Bideford is a small port town on the estuary of the River Torridge in north Devon, south-west England.
The River Torridge is spanned at Bideford by the 13th century Long Bridge, which has 24 arches all of different sizes. A New Year's Eve tradition was to try to run across the Long Bridge in the time it takes for the bells at nearby St. Mary's church to chime midnight.
In the 16th century Bideford was Britain's third largest [river?] port. It was rumoured that Sir Walter Raleigh landed the first shipment of tobacco there, although this is a myth, as Raleigh was not, contrary to popular belief, the first to bring tobacco to England. In honour of Raleigh, several roads and a hill have been named after him in Bideford. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bideford