Green House Vegetarian Bed and Breakfast

 

Location: Green House, Torridge St, Bideford EX39 4EF

Click on the map to see a larger view of our location in a seperate windowThe North Devon coast, rocky and treacherous, provides some breathtaking scenery comprising picturesque fishing villages, golden sands and historic river ports. The whole area has protection from development from it's designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as part of the Exmoor National Park and through its UNESCO Biosphere Reserve centred around the internationally important sand dunes at Braunton Burrows. North Devon has 16 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which represent the best sites for wildlife and geology. Well over half, by area, are internationally important and many play an important part in local culture and economies or provide wonderful opportunities for people to enjoy wildlife and landscape. Its 90 miles of coast path start in the West on the border with Cornwall. Here the Hartland Heritage Coast's 300/400 feet vertical cliffs protrude into the Atlantic Ocean 's rough surf. This is a rugged and remote coast, littered with ship wrecks and home to the fastest bird in the world, the Peregrine Falcon, with dive speeds of over 180mph. Set into a steep hillside, Clovelly is one of the most famous villages in the world. The single cobbled, traffic free, high street winds its way down the hillside through traditional whitewashed 16th century cottages festooned with fuchsias and geraniums. Cetacean watching is a popular pastime here.

Hartland Waterfall with Wild Flowers The Coast Path at Abbotsham

The river port of Bideford, described affectionately by resident Charles Kingsley as ‘the little white town' dates back to its 12th century long bridge, whose 24 arches span the tidal estuary of the River Torridge. Many of the buildings in this bustling market town date back to the 16th century when Bideford was Britain's 3rd largest port having a thriving tobacco trade with Maryland and Virginia. At this time it was also the home to ‘Raleigh' the first North American Indian ever to come to Europe, brought back from Roanoke Island by Sir Richard Grenville. The Burton Art Gallery holds a wealth of information about Bideford's history as well as contemporary shows of art. Inland from Bideford is the cavalier town of Torrington and Beaford Arts, the country's first rural Arts Centre and home to the James Ravilious photographic archive.

Three miles North of Bideford the tidal Rivers, Torridge and Taw, enter the sea at the fishing village of Appledore. The estuaries of these rivers are teeming with wildlife. Salmon spawn here and are food for the otters made famous by Henry Williamson's book ‘Tarka the Otter'.

Wading and fishing birds winter here in abundance including Spoonbills and Ospreys. Appledore has an arts community living in its quaint jumble of cob and thatch houses along narrow colourful streets. It has its own International Visual Arts Festival during the first week of June and its Book Festival in the last week of September.

Travelling East from here, on the cycle and hiking path of the Tarka Trail, will bring you to Barnstaple, the oldest borough town in Britain. Barnstaple is the region's cultural capital with one of the country's best theatres with venues both here and in nearby Ilfracombe; it also has the region's biggest Museum and Art Gallery. The month of June is taken over by the North Devon Festival and Barnstaple's Fringe.

Live music is abundant here with festivals during the summer months and daily blues, rock and jazz played in the multitude of traditional pubs.

Westward Ho!, Saunton Sands, Woolacombe and Croyde make up 10 miles of flat, golden sands. These are big surfing beaches, which face the Atlantic head on, and where it's possible to surf with wild dolphins. Further North, nestled in a sheltered valley, on the edge of Exmoor National Park is the Victorian coastal resort of Ilfracombe. The 30 feet height difference between high and low tide, the second largest in the world, made Ilfracombe a mecca for the study of marine life in it's plethora of rock pools on the hidden tunnels beaches. The town is also home of Damien Hirst's restaurant and tapas bar, full of his original art. From here or from Bideford you can take a short boat trip to Lundy Island, England's first statutory Marine Nature Reserve, home to hundreds of grey seals, it's also know as Puffin Island because of it's colony of these birds.

Exmoor's 1000 foot cliffs dominate the North Eastern end of North Devon. The vertiginous coastal path follows the steep contours of the landscape, through the mountain goat habitat of the Valley of Rocks, into the ‘little Austria' villages of Lynton and Lynmouth where the East and West Lyn Rivers, after a cascade of waterfalls, flow into the sea.