North Devon is full of beautiful surprises – and none more so than Bideford. Spreading up hills on either side of the majestic tidal River Torridge a magnificent 24 arch medieval bridge links the two halves of the town. Its long quayside has seen Elizabethan sailors go off to fight the Armada, ships full of emigrants to colonise new worlds and trading vessels carrying cargoes of pottery, timber, coal, wheat, wine and ores.
Today ocean going vessels regularly visit to take on cargoes of clay and the ancient Pannier Market still operates. Modern cafes and restaurants are dotted around the narrow streets sitting side by side with a range of small independent shops - and history leaps out at you around every corner. The beautiful Victoria Park contains a nationally recognised art gallery and museum whilst the seventeenth century Chudleigh Fort in its own park still dominates the town and bridge.
Bideford is well worth visiting – but make sure you leave enough time to explore the town and the nearby villages.