When we talk Bideford, we talk English pubs, English restaurants, English everything! If what brings you joy is quaint, eccentric little shops, cobbled alleyways, restaurants and cafés hidden away making it a thrill when you find them, then the place to be is Bideford. Have idyllic, long strolls on the harbor or if you would rather an active pastime, then opt for a hike on the Tarka Trail which is featured in this article. A quaint town full of surprises, pack up your bags and make your way to this small town found in Devon and have fun discovering it. There is lots to do for every member of the family. Below are some of the best things to do in Bideford.
Kids love Bideford:
1. The Big Sheep
This is like the main attraction in Bideford. You cannot go to Bideford and miss going to The Big Sheep, especially if you are with the kids. The place prides itself in its many activities such as the live shows they hold, the all-round entertainment, the rides and the animals. Derived from its name, The Big Sheep, the main event is the sheep races where the whole family can watch and egg on their favorite sheep to win. Better yet, let the kids feed the lambs, an experience they will never forget.
The Big Sheep
Address: Abbotsham, Bideford EX39 5AP, UK
Website: The Big Sheep
A little pampering won't hurt:
2. R&R Spa
Get away from it all at the R&R Spa as they treat you to topnotch beauty and therapeutic treatments that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and new ready to tackle what the rough world throws your way.
Address: Durrant House Hotel, Heywood Road, Northam, Bideford, Devon EX39 3QB, UK
Website: R&R Spa
Back to nature:
3. Hartland Abbey & Gardens
Hartland Abbey and Gardens prides itself in its breathtaking surroundings and architectural wonder. A site used by many filmmakers in the UK, you will get to take in its mix of splendor, from the animals traversing the grounds, the manicured gardens, the blend of interior décor that takes you to different times room by room, and the many collections of vintage furnishings and timeless art paintings housed in the building. To top it all off, enjoy some tea at the Old Kitchens Tea Room at the abbey after getting a few keepsakes at the gift shop.
Hartland Abbey & Gardens
Address: Hartland, Bideford EX39 6DT, UK
Website: Hartland Abbey & Gardens
4. Lundy Island
Do it all at Lundy Island – paint the beautiful landscape surrounding the island, walk and climb the trails around the island, go snorkeling, shoot prizewinning photos, go fishing and so much more at Lundy Island. After a full day of never-ending activities, head off to the pub on the island for a drink and some good English cuisine.
Address: The Quay, Lundy Shore Office, Bideford EX39 2LY, UK
Website: Lundy Island
5. South West Coast Path Walk – Torridge Tarka Trail
With terrains that range from easy to challenging, this is every adventurous hikers dream. A hiking route that is UNESCO recognized as a Biosphere Reserve, the route will have you hiking picturesque sceneries. Enjoy the quietude of the countryside, climb the uplands, listen to the river gaggle down at the wooded valleys and breathe in the coastal air on the route.
South West Coast Path Walk – Torridge Tarka Trail
Address: Instow Bus Stop, Instow, Bideford EX39 2BU, UK
Points of interest:
6. Clovelly Village
A fishing town with none of that dreary, rained-down feel to it, Clovelly is a bucketful of surprises. The vantage placed village can only be reached by foot, so strap on your walking boots when planning to visit Clovelly. Explore and learn about the village at the Kingsley Museum and the Fisherman’s Cottage. If you would rather laze around then you can do just that at the Clovelly Court Gardens. A highlight for the kiddos is the Owl Magic where they get to interact with hawks, falcons and other birds of prey. Get to make your own silk scarf at The Clovelly Silk and Pottery Craft Workshop or learn a craft such as quilting or candle making at the Rowan Tree Studio. Did I mention the donkeys and sledges in the village? Yep, an all-round English village experience for everyone.
The village is setup in such a way that you will traipse down the quaint High Street taking in the cottages and shops and savoring the good food in the restaurants with no worries, but when it is all done and dusted, it is an uphill trek back. Luckily, if you cannot be bothered to trudge back up, there is a Land Rover revved up and ready to take you back. Note that there is an admission fee which covers a lot of the activities mentioned above.
Address: Off the A39 | Nr Bideford, Devon, Clovelly EX39 5TA, UK
Website: Clovelly Village
7. Pannier Market
A historical stalwart, the Pannier Market is a must-see when in Bideford. Adjacent to the Butcher’s Row, both of these are a tourist attraction thanks to their historical background dating centuries. Enjoy a full English breakfast at one of the cafés at the market.
Address: Market Pl, Bideford EX39 2DR, UK
Website: Pannier Market
The English life
Get the best of Bideford’s English life and enjoy the many enjoyable activities that are suitable for kids and adults. The landscape, the people, the century old markets, fishing village and more, Bideford is a flurry of activities and you will definitely love and enjoy all that it has to offer.
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