Great Locations to Shoot in Bude (Photo Ninja’s Top 3 Picks)

Our photographer highlights some of the best photo ops in his hometown.

By Tom Peters aka Photo Ninja – subscribe to Tom’s YouTube channel

If you’re looking to capture drama in your shots, may I recommend Cornwall’s north coast near Bude, between Barnstable and Newquay?

You’ve got the north Atlantic Ocean, sometimes calm but often full of thundering fury. The rocks look like they were thrown to earth by Thor. Down the way you’ll find a very picturesque protected fishing harbour and a canal lined with willows.

You could spend a day at any one of these spots and come away with many keepers.

All of these locations are within walking distance of each other, so if the conditions aren’t just right for one, it’s easy to go to another.

Barrel Rock at high tide, a Bude landmark

Cornwall Coast Photo Location #1: Barrel Rock

The harbour is protected by a breakwater, which stretches out maybe 300 meters with a large rock at the end of it. This is Barrel Rock, and one of my favourite locations to shoot.

It offers an obvious composition using the breakwater as a leading line to Barrel Rock, or you can go minimal and use Barrel Rock as a lone subject.

Barrel Rock, with the Seapool in the foreground, two of Tom’s fave Bude spots

Cornwall Coast Photo Location #2: Bude Sea Pool

The Bude Sea Pool was built in the 1930s under the curves of the cliffs. It provides the unique experience of swimming in the sea, but sheltered from the ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Sea Pool is right at the heart of Summerleaze beach. It has railings into the sea which are always tempting to shoot with a long exposure. On an overcast day, it’s perfect for a black and white composition.

You can also kill two birds with one stone if you get low and use the sea pool steps as foreground with Barrel Rock in the distance. If you can manage this at sunset you’ve got a classic Cornish shot.

The Seapool railings offer many abstract options to shoot

Cornwall Coast Photo Location #3: The Canal

The canal is such a gorgeous spot to go for a walk and if you get a misty morning, it offers an abundance of photographic opportunities.

There are several willow trees for that classic canal shot. With some soft morning sidelight backlighting the willows, you could have a portfolio shot.

Walks along the canal banks in Bude for a change of pace and colour palette

Bonus: Cornwall Coast Photo Location #4: Jagged Rocks at Crackington Haven

It’s worth the trip to go a bit further south to Crackington Haven for the dramatic rock formations on the coast. With stormy skies, rolling Atlantic whitecaps and a long lens, you’ll have drama to spare. Again, a great choice for black and white.

Dramatic rock formations can be found at Crackington Haven

Want to Capture Wild Seas? Visit During the Winter

The two main beaches Summerleaze and Crooklets are very popular surfing destinations, especially during the winter when the more hardcore surfers show up for the winter swells.

That’s the time to shoot monster waves breaking on rocks and the darkening skies of incoming storms.

Create calm with a long exposure using ND filters, and try some minimalism

A Word of Warning About the Tides

Before you go out along this coast, check the tide times. On the north Atlantic the tides come in fast and hard. You don’t want to be at water’s edge, all engrossed in your photography and find the tide rushing in at you.

Before you set up, if the tide is scheduled to come in soon, make sure you have an escape plan. You want to be able to get away from the water to dry land quickly.

Lastly, when you’re shooting the shoreline, don’t turn your back on the water. You always need to be aware of what’s happening around you.

Make Sure Your Tripod is on Solid Ground

If you’re shooting from the sandy beach, take an extra minute to ensure your tripod is well anchored. This is especially so if you’re actually in the water.

More than once, I’ve noticed my tripod starting to tilt ever so slightly as the water works the sand loose. You don’t want your kit in the drink.

What to Wear Photographing Cornwall’s North Coast

Perhaps it’s too obvious, but bring rubber boots, rain gear and layers of clothing. Even on dry days, it can get cold by the ocean.

Photography can be thirsty work, have a drink at the Beach Hotel in Bude

Where to Stay Near Bude

The area offers a wide selection of small B&Bs, boutique hotels and well-known chain hotels.

The Beach hotel offers stunning views over Bude Bay and is also a lovely spot for a nice drink and a meal in the evening sun.

If you fancy a more rural quiet stay, then the surrounding villages will cover you with Widemouth Bay just south of Bude offering the Bay View Inn.

Eating and Drinking in Bude

Because this is a popular vacation destination, Bude has numerous restaurants and bars to cater to all preferences. My personal favourite is The Beach, a regular spot for an old fashioned cocktail after work on weekends.

Pengrenna Pasties, the perfect place to grab a snack to take down to the beach

Watch Tom’s detailed video about his three favourite spots to shoot in Bude:

Interested in a Bude Photography Workshop / Location Walk?

I run regular workshops in and around Bude based around my favourite locations including lots of hidden gems that I’ve discovered over the years.

We can cover everything from composition to camera settings and how to use filters for specific effects. I’m a Kase filters partner and reseller and can help you get the best from filters during our shoot.

Learn about my workshops and sign up on my website.

Tom Peters aka Photo Ninja

Landscape photography is a passion of mine, and something that consumes my life. I am a big believer of the great outdoors, and travelling across the country capturing images would be a dream.

YouTube is my way of getting my work out to the world. I use it to inspire others and show my style and personality.

Tom Peters aka Photo Ninja

Landscape photography is a passion of mine, and something that consumes my life. I am a big believer of the great outdoors, and travelling across the country capturing images would be a dream.

YouTube is my way of getting my work out to the world. I use it to inspire others and show my style and personality.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RELATED ARTICLES

CONTRIBUTE

ExploreDiscoverShoot is a community of landscape and travel photographers and filmmakers.

TAKE PART & GET PUBLISHED!

You’ll get more exposure and live links to your work.

Recently Added

Most Popular