Charles Kingsley’s description of Bideford

Charles Kingsley’s description of Bideford as “The Little White Town, which slopes upward from its broad river tide” paints a picturesque one hundred & fifty year old image of the town that has not changed much to the present day.
In fact, if you approach this historic town from East-the-Water you can easily imagine you are being transported back to a time when life wasn't so hectic, and when Bideford was still one of the largest ports and market towns in the country.

This is because many of the houses are still painted white with small cobbled paths and walkways that weave their way in between the houses as they did in Charles Kingsley's day. Bideford’s ancient and iconic long bridge still stands proud, spanning the river Torridge and providing a link between the two sides of the town as it has for hundreds of years.

The Old Bideford Station

Tel: 01237 477676 The railway from Barnstaple to Bideford was opened in 1855, but was sadly closed to regular passengers in October 1965 as part of the notorious Beeching Report; the line from Barnstaple/Torrington/Meeth remained open to freight traffic until 1982. Then the railway track was finally lifted in 1985 and converted into the now … Read more

About Bideford

Charles Kingsley’s description of Bideford as “The Little White Town, which slopes upward from its broad river tide” paints a picturesque one hundred & fifty year old image of the town that has not changed much to the present day.In fact, if you approach this historic town from East-the-Water you can easily imagine you are … Read more

Cream Tea Festival

Bideford Town Council proudly brings you the first ever cream tea festival Sweet or savoury, plain or fruity? Cream first or jam first? This will be the forum for both these questions! Whatever the answers they’re bound to be delicious! And the public will be making their minds up on that one. We’re pretty sure … Read more


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