A historic fishing village with winding narrow streets and colourful houses, Appledore is full of maritime history and cute pastel houses.
Characterised by its winding narrow streets and the colourful houses, the charming village of Appledore sits at the confluence of the Taw and Torridge rivers with lovely views across to Instow. Tourists and travellers will love the chance to explore by taking the seasonal ferry over to the neighbouring Instow for a day trip.
Rich maritime history
The village is built on a tradition of fishing and boat building which still continues today. For centuries, Appledore was an important shipbuilding centre for the region and the village’s large indoor ship yard continues to be a source of employment for many of the residents. Because of its long maritime heritage, the village is now home to the North Devon Maritime Museum. The museum, housed in a Grade 2 listed Georgian building, the former home of several of the village’s important ship owners. The museum has a wide range of exhibits detailing Appledore’s history, as well as the wider maritime history of North Devon, which includes Viking raids, WWII beach landings and ship building throughout the years.
Appledore is a favourite location with locals and visitors alike, with it being a popular location since Victorian times. In fact, like many of the coastal areas of North Devon, it gained fame after being featured in a novel by Charles Kinglsey, who lived in Bideford. He described it as a “little white fishing village” and that description still stands today with the many pastel coloured buildings, jumble of cottages and the harbour lined with white terraces.
You can quite easily spend a few hours wandering through the network of historic streets, taking in the traditional fishing cottages museums and independent shops, before indulging in some fine local produce at one of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants.
The village is well known for the quality of the seafood, with salmon, cod, bass, cockles and mussels being popular choices. It isn’t uncommon to pop into an eatery for some refreshments to find fish and seafood that had been brought in only hours before.
Haven for creativity
As well as being famous for its maritime history and local seafood, Appledore has always been historically celebrated for its art and creativity. The town holds regular arts festivals and resident crafts people showcase a wide range of arts and crafts from ceramics, photography, jewellery and furniture among other products which can be picked up at independent stores and regularly held markets.
Because of its artistic merits, Appledore is home to a number of popular annual events. The Appledore Book Festival draws visitors from across the country and features talks and activities with a range of acclaimed international authors. If you’re looking for family fun, try the Appledore-Instow Regatta, where you can cheer on the gig boat crews as they race along the quay or try your hand at crabbing and beach tug-of-war competitions!
For those looking for a touch of adventure, Appledore is a great place to launch your own seafaring mission. You can find a range of boat and fishing trips, like the seasonal ferry over to Instow, head to the quay and follow the signs!