Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.
Lovingly known to locals and holiday-makers alike as ‘the Little White Town’ a phrase coined from Charles Kingsley’s description in the novel Westward Ho!, Bideford is a pretty riverside town in North Devon. The town itself is full of pretty shops selling locally crafted gifts, and locally made produce, and in the centre of the town sits the historic Pannier Market, where on Wednesdays and Saturdays you can browse the shops and stalls full of gifts, crafts, and homemade food.
Bideford’s quayside is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon, watching the boats and trawlers docking into port, and feeding the ducks from the steps that lead into the water. During spring, summer, and autumn, the faithful Hocking’s van is parked along the quay, selling Bideford’s famously delicious clotted cream ice cream. During the summer, it’s not uncommon for international markets to pop up in colourful tents along the water’s edge, and on a hot day at high tide, you can often see brave locals leaping from Bideford’s Long Bridge into the water below to cool off.
Where to stay in Bideford
We have a wonderful handpicked collection of holiday cottages in and around the Little White town of Bideford. In the town centre, looking out across the water, and in and around the myriad of little villages that encircle the town, you’re sure to find your perfect holiday cottage in our collection. The little rural village of Abbotsham is peaceful and postcard pretty. With views of rolling farmland and access to the South West Coast Path and the beautiful beaches of nearby Westward Ho! only a short drive away, it’s the perfect destination for a coastal and countryside holiday. Following the river Torridge away from the town centre, you arrive at the village of Weare Giffard which is a perfect base for riverside walks and with easy access to the main town.
Why visit Bideford?
This charming town has so much to do that will delight holidaymakers. For opportunities to get active, you can cycle or walk the Tarka Trail, a flat long distance track which runs through Bideford and along the banks of the river in two directions; towards Instow and Barnstaple one way and Great Torrington and beyond in the other. With plenty of picnic spots to stop at, it’s great place to spend a day walking, cycling, or exercising your dog.
With the river and sea so close by, you’re sure to taste some delicious local catch in Bideford’s restaurants. Also, there are many quaint and cosy tearooms in the town all offering delicious lunches and of course, a traditional Devon cream tea with a healthy dollop of local clotted cream and homemade jam!
History of Bideford
Bideford has a rich and intriguing history, going back as far as the times of Hubba the Dane, who is said to have attacked Bideford but was repelled by Alfred the Great. A notable event in Bideford history is the last ever recorded trial of women for witchcraft, there is a plaque in the town and locally written books are available telling the story of the three Bideford Witches. In later history, the Grenville family were lords of the manor for many years and this period can be seen reflected in plaques, buildings, and street names around the town. Two of Bideford’s most famous landmarks are the Long Bridge built in 1268, locally called the ‘Old Bridge’ that joins the two sides of Bideford across the river. The Old Bridge has 24 arches, all of different sizes. Ask a local why the arches are different and you may get a few differing answers! The second landmark is the statue commemorating Bideford’s author Charles Kingsley, who lived and wrote many of his works while living and attending school in the town.