The Castle, Bude

The Castle, Bude

The Castle, The Wharf, Bude, EX23 8LG
Tel: (01288) 357300


Heritage Centre, Gallery, Gift Shop & Restaurant

Formerly the home of Victorian inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney. The Castle, which it was named when it was built in 1830, is steeped in history and is a great place to visit whether young or old. The Castle opened in 2007 as a heritage centre with exhibition galleries, an archive with research facilities, an education room, shop and a restaurant with breathtaking views to the breakwater and Chapel Rock and over Summerleaze beach to the sea beyond.

The Early Years
How the Bude Canal brought trade to Bude and transported beach sand inland for fertiliser. Over two miles of the canal are still open to the public.

The many shipwrecks along the coast are represented by figureheads collected from the shore and a multi-media display of the stricken vessels. Listen to the Reverend Hawker rector of Morwenstow, recount the horrors of of a shipwreck on the beach below the storm lashed cliffs.

Local crafts
Shipwright tools and navigation equipment used by Bude's ships.

Has a long tradition in Bude from Sir Thomas Ackland providing the first lifeboat to the RNLI inshore lifeboat of today.

Sir Goldsworthy Gurney
Cornwall has a great history of producing brilliant inventors and engineers including Richard Trevithick, arguably the 'real' inventor of the steam engine. Sir Goldsworthy Gurney was another, alas, 'forgotten genius'. Find out about his dazzling array of innovations. He built The Castle on sand just to prove it could be done. Not bad for 1830!

The English Civil War
Admire the colourful costumes from the Civil War and meet the Cornish Giant 'Anthony Payne' who fought at the Battle of Stamford Hill where the Royalists drove Parliamentarians from Cornwall.

The Sealed Knot
Was originally a secret resistance movement fighting to restore monarchy after the Civil War. The group have been immortalised by the famous artist Robert Lenkiewicz, in a stunning canvas now hanging at the Heritage Centre.

The Making of North Cornwall
The Heritage Centre opens with the wonderful natural history and world famous geology of the Cornish Coast. From surf to rock pools and grand cliff-top panoramas, learn about the origin of this dramatic landscape.

Bude as a holiday resort
Bude's fortunes changed in the late 19th century with the 'new trend' of holidaying by the sea. The new railway brought even more holidaymakers and Bude prospered until the 1970's when foreign travel became popular, but resilient Cornwall is trendy again especially with the surfing fraternity.

The Education Rooms
The Heritage Centre offers formal education, workshops and family activities and trails.


Cafe Limelight


Directly behind and overlooking Summerleaze beach.

Opening Times

All Year

Admission Free

Bude       Bude Canal       Bude-Stratton Museum       Bude Visitor Centre       Sir Goldsworthy Gurney