Things to do in Bideford, Devon

Bideford, located in Devon, England, is a charming riverside town that offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and a vibrant atmosphere. With its picturesque quayside, historic buildings, and stunning surrounding countryside, Bideford is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique and authentic British experience.

Things to do

Visit the Bideford Quay

Bideford Quay is a picturesque waterfront area located on the River Torridge. It is a great place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful views of the river and the surrounding countryside. You can also watch the boats coming and going, or even take a boat trip yourself. There are several cafes and restaurants along the quay where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the scenery. Don't forget to visit the historic Long Bridge, which dates back to the 15th century.

Explore the Burton Art Gallery and Museum

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs. The gallery showcases a wide range of contemporary and traditional art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles. The museum section offers a fascinating insight into the history of Bideford and its surrounding area. You can learn about the town's maritime heritage, local industries, and notable historical figures. The gallery also hosts regular exhibitions and events, so be sure to check their website for the latest updates.

Take a Walk on the Tarka Trail

The Tarka Trail is a scenic walking and cycling route that follows the path of the fictional character Tarka the Otter from the novel by Henry Williamson. The trail stretches for over 180 miles, but you can choose to explore a shorter section starting from Bideford. The trail takes you through beautiful countryside, along the River Torridge, and past charming villages. It's a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of Devon and get some exercise at the same time. You can rent bicycles in Bideford if you prefer cycling over walking.

Visit the Northam Burrows Country Park

Northam Burrows Country Park is a stunning coastal park located just outside of Bideford. It offers a diverse range of habitats, including sand dunes, salt marshes, grasslands, and a pebble ridge. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including rare birds, butterflies, and wildflowers. You can take a leisurely walk along the trails, have a picnic on the grassy areas, or simply relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the coastline. The park also has a visitor center where you can learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Discover the History of Bideford at the Bideford Heritage Centre

The Bideford Heritage Centre is a fascinating museum that tells the story of Bideford's rich history. Housed in a historic building, the museum showcases a wide range of artifacts, photographs, and documents that depict the town's past. You can learn about Bideford's maritime heritage, its involvement in the tobacco and pottery industries, and its connections to famous figures such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Charles Kingsley. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs for visitors of all ages.

Enjoy a Day at Westward Ho! Beach

Westward Ho! Beach is a popular destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The beach stretches for over two miles and offers golden sands, clear waters, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, build sandcastles, or simply relax and soak up the sun. The beach is also a great spot for surfing, kiteboarding, and other water sports. There are several cafes and restaurants nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink.

Visit the Royal North Devon Golf Club

The Royal North Devon Golf Club, also known as Westward Ho! Golf Club, is one of the oldest golf clubs in England. It was founded in 1864 and offers a challenging links course with stunning views of the coastline. Whether you're an experienced golfer or a beginner, you can enjoy a round of golf in this historic and picturesque setting. The club also has a clubhouse where you can relax and enjoy a meal or a drink after your game.

Take a Boat Trip to Lundy Island

Lundy Island is a small and unspoiled island located off the coast of Bideford. It is a designated Marine Nature Reserve and offers a unique opportunity to explore a diverse range of habitats and wildlife. You can take a boat trip from Bideford to Lundy Island and spend the day hiking, birdwatching, or simply enjoying the tranquility of the island. Lundy is also home to a historic castle, a lighthouse, and a charming village. Please note that boat trips to Lundy Island are weather-dependent, so it's advisable to check the schedule in advance.

Visit the Big Sheep

The Big Sheep is a unique and family-friendly attraction located near Bideford. It offers a range of fun activities and experiences for visitors of all ages. You can watch sheepdog trials, feed and pet farm animals, enjoy thrilling rides and slides, and even try your hand at sheep racing. The Big Sheep also has indoor play areas, a brewery, and a restaurant where you can relax and grab a bite to eat. It's a great place to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Explore the Hartland Peninsula

The Hartland Peninsula is a rugged and unspoiled area located near Bideford. It offers breathtaking coastal scenery, dramatic cliffs, and secluded beaches. You can take a scenic drive along the coast, stopping at viewpoints to admire the panoramic views. There are also several walking trails that allow you to explore the peninsula on foot. Don't miss the iconic Hartland Quay, a historic harbor that has been featured in several films and TV shows. The Hartland Peninsula is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.