Bideford, Devon - tell me what you know!

OP
Proto

Proto

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Location
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Drove over to Bideford to take a look at a house, and the outside of another in East the Water. Got back to Frome 7:00 ish. Bideford bigger and busier than I expected, and worryingly close to Westward Ho!. The latter has a beautiful beach but quite possibly the ugliest town I’ve seen. Bideford itself I liked, could see myself living happily there.

North Devon/Bideford
Pros: pretty, rural, easy access to coast. Quiet, Very cheap. Lovely river. Good amenitie.
Cons: long way from anywhere. Poor transport links. Close to Westward Ho!

I liked the first house in Northam a lot. Right size for the two of us, lovely location, easy walking access to the river path into town. Very affordable too. However, as always details don’t show the full picture. Builder, as always, got greedy, cut corners to save a few quid and has spoiled it. Overlooked, road noise from A39, too close to neighbouring (identical) house.

The second house looks great from the outside, but is a ‘gated development’, or some such bollocks. Communal gardens, wall to wall white Range Rovers, not sure we’d fit. Will be a building site for quite some time, too.

I suspect we’ll end up somewhere in the South Hams or Bridport.

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-86786294.html

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-87026345.html
 
We are off in that direction in a couple of weeks to have a scout around.
Bringing bikes? It’s very flat....
 
We are off in that direction in a couple of weeks to have a scout around.
A motorhome will be hard work in the Devon lanes unless you stick to the handful of 'major' routes.

Fascinating and varied coastline, but don't expect to get anywhere quickly.

As regards towns, I always liked Dartmouth and Kingsbridge, less so Salcombe which became very 'yachty'.

Bigbury and the art deco 'Agatha Christie' hotel on Burgh Island is worth a look, not least because you might be able to have a go on the raised tractor thing that runs between the two.

https://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/things-to-do/burgh-island-p1541123

https://www.google.com/search?q=burgh+island+sea+tractor&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjEkq__iaPmAhWzUBUIHb5vAcIQiR56BAgEEBA&biw=1225&bih=594
 

Dirk

If 6 Was 9
@Proto - it might help if you gave some idea of your budget and which things are a must have.
North Devon is generally quieter than South and East Devon, but it does have its share of tourism during the summer. That's not a problem if you know your way around.

My views:
Pros.
Quieter and cheaper than other parts of Devon.
Great scenery and fantastic coastline & beaches.
Easy access to Exmoor.
The weather is generally good in the bay micro climate.
Tarka Trail for easy cycling.
Good walking.
Dog friendly.
Some decent pubs.
Laid back attitude generally.
Never had any problem with locals not accepting me.

Cons.
State of roads - money is so obviously spent in the South Devon area.
Access - we have an hours drive to the motorway before we even start going anywhere. It also takes twice as long to get anywhere going cross county.
Lack of good shops (so my missus says).

Like anywhere, the area has its share of dives and scrotes but crime is generally low. I've lived in the area for 15 years now. I'm glad I live in Braunton, having considered houses in Barnstaple and Bideford previously.
If I were to move again I would consider a move to Georgeham, or possibly Instow.
 
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Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
A motorhome will be hard work in the Devon lanes unless you stick to the handful of 'major' routes.

Fascinating and varied coastline, but don't expect to get anywhere quickly.

As regards towns, I always liked Dartmouth and Kingsbridge, less so Salcombe which became very 'yachty'.

Bigbury and the art deco 'Agatha Christie' hotel on Burgh Island is worth a look, not least because you might be able to have a go on the raised tractor thing that runs between the two.

https://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/things-to-do/burgh-island-p1541123

https://www.google.com/search?q=burgh+island+sea+tractor&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjEkq__iaPmAhWzUBUIHb5vAcIQiR56BAgEEBA&biw=1225&bih=594
Her chauffer is a Devon lad ;-)
 

All uphill

Senior Member
Have you considered Taunton?

Excellent road and rail links, not particularly touristy, and lots going on. Good cycling clubs and cafes. Theatres, cinema, library, art Centre.

Downsides: town centre is a bit faded, like so many. Not a town for anyone who wants to get about by car. Great for walking and cycling.

All the above is just my opinion, of course.
 
Not this time, we have the dog so lots of walking

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/club-sites/england/devon-and-cornwall/devon/start-bay-caravan-club-site/

This’ll be a good place for the Moho
Massive beach, near to Kingsbridge and Dartmouth . A nice pub for fish and chips
 
Start Bay/Point brings Slapton into play and gives us the chance to mention the war - always good for an internet thread.

Lots of American military activity in this area prior to D-Day, not least because the coast was deemed to be similar to Normandy so good for practising landings.

The Americans were not universally liked by the locals.

My mother tells a story of being stopped from riding somewhere on her horse by a couple of GIs who, to put it delicately, wanted to have some fun with a teenage local.

My grandmother was farming in the area.

She was woken in the early hours by some noises in her kitchen.

A group of GIs on exercise had decided on a refreshment stop.

They were polite enough, but they were having whatever they wanted to eat and drink from the kitchen whether they had permission or not.

There is a concrete memorial to the Americans on Slapton Sands.

It has been vandalised several times over the years by locals who had similar experiences to my family.

The memorial relates to a tragic incident during a D-Day exercise.

Due to a timing error, hundreds of GIs were killed by friendly fire as they practised landing on Slapton.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Tiger
 
OP
Proto

Proto

Guru
Location
Full time nomad
Update: so my wife and I drive over to Bideford to look at a house. We liked the house, not to big, small garden, not perfect but could happily live there. Good location (Northam), good access to the town itself. Very affordable too.

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-86786294.html

The downside, sadly, is the town of Bideford itself. It’s a long way from anywhere, one dreary road there, and the same road out, it’s like being the last stop on a branch line. The town is rather down at heel, shabby even. It might look different in the summer, but in the winter it’s depressing, not somewhere I want to be. So it’s out.

PS Had I mentioned earlier that it’s near Westward Ho!? Quite possibly the ugliest, nastiest town I’ve been to. Horrible blocks of flats, shabby bungalows, a complete lack of town planning and development. Run away
 
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Dirk

If 6 Was 9
Update: so my wife and I drive over to Bideford to look at a house. We liked the house, not to big, small garden, not perfect but could happily live there. Good location (Northam), good access to the town itself. Very affordable too.

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-86786294.html

The downside, sadly, is the town of Bideford itself. It’s a long way from anywhere, one dreary road there, and the same road out, it’s like being the last stop on a branch line. The town is rather down at heel, shabby even. It might look different in the summer, but in the winter it’s depressing, not somewhere I want to be. So it’s out.

PS Had I mentioned earlier that it’s near Westward Ho!? Quite possibly the ugliest, nastiest town I’ve been to. Horrible blocks of flats, shabby bungalows, a complete lack of town planning and development. Run away
Westward Ho! is quite possibly the ugliest, nastiest town you've been to, yet you actually liked that house?
I can think of far worse places than the Ho! and that house looked like my worst nightmare. :laugh:
Funny how peoples tastes differ.
Each to his own, I suppose. :unsure:
 
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