Area & Heritage: Towns & Villages


In the 16th century Bideford was Britain's third largest port. It was rumoured that Sir Walter Raleigh landed his first shipment of tobacco there, although this is a myth, as Raleigh was not, contrary to popular belief, the first to bring tobacco to England. In honour of Raleigh, several roads and a hill have been named after him in Bideford.

Close to the renovated station at East-the-Water is Chudleigh Fort, where a striking view of the Quay can be enjoyed. The fort is the last relic of fortifications built in 1642 by James Chudleigh, an officer of the Barnstaple Garrison.

Today the narrow town centre streets lead down to a tree-lined quay, which bustles with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats. Clay is the principal export loaded onto boats at Bideford. The quay was refurbished, with completion in 2006, to provide flood defences and incorporates a large tide regulated fountain and brand new terminal building for the Lundy Ferry.

only 30 minutes from the Barns...