The quaint Devonian town of Bideford is located on the west bank of the River Torridge. There are plenty of things to do in Bideford as well as it being a great base from which to explore North Devon and the villages of Westward Ho! and Appledore. The town is also close to the start of the Tarka Trail and not far from the Exmoor National Park.
Top attractions in Bideford
- Tarka Statue
Head to the quay and get some good luck by patting the head of the otter made famous in the eponymous children’s books.
- St Mary’s Parish Church
A real gem of a place, full of interesting history, take your time to wander around and enjoy the tranquility.
- MS Oldenburg
Is a characterful ship that offers refreshments on the way to and from nearby Lundy Island.
- Clovelly Court Gardens
Complete with greenhouses home to oranges, lemons, and grapes, woodland walks and resident pheasants.
- Bideford Railway Heritage Centre
If you like old trains you’ll enjoy a visit, the railway line is now part of the popular Tarka Trail and is a big tourist draw.
- Burton at Bideford
The Burton is a community venue that has art galleries, a shop, a French bistro café, museum and is Bideford’s tourist information centre.
Places to visit near Bideford you can reach by car
- The Big Sheep
This award-winning attraction has rides, shows, animals, indoor play and events to keep the whole family entertained all day long.
- The North Devon Surf School
Learn to surf or stand up paddle board at this Surfing England Centre of Excellence.
- North Devon Maritime Museum
You’ll find a fascinating insight into the rich shipbuilding and seafaring history of the North Devon.
- Hartland Abbey & Gardens
As featured in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘The Night Manager’, you’ll find stunning walled and woodland gardens.
- Cobbaton Combat Collection
Lots from 1939-45 and other wars too. Great if you have an interest in tanks, guns, helmets, artillery, grenades, and bombs.
- Tapeley Park Gardens
These beautiful gardens are renowned for their Italian terraces, and include a lake, ponds, old woodland and a number of fields where Hector’s herd of Highland cattle graze.
- Lundy Island
You have to take a two hour boat ride to get here rather than a car but it is totally worth it for the puffin spotting, stunning views, and peace and quiet.
- Instow beach
Sandy beach with calm waters that gets busy in the summertime.
- Westward Ho! Beach
A sandy beach backed with pebbles, popular with surfers.
- Saunton Sands Beach
Three and a half miles of golden sand backed with interesting dunes.
- Croyde Bay
Sandy, pretty and has the best surf in Devon!
A large, sandy beach that joins up with Westward Ho! at the southern end.
A historic car free village with its own small pebble beach and sunbathing platforms.