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Bideford - Devon
Difficult as it is to believe, Bideford once rivalled London as a port. In the 17th Century, its ships sailed the oceans, many of them to Newfoundland. Its Quayside is a bustling, friendly place, as are its weekly cattle market and regular pannier markets. Dating from the 13th century, the bridge has been reconstructed many times; not two of its twenty-four arches have the same span.
The port was once owned by Richard Grenville, commander of the ships that carried the first English settlers to Virginia. He is featured in Charles Kingsley's "Westward Ho!" part of which was written here. Boats take one-day trippers to Lundy Island, but you may choose to go by helicopter.
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