Location Guide to Sandymouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall
This is probably my favourite Cornish location - Sandymouth, Near Bude, North Cornwall. There are plenty of photographic opportunites to be found here and I can thoroughly reccommend a visit.
Sandymouth is situated about 3 miles north of Bude on the north cornish coast close to the Devon border. To get to Sandymouth by road from the south take the A39 past Bude and pass through the village of Stratton and proceed for about 3 miles and look out for a sharp turning on the left for Stibb and Coombe. Just after Stibb you will come to a junction, take the left hand fork signposted to Sandymouth and proceed on this road down to the coast, where you will come to a car park on your left. If aproaching from the north take the A39 from Bideford and look out for the right hand turning for Stibb as you approach Stratton, then proceed as above. Sandymouth is in the care of The National Trust and a fee is payable for use of the car park by non-trust members.See this Map
Sandymouth faces due west and I have found the best time of day to visit is in the afternoon to late evening, and the best time of year from September to May. You can catch the sunset at any time of the year at this location. Arriving at the beach you will find the whole of the area above high-tide is covered in boulders, these are beautifully rounded and range in size from 18" in diameter down to small pebbles. They do however make for difficult walking and great care should be taken here, a stout pair of waterproof walking boots will prove invaluable.
What You'll See
At the top of the beach, to the right of the entrance there is a small waterfall, while to the left you will find the most amazing rock formations in the cliff providing you with opportunites for close-up texture shots. You will find plenty to photograph in this area, but take your time to compose your shots, just clicking away will not provide you with many satisfatory shots. I find that the best time to arrive is just on high tide (Tide tables for this area available here), as the tide recedes to reveal golden sands and unusual rock formations, it also has the benefit of giving you smooth sand with no footprints for your foregrounds. Low tide is also the best time to photograph the two stacks that dominate the north end of the beach. You will need to clamber over some rocks to get to these, so again take care as they can be slippery.
Other Photograpic Opportunities
If you like walking then you can get on to the Cornwall Coastal Path from here. To the north about 1½ miles is Northcott Mouth and further still is Duckpool, a similar location to Sandymouth. To the south, about 3 miles you can walk to Bude. If you are here in May/June you will find the cliff edges covered with Pink Thrift.