We consider ourselves extraordinarily lucky to live in this beautiful area. We have it all, from coast to moor and from quaint villages to bustling towns! Although The Torridge area is home to around 67,000 people it offers a gentler pace of life with many peaceful locations and we boast some stunning vistas!
Bideford sits on the banks of the River Torridge, where the river begins to widen to form the estuary. The historic Long Bridge dates from the 14th Century and, from the bridge, you can take a step back in time as you admire the towns many handsome buildings dating from when Bideford was the third largest port in Britain . The ‘New’ Bridge, some half a mile downstream, has made the town very much more accessible.
Author Charles Kingsley lived here and based his novel Westward Ho! in this area of North Devon. The town of Westward Ho!, with its amazing three-mile golden Blue Flag beach, takes its name from the novel – the only town in Britain known to have been named after a book rather than the other way round and also the only town in Britain with an exclamation mark in it.
Kingsley described Bideford as “The Little White Town”, although many buildings are now pastel coloured. Whilst the quaint cobbled streets and attractive small shops still remain, the town has moved into the 21st Century with excellent shopping facilities together with a variety of restaurants and lively pubs. Today, Bideford is a thriving shopping centre with an historic Pannier Market holding both produce and crafts markets twice each week. Particularly in summer, the tree-lined quay still bustles with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats as well as the MS Oldenburg taking visitors to Lundy Island some 12 miles offshore
The North Devon Coast is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural beauty, and it is easy to see why. It boasts breath-taking scenery with tall rugged cliffs, wide sandy bays, sand dunes, traditional hedged fields with wind sculptured trees and steep sided wooded combes. Encompassed within the area is the dramatic coastline of the Hartland promontory, the calm tranquillity of Bideford Bay, many striking headlands and golden beaches. The smaller, unspoilt villages such as Appledore, Clovelly, Hartland and Buckland Brewer (to name but a few) still offer a real sense of community that is long lost in other parts of the UK.
The regional centre of North Devon, Barnstaple is within 10 miles and provides a comprehensive range of shopping and leisure facilities, whilst the North Devon Link Road provides easy access to the Motorway network on the M5.