White Town on the Torridge

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Destination

Date of travel

September, 2022

Product name

Bideford

Product country

United Kingdom

Product city

near Barnstaple

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Relaxation/Wellness

We had been to the White Towns on Andalucia but never to this small town in Devon. If the weather was less than Spanish the hospitality yields to none. ‘That’s a good slice of cake, my dear’ was said several times in cafes. It wasn’t said in French but the Cafe du Parc soon became our favoured place to stop, and that not only for its French quality coffee and Breton-style cuisine. It has a pleasant on the said park and accommodation in the Burton Museum and Gallery.

The musuem was gifted to the town some decades ago and maintains a free admission policy. Contemporary local artists desplay work there; classes take place in various subjects that seem very popular and a there is a museum of local history. Bideford has a colourful history too, from its medieval bridge to colonisation of America, the tobacco trade and its consequent slave trade. in which local seafarer Sir Richard Grenville was prominent. In addition, the Burton presents visiting exhibitions from well-known London dealers. Currently and until October there are graphic works by Patrick Heron, very bright abstract designs that have attracted local buyers.

From a position well above the river it is easy to review all that goes on, from the extensive tides to small boat arrivals and departures, including the trips to Lundy and the activities of local canoeist and rowing crews. Bus services are excellent, giving access to RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington (for Dartington Crystal), Appledore and Clovelly.

Having mentioned the hospitality, I have to conclude with Breton crepes and galettes with cider at Cafe du Parc. If the weather keeps us from Clovelly, at least we will have enjoyed the best Breton food since we spent Christmas in that region, and the weather kept in character.

John.Pelling

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