Things To Do

This page includes some of our favourite things to do in and around Bideford.

Little has changed from when novelist Charles Kingsley described Bideford as “The Little White Town which slopes upward from its broad river tide” 150 years ago. Bideford still has an attractive Quay front from which you can take the Oldenburg ferry to Lundy Island. Ponder over why the arches of the medieval long bridge over the River Torridge are different sizes and use it to cross the estuary and enjoy the sandy beach and dunes of Instow.

Bideford is still a thriving market town with a working port. Nestled within the modern shopping amenities, bars, cafes and restaurants, you will find the historic, covered Pannier Market, dating from 1883, which still holds a market every Tuesday and Saturday. You can browse the stalls for antiques, local produce, arts and crafts, music and books, both new and secondhand.

A description of the Bideford Heritage Trail is available from Ellerton in booklet form and details a fascinating historical walk through the ancient town and working port. Just minutes by foot from the house, visitors will find a beautifully tended municipal park with playgrounds and shallow pools, art gallery with café and supermarket.

Continue along the quay to the booking office for trips on the MS Oldenburg, which sails to nearby Lundy Island within two hours. The island is just 3.5 miles long by 0.5 miles wide and is a delight for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, either for a day trip or longer stays at one of the cottages scattered over the island.

A bus stop just a few metres from the house has regular services to delightful places such as Westward Ho!, Appledore, Instow and Clovelly, each with their own character and activities on offer.

Slightly further afield are the award-winning attractions of the Big Sheep and the Milky Way, both operating as farms, but now offering a host of other attractions, such as archery, duck racing and roller coasters. Feeding the baby lambs and the falconry displays are particularly unforgettable experiences for young children and adults alike. Continue further out along Clovelly Road and, as the name suggests, you will come to the precariously positioned Clovelly, where houses and cobbled streets cling onto the steep cliffs and wind down to the calm habour.