Ah, North Devon, a beautiful escape that truly made me fall in love with the English countryside.
I recently spent a week in Bideford and couldn’t wait to share my adventures. From wandering the Pannier Market to paddling in the sea at Instow, there was never a dull moment.
Here’s a recap of my unforgettable week:
During our stay in Bideford, we couldn’t resist taking a day trip to the nearby village of Appledore (see the big photo). Known for its maritime heritage, narrow streets, and colourful houses, this charming seaside town was an absolute delight.
As a lover of art, I was thrilled to discover, or rather remember the vibrant art scene in Appledore. We spent the morning wandering through the village’s many art galleries, admiring the work of local artists. From contemporary pieces to traditional landscapes, there was something to inspire everyone.
St. Mary’s Church, Appledore
Our next stop was the lovely St. Mary’s Church in Appledore. This historic church dates back to the 14th century and boasts a beautiful stained-glass window depicting the Last Supper. We enjoyed the serene atmosphere as we explored the church’s rich history. Its nice to see they are using it for all sorts of things now, movie night and even had drinks too!
One of the most enchanting aspects of Appledore is its quaint and colourful seaside houses. As we meandered through the village’s narrow streets, we couldn’t help but marvel at the charming cottages, many adorned with hanging baskets and window boxes overflowing with flowers.
The Pannier Market
On our first day, we decided to dive into the local culture by visiting the Bideford Pannier Market.
This historic indoor market held Tuesdays and Saturdays, dates back to 1884 and offers a fantastic variety of local produce, crafts, and antiques. It was a delightful way to get a taste of the local community and find some unique souvenirs.
After the market, we headed to Victoria Park, a lovely green space in the heart of Bideford.
The park is complete with beautiful flowerbeds, a charming bandstand, and a fantastic children’s play area. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll, taking in the scenery and watching locals go about their day.
St. Mary’s Church
Another must-see during our stay was the beautiful St. Mary’s Church.
This magnificent 13th-century church is known for its impressive architecture and rich history. We were amazed by the intricate stonework, stunning stained-glass windows, and the peaceful atmosphere inside.
As a bookworm, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Bideford Library. Housed in a historic building, this cosy library offers a fantastic selection of books and a welcoming atmosphere. We spent an afternoon browsing the shelves and chatting with the friendly staff.
Paddling at Instow Beach
One of the highlights of our trip was a day spent at Instow Beach.
We couldn’t resist dipping our toes into the sea and enjoying the beautiful views of the estuary. The sandy beach was perfect for a leisurely walk, and we even spotted some families enjoying picnics and flying kites.
I spoke to some chaps there, they had just been surfing at Westward Ho and had come back to Instow to go to the pub.
Coffee at a Backstreet Café
We stumbled upon a quaint backstreet café while exploring Bideford’s charming streets. I think it was called Mill Street.
With its cosy atmosphere and delicious coffee, it quickly became our go-to spot for a midday pick-me-up. We enjoyed chatting with the locals and learning more about the town’s history.
The Long Journey Home
Sadly, our holiday came to an end, and it was time to embark on the long train journey home, back here to Glasgow.
As the beautiful countryside faded into the distance, we were filled with gratitude for the memories we had made. And though we were excited to reunite with family, we knew that a piece of our hearts would always remain in Bideford.
Bideford, North Devon, is a hidden gem that I’ll never forget. Things have progressed a lot since I was last down there. Did find this guide which helped, although surfing is not my thing at my age now.
From its historic charm to its picturesque countryside, this quaint town stole my heart. If you’re looking for a getaway full of natural beauty, friendly locals, and a taste of authentic English culture, Bideford should definitely be on your bucket list.