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Holidays in Bideford

'The little white town' on the river, with shops, cafes and a beautiful park

UK | South West | Devon | North Devon | Bideford
Bideford Quay

Coined as the “Little White Town” by Charles Kingsley in his 1855 novel Westward Ho!, Bideford is well-known in many old folklores and has a packed history to discover.

Once a bustling port back at the start of the 18th century, this bustling Devon town was well known across the world for its trade and shipping facilities. That’s not where the town's history ends; it’s said that back in the 17th century, the last three witches to be hung for witchcraft were three inhabitants from Bideford. You can explore the vast history that Bideford has to discover on a visit to the town, with hints at its stories on every street corner and in every old listed building.

History is not all that’s waiting to be discovered in Bideford. The town is set on the South West Coast Path, heading east to Barnstaple and West to Clovelly, both directions will provide you a glorious walk on pretty coastal surroundings. Enjoy a more rural route by walking along North Devon’s Tarka Trail, 30 miles of easy terrain. Once the old railway line, the Tarka Trail is wonderful walk for all abilities because of its flat pathways. Choose a route of any length, with regular buses running in both directions from Bideford. This trail is perfect for those looking for more of a wildlife spotting walk; with the river running alongside and lots of bird spotting opportunities along the way, make sure to take a camera with you.

Bideford is home to rows of pretty streets filled with family run shops, restaurants and tea rooms, enjoy a bite to eat and enjoy a spot of boutique shopping to fill your day. Stop off for lunch at Cafe Collective on the High Street; you can enjoy light bites including sandwiches, artisan pizzas, amazing cooked breakfasts, local and foreign delicacies. Friendly staff will make you feel very welcome and it makes for one of the freshest and most original eateries in town. They are also winners of the best coffee in Bideford, which is no mean feat considering the number of competing coffee parlours. The short climb up the High Street is worth the effort.

If you’re a fan of Italian food, an evening at the Italian Kitchen is sure to please your taste buds. The small intimate restaurant offers a wide selection of freshly cooked pizzas and delightful pastas on offer, all cooked in their own genuine Italian pizza oven on display in the restaurant. For more of an atmospheric meal, join them on one of their acoustic nights for music and a meal.

“With an extraordinary history, Bideford is waiting to be explored...”

If you’re travelling to Bideford in July, don’t miss their Heritage day and week celebrations at the start of the month. With parades, costumes and window displays around the town and lots of activities to join in with for all the family you can really discover what life was like in Bideford so many years ago.

While you’re there

The Riverbank Bar Bistro

Offering delicious bistro style meals in a pretty riverside setting, a lovely choice for lunch or dinner.

Skern Lodge

Try a whole range of outdoor activities from kayaking and coasteering to taking on the high rope challenge!

The Big Sheep

This child friendly farm park is a great day out for all ages, adults will enjoy the cider tasting too!

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