About the Bideford coast and country area of North Devon
- these are the lands and communities that abound the tidal estuary of the River Torridge.
Bideford, the town "by the ford" as the name implies, straddles the estuary at its lowest fording point. Originally a Saxon town, its famous 24-arched Long Bridge was paid for by the Norman Bishop of Exeter in the late 13th century. Bideford and Barnstaple were rival merchant ports from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Bideford continues to this day as a freight and fishing port and Appledore, downstream on the west bank, still has an active, now high-tech, shipyard and well-used quayside. On the east bank lies Instow, with its golden sandy beach, seafood restaurants and North Devon's Yacht Club. Westward Ho! (yes, there really is an exclamation mark in the name) sprawls along the seaward side of the peninsular bordered by the Torridge to the east and north, and Bideford Bay to the west. Westward Ho! was created as a Victorian seaside resort in the 1850s following the popularity of the historical romance of the same name written by Bideford's celebrated author, Charles Kingsley.
Lower Yelland Farm
Yelland, Fremington, Barnstaple, EX31 3EN.
Tel: 01271 860101 or 07803 933642. Website: www.loweryellandfarm.co.uk
A recently modernised 17th Century farmhouse, on working farm, beside the tidal estuary and the Tarka Trail Cycle Path (32 miles of off-road cycling). within 200 yards of RSPB Isley Marsh bird reserve. Estuary fishing, horse riding and cycle hire on the farm. Dogs welcome: £2.50 per night. Horse or pony livery: £50 per week. 4½ miles (11 minutes by car) west of Barnstaple; 1½ miles north-east of Instow.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single £32.50-£40.00; double room £60.00-£80.00.
Bedrooms: 2 super-kingsize double/twin, 2 four-poster double, 2 double, 2 single. Bathrooms: 8 en-suite.
Parking for 8. Open: All year round.
The Commodore Hotel
Marine Parade, Instow, Bideford, EX39 4JN.
Tel: 01271 860347. Website: www.commodore-instow.co.uk
Award-winning hotel in spectacular position directly overlooking Instow's golden sands and across the tidal estuary to the fishing village of Appledore. Stunning sunsets. 400 yards from the Tarka Trail Cycle Path (32 miles of off-road cycling). 200 yards from Instow Quay, from whence an open ferryboat plies its trade to Appledore at high water. Exceptional award-winning cuisine. Instow is 6 miles (15 minutes by car) west of Barnstaple; 3 miles north of Bideford.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single £80.00-£88.00; double room £138.00-£155.00.
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast per person, per night: £75.00-£109.00.
Bedrooms: 5 special suites, 11 double, 7 twin, 1 family, 1 single. Bathrooms: 25 en-suite.
Parking for 100. Open: All year round.
Fly fishing on local rivers, for salmon or sea trout, can be organised for you.
Huish Moor Farmhouse
Huish Lane, Instow, Bideford, EX39 4LR. Tel: 01271 860450.
Beautifully furnished C18th farmhouse offering quality accommodation in lovely countryside. Huish Moor farmhouse has spectacular views over the Taw estuary and surrounding country. Evening meals by arrangement, exceptionally good food using local produce where possible and cooked by Cordon Bleu trained proprietress. Fly fishing on local rivers for Salmon and Sea Trout, with fully experienced guide (equipment provided).One double/twin bedroom en-suite. One double bedroom with adjoining bathroom. One single bedroom with additional pull-out bed. Guests' sitting room with colour TV. 2½ miles (6 minutes by car) south-east of Instow beach.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single £35.00; double room £70.00-£80.00 (minimum two nights). Dinner: £23.00.
Bedrooms: 1 single(+1), 1 double/twin, 1 double. Bathrooms: 1 en-suite, 1 private.
Parking for 3. Open: All year round.
The Pines at Eastleigh
* Selected by the AA as "One of Britain's Best in 2009". The Pines at Eastleigh is a Georgian Country House set in 7 hill-top acres with views over the Torridge Estuary to Lundy Island. Log-fires, king-size beds, garden room bar with library, maps and a warm welcome await our guests. Family suites and cottage suites (with sitting room and galley kitchen) are available and we are able to accommodate children over 9 years old. In-room Wi-Fi access. 2¾ (9 minutes) miles east of Bideford; 2¾ miles south-east of Instow beach.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy from £59.00; double room from £79.00; family suite from £125.00; cottage suite (up to 4 adults) from £119 (4 people).
Bedrooms: 4 king-size double, 2 family suites. Bathrooms: 6 en-suite.
Parking for 12. Open: All year round.
Honeysuckle Cottage B&B
Westleigh, Bideford, EX39 4NL. Tel: 01271 861067 or 07961 141202.
Comfortable en-suite accommodation in this large, recently restored cottage, in the pretty village of Westleigh. The famous Westleigh Inn (a good food pub) is adjacent to Honeysuckle Cottage and one may park in their large carpark. The Tarka Trail cycle/foot path and the Torridge Estuary are just 500 yards away: using the trail beside the estuary, one can walk the 1¼ miles from Westleigh to the beach and village at Instow in about 25 minutes. 2 miles (5 minutes by car) north-east of Bideford.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single £35.00-£38.00; double room £60.00-£70.00.
Bedrooms: 1 king-size double, 1 twin or super king-size double. Bathrooms: 2 en-suite.
Parking for 2 in adjacent carpark. Open: from June 2012.
AUTUMN OFFER* (min.2nts)
Bed & Breakfast from £39 per person, per night.
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast from £47 per person, per night.
(single supplement £15). for details and dates - click here.
The Royal Hotel
A 17th Century colonial-style residence, where popular Victorian author Charles Kingsley stayed while researching for his famous romantic tale "Westward Ho!". Beautiful plaster ceiling. The hotel stands at the eastern end of Bideford's 13th Century, 24-arch Long Bridge. 50yds from river, 100yds from Tarka Trail, 250yds from Bideford Quay.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single from £69.00; double room from £85.00. Dinner: £19.00 (two course), £25.00 (three course).
Bedrooms: 5 single, 12 double, 13 twin, 2 family. Bathrooms: 32 en-suite.
Parking ample free. Open: All year round.
Richmond Villa and Riding Stables
Broad Lane, Appledore, Bideford, EX39 1NE. Tel: 01237 424020.
Click here for: More photos
Large Victoria house, in extensive grounds including riding arena and stables, with westward views across the burrows to the sea. Richmond Villa is beside the South West Coast Path, at Watertown, and 400 yds from Northam Burrows Country Park and the Skern Lodge Activity Centre. Separate cottage suite. 2½ miles north of Bideford; ¾ mile from Appledore's quay.
Bed & Breakfast per night: single occupancy from £40.00; double room £60.00-£70.00; triple £25.00 per person; cottage suite (sleeps 2) £ ?. Children: 3-11yrs £12, under 3yrs £9. Dinner: £10.00, children's dinner by arrangement.
Bedrooms: 1 family (3), 1 triple, 2 double. Bathrooms: 1 en-suite, 1 private, 1 public.
Parking for 6. Open: All year round.