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

Boats basking in the sunshine of Bude Canal.


The BCHS AGM held on Sunday 18th February 2024 there was a presentation by John Puddy, Chairman of The Steamship Freshspring Trust (a Registered Charity), and a model of the cargo ship was on display. The SS Freshspring is an historic steamship built as a water carrier in 1946, and is registered as a Vessel of Historic Importance. She is currently being restored to working order at Bideford. One of the historical images shown of her working life was where she was alongside and supplying pure water for use in the the boilers of an Aircraft Carrier. Consideration is being given to convert her to 'greener' hybrid power with use of Hydrogen and there has been a feasibility study for her use as a passenger ship.

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.

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.
We have greatly updated our LINKS page so please check this out and show the organisations your support


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

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1904 Maps & Notes

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

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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.

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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

were most popular pages