Bideford History & Heritage

Here are some FREE history and heritage things to do in Bideford:

Bideford is a historic town located in North Devon, England. It has a rich history and offers several heritage attractions and activities:

  1. Take a stroll over the Bideford Long Bridge: This iconic Bideford Bridge, dates back to the 13th century. The bridge spans the River Torridge and is a notable landmark of the town. Enjoy the views of the river and the surrounding architecture.

  2. Wander through Bideford's quayside area and the narrow streets of the Old Town: Admire the charming historic buildings, including the colorful houses along the quay, and explore the local shops, cafes, and pubs.

  3. Visit the Burton Art Gallery and Museum: The Burton, is located near the town's quay, to explore its art gallery and museum. The museum showcases various exhibitions and displays related to local history, culture, and art.

  4. Take a trip on the Oldenburg: Embark on a boat trip aboard The Oldenburg, a historic vessel that offers cruises along the beautiful North Devon coastline. This provides an opportunity to experience the region's maritime heritage and enjoy scenic views.

  5. Pay a visit to St Mary's Church: A magnificent medieval church located in the heart of Bideford. Explore its impressive architecture, stained glass windows, and historical features. The church also hosts occasional events and concerts.

  6. Spend some time at The Pannier Market: A vibrant and bustling market located in the town centre. The market has a long history and offers a variety of stalls selling local produce, crafts, antiques, and more.

  7. Visit the War Memorial: Victoria Park is home to a War Memorial dedicated to the soldiers from Bideford who lost their lives during World War I and subsequent conflicts. It is a cenotaph featuring inscriptions and plaques honoring the fallen soldiers.

  8. Tarka The Otter Sculpture: The sculpture is dedicated to the fictional character Tarka the Otter, who was featured in the novel "Tarka the Otter" by Henry Williamson. The sculpture is situated near the Long Bridge, close to the quayside in Bideford.

  9. Visit Chudleigh Fort: In 1642, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarian Captain (later General) Chudleigh built an eight-gun fort at East-the-Water which, along with another fort on the west side of the river, defended Bideford and the river approaches. Today the War Memorial cross stands at Chudleigh Fort.

  10. Get amongst the nine Cannons in Victoria Park: Discovered in 1890 during work on the Quay, they are now positioned around the bandstand. It is suggested that the cannons are from the Spanish Armada, but they may have been from Spanish ship which was captured in 1585.

Remember to check the opening times and availability of attractions in advance, as some may have specific operating hours or seasonal variations. Enjoy your visit to Bideford!