31st August, 2022

Visit Instow & Bideford by train and bus

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Plan your visit to Instow and Bideford – wander the beach, explore the Tarka Trail and treat yourself at Johns of Instow or Bideford Pannier Market.

It’s easy to get there by train and bus. Take the scenic Tarka Line from Exeter to Barnstaple, then hop on the 21/21A bus right outside the station to take you to Instow.

In our video, we catch the bus from right outside Barnstaple railway station to Instow. We head straight for the beach before visiting John’s Deli and Café for a cream tea and a hot drink. Next, we walk the Tarka Trail to Bideford where we explore the town and Pannier Market.

Train and bus map

Trains to Barnstaple depart hourly from Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central, seven days a week. From Barnstaple railway station hop on the 21/21A bus right outside the station to Instow. Buses depart from stop A every 15 minutes Monday – Saturday and every half hour on Sundays.

The train from Exeter to Barnstaple takes 1hr 10min. From Barnstaple railway station to Instow it’s a 25-minute bus journey. Another option is to hire a bike from Tarka Bikes, right at the station.

Adult Off-Peak Day Return tickets from Exeter St David’s to Barnstaple are £11.90. Book on the GWR website or app.

Save a third off the above adult fare for you and a friend (with kids travelling for just £1) with a Devon & Cornwall Railcard – just £12 a year for local residents.

Look up train & bus times

Discover more North Devon adventures

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