Welcome to the Official Website of the Bude Canal & Harbour Society

Boats basking in the sunshine of Bude Canal.


BiCentenary Celebrations

The Bi-Centenary of trade starting on the Canal between Bude and Holsworthy on the 8th July 1823. To celebrate this anniversary BCHS held a Celebration at the White Hart Hotel on 23rd July 3023 with a carvery, and presentation of maps of the Canal as it was on 8th July 2023. An anniversary cake was cut by the Mayor of Holsworthy and the Deputy Mayor of Bude Stratton. This was followed by local group Cousin Jack singing familiar shanties and other songs. (photos below).

The Society also produced a second Bi-Centenary update book which covered the period from 2019 to 2023, This is available to buy either at an event or by phoning the Chairman.

A Canal visit on 7th October 2023 took place to visit sites on the Canal at Bude, Marhamchurch, Launcells, Pancrasweek, Chilsworthy and Holsworthy. The group on this occasion was a select group of six – 3 Trustees namely Peter Daniel, Lesley Moores and me and three members Chris Ball, Mike Moore and Sandy Wright. Sandy is also a committee member of the IWA West Country Branch and Editor of the “Sou Wester” newsletter. Bearing in mind that the BCHS is a small society relying on volunteers I think we have done well. Thank you to everyone who took part in any way in our Celebration of 8th July 2023.

Chris Jewell (Chairman BCHS) 



Celebration Dinner at the White Hart Hotel Holsworthy

2nd August 2023

On Saturday 22nd July 2023 BHCS Trustees and Society members, representatives of the Bude Canal Trust, Nigel Kenneally the Mayor of Holsworthy and Philippa Purchase the Deputy Mayor of Bude Stratton Town Council met at the White Hart Hotel, Holsworthy to celebrate the 200th anniversary of when trade started on the Canal between Bude and Holsworthy. The actual date of this important event for both towns was on 8th July 1823.

The hotel provided an excellent meal which was followed by the presentation of commemorative maps of the Bude Canal as built in 1823 to the Mayor of Holsworthy and Deputy Mayor of Bude Stratton. A celebration cake, with edible painting of the famous Bude Ketch, the Ceres, and past and new logos of BCHS had been made by Jacki Stephens. The cake was then cut and shared amongst those present. The evening was rounded off by “Cousin Jack” a Bude based male singing group who entertained the delighted guests with a selection of Cornish and other songs. The evening was presided over by BCHS Chairman, Chris Jewell, resplendent in his new Cornish Tartan waistcoat. A truly memorable evening and a perfect way to celebrate the 200 years anniversary of trade on the Canal.

Click here for some photos of the evening


See below for the most recent editions of The Tub Boat - the Society's newsletter. Members receive this at least a month before it appears on site - yet another good reason to becvome a member of the Society.

Keep up to date with Cornwall Council's Engagement Programme

Autumn 2023

Cornwall Council is delighted to let you know about their upcoming plans to dredge Bude Canal, which has been a priority for many stakeholders in recent years. The project will provide many benefits for canal users, as well as improved ecology and flood risk reduction. Works to repair the canal bank alongside Crescent Carpark, will follow on after the dredging. Progress has already been made with dredging, and since November 2022 the inland zone east of County Road (Rodds) Bridge has been desilted. This was a relatively simple operation, with no impact on the use of the canal or the paths around it. We are now in the position to move ahead with dredging the lower zones, from County Road (Rodds) Bridge to the sea lock.

However, this is a significant and complex operation over a long stretch of the canal; given the challenges and sensitivities of the site and the heavy plant required, it will have a greater impact on canal users and the community. In order to give the community time to be aware of upcoming impacts, including canal, path and carpark restrictions we are providing information about the intended timeline, set out below, although, please note that the actual timeline for the operation remains dependent on weather and ecological conditions being favourable.

Works planned to start in early November The anticipated start date is Monday 6th November, when the operation will begin setting up in the Crescent Carpark. The building of the silt dewatering area will entail fencing off approximately two thirds of the Crescent Carpark with perimeter screening for both public and ecological security. Customers of the Crescent Carpark will be directed to alternative parking at Summerleaze and Crooklets Carparks. During the dredging period, activity on the canal will be restricted and day launches will not be available for purchase. Members of the public are politely reminded to follow the information on site notices and follow the request of works stewards for your own and others safety. The overall dredging operation is then expected to complete by the end of January 24, however the exact timeline may be impacted by climate and ecological conditions, which are outside of our control. Following on from the dredging work, repairs will be carried out to a section of the canal bank from Falcon Bridge. These works will require management of access to the footpath for approx. 100m section during which time people will be diverted through the Crescent Carpark. It is expected that the majority of the carpark will be re-opened on completion of the dredging works, however some fenced off areas will remain to allow the contractors to work safely.

The embankment repairs are expected to complete before Easter 24. For questions on these works, please contact: contracting@cormacltd.co.uk

On this page you can find regular updates providing the latest news and advice about the canal and harbour as well as background information to help you make the most of any visit. You can also engage in the Let's Talk Initiative

Photos and images in clickable album of the recent locking out on the Bude Canal - especially useful to see if you were not able to witness this in person! Click here

Photos of the Canal Dredging undertaken by Cornwall Council May 2023. Five photos (at present by Jeff Drover) and more will be added as work progresses so check back soon! Click here

The TUB BOAT is the Society's Newsletter produced four times a year as a printed booklet and emailed to members. Non members can access the previous edition on this website - but to get the new edition as soon as it is available please join the society (details on membership page) Over time The Tub Boat provides a very real archive of the work of the Society including reports, stunning photos and detailed news items.

Amazingly there are over 80 editions available on the site, click on the nearby pics for the latest editions or here to go to the Archived editions pages.


John Edyvean, a Cornishman, originally conceived the idea of the Bude Canal in 1774 - well over 200 years ago.

Learn More

1904 Maps & Notes

8 detailed colour Maps each with information sheet and carefully transacribed Surveyors' Notes.

Learn More

Regeneration Project & Gallery

 Gallery of over 400 photos taken by Chris Jewell during the Restoration of the Canal  when it was not accessible to the public.

Learn More

18 Bi-Centenary Panels 

18 Panels A2 in size for Bi-Centenary Exhibition with great detail now available to view on site or print to A4.

Learn More

Chris Jewell (Chairman BCHS)


Some elements of this website will only be comfortably viewed on a desktop (very old editions of the Tub Boat, certain map and historical information). We have also tried to include pdfs for downloading (maps, Tub Boat Newsletters etc) . We are working on the site to improve its responsiveness whilst retaining the wealth of information it contains.

Bude Canal - historically a major and vital engineering project - today a wonderful resource for all - tranquility, nature, lovely walks, lots of history - well a delightful easy and free place to explore with all the family - even the next generation in their pushchairs can enjoy the extensive (and quite vocal) wildlife!

The Bude Canal is England’s most westerly major canal but now just a short stretch remains of the original thirty five and a half mile long project constructed 1819 to 1825. Some has been restored and you can also explore on this site the historic maps and fascinating details of the incline planes and industrial heritage.

Discovering the Canal

Maybe a quick FAQ - well some answers anyway

Some pictures of Bude

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Join Our Amazing Community

The Society are always keen to welcome new Members - especially younger ones with tons of energy and ideas. The Canal has been around for 200 years and we want to ensure it is kept thriving for another 200 years providing the Community with many opportunities 

Important Links

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Bude Canal Trust

The Trust has an important role as the owner of some 5½ miles of one of the Canal’s branches, the so-called Aqueduct branch which stretches between Lower Tamar Lake and the River Tamar at Burmsdon and a little beyond. The Trust is therefore responsible for the longest remaining continuous length of the Canal and works hard to maintain its historic and heritage integrity, its wildlife value and public access on the towpath.
Bude Canal Trust website
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Bude Harbour consists of a seaward area, known as Budehaven, and an Inner Harbour with a sea lock connecting them which gives access further upstream to the Bude Canal. Harbour Orders relevant to Bude date from 1819 to 1960.

The Harbour Master is employed by Cornwall Council so contact him for all Canal related permissions and information such as locking in boats.   

 Bude Harbour Master Cornwall

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Bude Stratton Town Council

Bude-Stratton Town Council's main offices are in The Parkhouse Centre but among many other things they run the Grade II Listed  iconic Castle, former home of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, and the Bude Heritage Centre and Cafe Limelight. Bude's Library and play parks also come under their wing and they hold various Community Events throughout the year such as the brilliant Heritage Day. They own the Barge Workshop which is open to visitors during the summer. 
Bude Stratton Town Council

108 real visitors 

during 13 BARGE WORKSHOP open days in summer 2021

Over 14,000 unique website visitors 

in year to August 2021

1,817 unique

visitors to this site in August 2021

History, Maps & Project photos

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