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Leisurely pursuits

There is, in Cornwall, an abundance of ways in which you can while away an afternoon in the sun. Some dream of gentle waves lapping at their feet as they watch the tip of their fishing rod for that tell-tale bounce of a bite, others envisage themselves hitting a leisurely 9 or 18 holes in the afternoon sun. Fortunately, whether it’s a golf club or a fishing rod that you’re planning to pack before embarking on your holiday, your base in Bude puts you in prime position to pursue your pastime of choice.

Cornwall is arguably home to some of the most exciting golf courses in the UK. With dramatic, sweeping clifftop vistas and rolling countryside between coasts, is Bude and North Cornwall Golf Club, offering a challenging 18-hole links course. Situated in the centre of Bude, the natural all-weather fairways are rarely unplayable – a real bonus this close to the sea – and with tight lies and uneven stances on the undulating fairways, plus beautiful, quick greens and both severe and subtle borrows, this course offers a challenge to golfers of all levels.

Overlooking the shimmering waters of the Camel Estuary, St Enodoc Golf Club is another course worth considering. Located on the high sand dunes and combining two of the finest links golf courses in Cornwall with mesmerising views, a round at St Enodoc has been described as “a full scale assault on your senses”.

If it’s views you’re after, then you won’t go far wrong with the golf club at Launceston. Offering spectacular views right on the Cornish border and welcoming non-members at all times, if you’re here in the West Country for a golfing break, then why not make Launceston Golf Club your first or last call in Cornwall?

Other fantastic Cornish clubs include St Mellion, considered to be one of the finest courses in Europe and popular among golfers of all handicaps, and Trevose, which boasts three courses, including the Championship course with its beautiful sea views. There is also Trethorne , which again sits on the Cornwall/Devon border, and is often deemed as one of the most beautiful courses in Cornwall. Trethorne boasts tree-lined fairways, numerous water hazards, and greens that are playable in most conditions, making this a scenic, year-round challenge for the discerning golfer.

Next we turn our attention to the water, but more importantly, to the fish that reside therein! People have been fishing with a rod and line for nearly a thousand years, according to some sources, and even today it is still growing in popularity. Some favour fresh-water fishing, others prefer trying their luck in the wide open ocean, but one thing remains a constant: that buzz when there’s a fish on! North Cornwall has some of the most plentiful fishing grounds anywhere in the UK, and whether you choose to strike out on your own in search of a secret spot, or to take a guided fishing tour, avid anglers will not be left disappointed during their trip to Bude.

For those keen to cook up a summer storm with fresh mackerel, there are plenty of boats taking visitors out to sea to catch their supper. Padstow is a great place to start, with vessels offering guests the option to fish over varying grounds, from wrecks to reefs.

Visit Padstow Boat Trips to find out more.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bit of family fun, Clive Pearson of Clovelly Charters can take you to visit the seals at Lundy Island, and even swim with them. You and the little ones can try your hands at some ‘mackerel bashing’, and catch yourselves a proper seafood feast!

For those who prefer fishing from the shore, there are plenty of marks from which you can cast a rod and line. Depending on your target species (if you have one), favourable places to start are Trenance and Trevose (for ray, as well as pollack, mackerel, plaice and a host of other species). Rumps Point, to the east of Padstow, is often good for gurnard, ray, pollack and wrasse.

If you’re heading down the coastline, then Godrevy Point and Navax Point at St Agnes also produce a number of different species, including mackerel, pollack and wrasse at Godrevy, or gurnard, ray, plaice and dabs at St Agnes.

For the beach anglers out there, there are plenty of sandy stretches in and around Bude that are worth trying your luck from. Bude breakwater and Crackington Haven, for example, as well as Widemouth Bay are all worth a try. Crooklets, Maer and Northcott Mouth are also good marks, fished at two hours before low water and on the incoming tide, as is Perranporth, Holywell Bay and Crantock. The important thing to consider, particularly during the summer, are the bathers and holiday makers that inevitably make their way to the beach during their time here. Often the evening, or early in the morning, can be the best times to avoid the crowd. Incidentally, these are often also the best times to get a bite!

There are so many marks around the Cornish coastline that if you’re unsure, it certainly pays to take a guided tour. There are many available here in Cornwall that are almost certain to get you in on the action, including Justin at Cornwall Fishing Adventures. A lifetime angler, Justin’s angling expertise and knowledge of the local marks is matched only by his passion for the sport, so if you’re looking for a productive day’s fishing – with the added bonus of a smoked supper afterwards – then it’s well worth giving him a call!

Finally, if you prefer fresh water – be that angling for trout on the fly, or sitting behind your rods and waiting for the ever-elusive carp to take your bait – then the Upper and Lower Tamar lakes can produce some fantastic sport, with day permits available from the South West Water self-service unit, found in the Lower Tamar car park. Other South West Lakes Trust owned waters include Argal near Falmouth, Bussow near St Ives and Porth near Newquay, all fantastic coarse fisheries, as well as Colliford Lake and Siblyback Lake near Liskeard, both superb waters for the dedicated fly angler.

In fact, Cornwall is home to a number of fantastic fisheries, some, like the above, owned by the South West Lakes Trust, others privately owned but offering their own unique slices of angling paradise.

Here in Cornwall you’re never really that far from the sea, and when you combine that slight tang of salt in the air with the simple spectacle of a sunset over your chosen lake – or indeed the ocean stretching out before you – there really is no better way to round off a day spent pursuing your favourite pastime.

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