Described by Charles Kingsley in his 1855 novel Westward Ho! as ‘The Little White Town’, the market town and port of Bideford still retains much of its character from this time. The traditional pannier market and busy town centre make it one of Devon’s hidden gems.

Things to do

Visit the Burton Art gallery and museum. The collection houses varying exhibitions throughout the year and includes an array of paintings, ceramics, ships and coins.

Get up close with farm life. Just outside Bideford is the Big Sheep, where the whole family can enjoy watching sheep racing, sheep dog trials, sheep shearing, and lamb feeding. There is also an indoor playzone for the kids, brewery (with samples for dad), gift shop and café. Service 319 passes the Big Sheep on its way to Clovelly and Hartland.

Hire a bike and ride along a section of the Tarka Trail, which stretches for over 180 miles in a figure of eight. The section from Bideford to Barnstaple or Torrington make an attractive ride for the whole family, as both sections follow old railway lines they are flat and easy going.

Getting to Bideford

From Exeter, you can take the 315; from Tavistock and Okehampton, the 118; and from Barnstaple, services 1, 2, 21 and 21A take you to Bideford. All services stop on the Quay, which is convenient for the Town Centre. The Tarka Trail is on the other side of the river – cross the Old Bridge and pass under the old railway bridge.

If you are travelling from further afield, take the bus or train to Barnstaple and then catch one of the services listed above

Use our Interactive Bus Map