12 great things to do in Bideford

Shops along the front at Bideford Quay

Stroll along the quay to admire the expansive waterfront setting of this pretty town. - Credit: Archant

Here's a round-up from KATE WILLIAMS of ways to have a fabulous time in this pretty North Devon coastal town:

Inside the old Pannier market in Bideford.

The Pannier Market is an arcade full of varied shops. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

1. Bideford Pannier Market 

An historic covered market with creative studios, shops and market stalls. The Pannier Market is an arcade full of varied shops with large glass windows to enable viewing without needing to enter into a small space. The Market has a well-earned reputation for the friendliness of its traders. Market days are Tuesday and Saturday; all other shops open Monday to Saturday. 

2. Bideford town 

Being such an historic town, it is worthwhile just to wander the streets of Bideford, which is situated on the bank of the River Torridge. Linking the town of Bideford to its neighbouring village, East the Water, is an old arched stone bridge crossing which was built in 1535. Follow this up with a stroll along the quay to admire the expansive waterfront setting of this pretty town. 

View of garden with tulips in flowerbeds at sunrise.

Victoria Park is a superb venue for all the family to enjoy. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

3. Victoria Park 

Take some time out and enjoy Victoria Park which was opened in 1912 to celebrate Queen Victoria's reign. A superb venue for all the family to enjoy, from a stroll around the fantastic gardens to recreational areas, including a children's play area, open-air paddling pool and skateboard park. Nine canons surrounding the band stand are believed to have been captured from the Spaniards in the Armada and there are rose beds dedicated to the late Princess Diana. 

Exterior of the Royal Hotel in Bideford.

The Royal Hotel is a sanctuary of charming beauty. - Credit: The Royal Hotel

4. The Royal Hotel 

For style and a touch of glamour, this historic regency hotel is situated by Bideford Bridge with stunning views over the River Torridge. With its history dating back to the 17th Century when Bideford was the busiest port in North Devon, The Royal Hotel is a sanctuary of charming beauty. 

Front view of thatched pub The Hoops Inn in North Devon.

The picturesque Hoops Inn & Country Hotel is Grade II listed and oozes idyllic character. - Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

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5. Hoops Inn & Country Hotel 

If you adore the chocolate-box ideal, then Hoops Inn & Country Hotel – just a short drive from Bideford - is the place for you. The picturesque, part-thatched property is Grade II listed and oozes idyllic character. Offering three-star accommodation of 13 en-suite bedrooms, Hoops Inn also houses a restaurant, serving meals created using only fresh, local, seasonal produce. 

6. Bulworthy Forest Lodges 

Bulworthy Forest Lodges are tucked away down a picturesque tree-lined drive leading to Bulworthy Forest, in 25 acres of peaceful woodland. The secluded lodges offer amazing lake views and hot tubs, creating the ultimate country getaway. Free coarse and carp fishing is on offer, as well as woodland trails amongst the wildlife and birds. 

A brown plate with fine dining food on it and yellow jus.

Number Eight provides diners with changing seasonal menus using local produce. - Credit: Number Eight

7. Number Eight 

Number Eight is an intimate and quiet fine dining restaurant with a relaxed feel about it. Situated just off Bideford’s quay, it provides diners with changing seasonal menus using local produce sourced from the South West to create a continually changing tasting menu. Open from Thursday to Sunday, 6.30pm onwards 

8. Le Petit Monde 

Translated as ‘the little world’, Le Petit Monde is named so in a less literal sense… “used to describe the people you choose to come together and enjoy life with”. Visitors are encouraged to order however they wish from the menu, be it a drink and a small plate or two, a shared meal, or the more traditional three courses. Serving fresh, local fish on a changing menu, depending on availability of produce. 

9. Quay 22 

If you are in need of a stop for sustenance, then Quay 22 is the cafe for you. The friendly staff, great service and cosy atmosphere are combined with excellent cakes and sausage rolls to tempt those tastebuds. And all this overlooking the fabulous quay. 

Table display in a homes and interiors shop.

From soft furnishings to sofas and garden pots, Josie’s Interiors has it all. - Credit: Josie's Interiors

10. Josie’s Interiors 

Stocked up with fabulous items for the home, this shop on Cooper Street offers contemporary interiors for every room in the house. From soft furnishings to sofas and garden pots, it has it all. It’s also the perfect stop for a gift or two 

11. Old Bridge Antiques 

For those who love a browse through an antiques shop, finding all kinds of treasures you just can’t get in other shops, Old Bridge Antiques on Kingsley Road has an assortment of wonders from days gone by. Ideal for a wander to find something not ‘off the peg’ 

12. Affinity Devon 

For those who love to pick up a bargain, Affinity Devon has over 25 outlet stores, including Lazy Jacks, Weird Fish, Clarks and Next. With dedicated free parking, there is plenty to keep shoppers occupied all day as well as places for food and drink pit-stops.