Described by Charles Kingsley as North Devon’s 'Little White Fishing Village', the delightful picturesque quayside village of Appledore is situated in the centre of North Devon’s glorious coastline, on the west bank of the estuary where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet, in the midst of a UNESCO Biosphere and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Appledore has been a thriving maritime village since the 14th century, with fishing, trading and boat building key to its heritage. Its history can be seen at the award winning North Devon Maritime Museum based in Odun Road. The village remains fundamentally unspoilt and along themaze of quaint, narrow streets and drangs of Appledore there are many multi-coloured fishermen’s cottages, some of which date back to the Elizabethan era. Old sail lofts, Georgian ship owner’s houses and Victorianshipwrights houses add to the ambience. An historic nautical air can be found around every corner.
Tucked up river around the corner both the Fishing Cooperative and Shipyard are still very active today. Indeed the latest ships to be completed are three multi-million Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Irish Navy and parts of the country’s two new aircraft carriers. Appledore boasts a small but select range of shops, cafes, pubs, guesthouses and art galleries with the Quay central to life in the village. With a growing café culture and envious music scene, local musicians can be found playing live in the pubs almost every night of the year. The busy estuary is actively used by many traditional style sailing boats, as well as dinghies, yachts and motor boats, andthe Appledore RNLI. Large ships, together with the Lundy ferry ’Oldenburg’ come past on route to the Port of Bideford about three miles up-river and the Marines train on the opposite bank at Instow, all making fascinating viewing.
The community run Appledore - Instow Ferry runs from the Quay during the summer, as do pleasure, fishing and sailing trips. Crabbing off the Quay is a favourite pastime at high tide and the International Crabbing Competition, part of the Annual Appledore and Instow Regatta, is legendary. Appledore Gig Club and Torridge Gig Club are based here and both also run annual pilot–gig racing regattas. The Summer Festival takes place at the end of July, Carnival in August, Appledore Book Festival the end of September, and Christmas Festivities early December. Throughout the summer the Appledore Silver Band performs weekly on the Quay if the weather allows, and our award winning Hockings ice cream has a strategically placed ice cream van every day.
Picturesque Appledore provides, not only a great day out with plenty to do and see, it also makes a great base from which to explore the whole of North Devon and its fabulous coast line. It is situated almost next door to Westward Ho! with its Blue Flag surfing beach, and is very close to the ancient market towns of Bideford, Barnstaple and Great Torrington. Exmoor is nearby and views stretch across to the moor from the village. Dartmoor can be visited in an easy day out, as can the City of Exeter.