This lovely fishing village has a fascinating maritime past. Not only does the fishing go back hundreds of years but it was well known for boat building and repairs. The many yards repaired all kinds wooden schooners, ketches and barges. It also supplied ships and sailors which played a big part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Queen Elizabeth 1 st is believed to have given it free port status because of the role it played. More recently the yards specialised in building full sized replicas and these included Viking Longships, Roman Galleys and Sir Frances Drakes Golden Hind. For more information visit The Maritime Museum 01237 422064
The major ship building at Appledore has now come to an end but there is still plenty of activity here. Sit on one of the benches on the Quay side and enjoy watching all the various craft come and go. There is everything from fishing boats small and large to beautiful yachts, rowing boats, canoes, speed boats and jet-skies. You may even see the navy hovercraft or the tall ship Kathleen & May coming out of Bideford. There is an excellent slipway off of the main car park for visitors to launch there own boats.
While sitting and watching all the activity why not buy some superb fish and chips and finish it off with with a ice-cream from the Hockings ice-cream van. This glorious ice-cream is actually made in Appledore and you will find it on sale all over North Devon .
On the other side of the river estuary is Instow and when the tide is right out it almost looks like you can walk across. When the tide is high enough a Ferry Service operates every 20 minutes (during the main season) between the two villages proving easy access to the duned sandy beach. If you would like to see more of the estuary and its wildlife why not take a boat trip – Tarka Cruises - 01237 476191. Fishing Trips are also available - 01237 476191/477505
Now lets not forget appledore away from the boats and the water. There is a maze of quaint narrow streets. Irsha Street is a typical example. It is only 10 feet wide and has a gully running down the centre. Some of the fishermen's cottages date back to the Elizabethan era, but here are also many delightful Georgian cottages either side of lanes too narrow for cars. Also take a look at the splendid St Mary's Church which was built in 1837 on the site of a much older church. The Church contains some splendid and valuable stained glass windows.
Appledore is also famous for its artists and craftspeople and home to several galleries and craftshops. On display in the Appledore Crafts Company is an ever-changing display of the best contemporary craft by members and guest exhibitors, including ceramics, wood, glass, metal, leather, textiles, baskets, furniture, studio pottery, painting, jewellery, photography and printmaking. There is also an arts festival in June every year - Appledore Arts
There are plenty of places to eat, many of them specialising in seafood
The Beaver Inn - The beaver inn has a beautiful view from the restaurant which makes this dining venue that little bit more special - 01237 474 822
The Royal Hotel - 01237 474305
The Royal George - very welcoming and a good place to eat 01237 474335
Coach & Horses - 01237 474470
Bensons Restaurant - Bensons pride themselves on the quality of their locally sourced fresh fish, most of which is landed on the quay opposite! - 01237 424093
The Quay Gallery & Coffee Shop - family run coffee shop, gallery & restaurant over looking the estuary. Excellent seafood menu - 01237 473 355
View of Appledore from Instow