Chair-Acessible Bird Hide
  • Angling (Environment Agency Permit required)
  • Rowing Boat hire
  • Day launching for Canoes and Kayaks (Permit required)

Bude Canal and Marshes is a rural gem that stretches into the heart of Bude, a stunning combination of, freshwater canal, damp grassland and marsh at Pethericks Mill, Reedbed in the Local Nature Reserve and a level surfaced tow path of 2.5 miles starting alongside the harbour winding up the valley to Helebridge.  The tow path passes two inland working locks giving the passer by a flavour of the intriguing history of the canal and its environs.

For more information please visit the information centre.

Bude Marshes just alongside the canal next to the Visitor Information Centre was declared a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) in 1983, the first in Cornwall, in fact it had been identified as a wildlife amenity area as early as 1955!  The reserve covers an area of 6ha (14.5ac) of mainly reed bed, wet grassland and willow carr. In 1999 the area was extended to 9.2ha (22.5ac) when the Environment Agency handed the management of an area of wet scrapes over to Cornwall Council. Pethericks Mill was designed to increase flood storage and the wildlife conservation value of the area as part of the Bude Flood Prevention Scheme. A footbridge (the Peter Truscott Bridge) was built in 2001 to give access from the canal towpath.


The Local Nature Reserve includes an area of 6ha (14.5ac) of mainly reed bed, wet grassland and willow carr.

Pethericks Marsh is a slightly saline environment with wet grassland. The Canal has reedbed fringe habitat, and open water.

Look out for:

  • Swans
  • Otters
  • Bats
  • Herons
  • Kingfishers
  • Little Egrets
  • Bee Orchids
  • Grass Snakes

If you are lucky enough to spot an otter or other wildlife please pop into the Tourist Information centre and report it to a member of staff so they can display it on the wildlife information notice board.

Owner: Cornwall Council Managed by: Cormac Solutions Ltd.

Travel Directions: Follow this link to travel directions to Bude

A fantastic area of such abundant richness, you would never believe it was at the edge of Bude. 

Find out how to donate a bench or memorial to Bude Canal and Marshes

If you would like to organise an event on the Canal or tow path please follow this link for more information Cornwall Council's guide on organising events.


For more Information see the links to the left hand side of this page.