Bideford is a historic port on the banks of the River Torridge and just a short distance to the sea. This part of the North Coast has a few local sandy beaches to choose from, including Saunton and Westward Ho! On the edge of the estuary is the Northam Burrows Country Park; the grasslands, sand dunes and marshes are home to many species of bird and wildlife.
The historic estate of Tapeley Park is worth a visit, there are formal lawns and a walled kitchen garden to wander in. Lundy Island is perfect for a relaxing day trip and has opportunities for diving and seal watching. The small island village has an inn, lighthouse and the Marisco Castle. Not far from Bideford is the large shopping outlet Atlantic Village, and for the younger ones The Big Sheep has outdoor adrenaline activities, fairground rides and various animal attractions. Another great family day out is the Milky Way Adventure Park at Clovelly, with shows and sports to suit all ages. For further activities try Skern Lodge and the Ultimate Adventure Park.
The famous Tarka Trail passes through Bideford, and the Burton Art Gallery & Town Museum has a craft gallery and local gift shop. The 12th century Hartland Abbey is a notable ancestral home with displays of many historic paintings and period collections. There are woodland and garden walks, also a path which leads down to the sea.