Unable to have a holiday this year, some very good friends invited us to holiday in North Devon. Whilst a extremely kind offer I was not as enthusiastic as I could have been as to me a holiday is only a holiday if you take a passport I was to be proved very wrong and all because of Appledore.
Appledore is a little fishing village located on the west bank of the River Torridge about 4 miles downstream from Bideford. We visited on a Monday evening to listen to the Brass Band on the Quay and truly a perfect summer evening happy families listening to the band we sat and let the atmosphere wash over us with a rather nice Chenin Blanc in the Seagate a 17th century inn.
So inspired by my first visit that later on we meandered the 1.5 miles from where we were staying and spent a lovely day exploring and that day has sealed my love affair and I am signed up to visit next year for me as a history buff the Elizabethan and Georgian properties were a delight as were the cobbled streets one house to look out for is the Dolls house a tiny little house set back between two cottages all houses painted in lovely seaside colours and Red phone boxes , I truly loved the timeless quality and the tranquillity of Appledore.
On our Adventure exploring Appledore we visited the Maritime Museum which both my 5 and 7 year old girls really enjoyed the youngest loved ringing the bell and the oldest thought the Victorian loo and school were awesome I was impressed with everything in the museum but found the part this area played in WW11 was very interesting.
Following a long trek and having walked about 8 miles we headed back along the Quay to The Quay Bistro& Cafe for some lunch what followed was a feast homemade fish finger sandwiches with fresh caught fish a true delight and Appledore mussels with fresh fennel bread and for the youngest butchers ham and chips whilst no children's portions they did a small portion which was massive and very cheap at £3.85! This set us up for the walk back via the local Hockings Ice cream truly lovely ice cream.
We meandered back via the play park and along the coastal path a truly magnificent day only marred by my inability to paint or take good photos!
We visited Appledore on two more occasions once to go crabbing and our final visit was to have Dinner at the Seagate and listen to the Band again and I can heartedly recommend the Seagate.
Appledore is a wonderful place to visit with so much more to do than we managed see website for more information such as parking opening times for muesum and directions www.appledore.org
Appledore is tiny little village on the North Devon coast built on a hill overlooking the estuary of the River Torridge. Locals acknowledge it as split into two parts - Appledore and West Appledore. As you approach the village from Bideford you first enter Appledore down a steep hill which takes you to the Quay.
In recent years a flood defense system has been built along the Quay so that the Quayside itself is now built up to a higher level than the street. The walk along the Quay is a pretty one with a splendid view of Instow village on the opposite side of the river. The houses on the Quay are also varied and interesting with a strange mix of two and three storey buildings many of which are centuries old.
The car park is at the far end of the Quay and opposite this you will find a nice pub called The Seagate Hotel which does tasty meals for a reasonable price. My favourite thing about Appledore however, is to be found just opposite the pub and this is the Hockings Ice Cream van. Hockings are an Appledore firm that make only the best vanilla ice cream in the entire world. Once you have tasted Hockings you will not want to taste anything else.
So, buy your ice cream and then enjoy it while exploring Appledore further. Behind the Quay you will find the narrow Market Street where many local artists have galleries and shops. There are also a number of tourist and gift shops hidden away here in a street so narrow in places that the houses seem to lean in towards each other in an attempt to hold each other up.
A walk through the car park will take you into West Appledore where old fishing cottages are still beautifully decorated and the streets still have an olde worlde charm. Irsha Street is straight out of a picture postcard village scene. The streets follow the line of the coast and lead down to some small pebbly beaches. When the tide is out it is possible to see the sand bar caused where the river Torridge meets the river Taw. At the end of Irsha Street you find the lifeboat station and more stunning views over the estuary to Northam Burrows and Westward Ho!
Appledore also boasts a Maritime Museum, although this is very small and won't take you too long to walk around. Check the opening times if you are planning a visit here.
Appledore's other two big tourist draws are its two festivals. The Appledore Arts Festival is held during one week in the summer and pulls in many artists of various calibre to hold talks and run work shops. There are also lots of events that children can take part in and lots of art work on display at various venues. Then in October is the Appledore Book Festival. An event which is only a few years old now but which manages to draw many famous celebrity authors: Katie Aide and Jacqueline Wilson to name just a few.
To the untrained eye Appledore might look like a sleepy little village with not much to offer but it is definately worth a visit.
We have visited appledore on two ocassions. Appledore is only a small village next to a river estury. In the past appledore was famous for its ship buliding and reapira although most of this is now gone. This is proven by the sight of the empty old dry docks.
Upon arrival there are two car parks. The first one is opposite the naval museum on your way down the hill into the village. The second is a large car park next to the slip way. In this car park is a childrens play area and a set of toilets. It also conviently located next to a pub.
On our first visit we parked up and visted the naval museum this will occupy an hour or so as it isnt very large but is packed with information. At the top of the museum the views are brilliant and you can see across to instow. They also provide a telescope for you to use.
We then walked down the hill into the village. Beware take some money with you when visting appledore as there are no cash machines, however you can get cashback from the small co-op which is there.
After a walk along the walkway next to the estury we sampled a local ice cream from the ice cream van. The only flavour that he sells is vanilla but is delicious.
We then took a walk along the twisty streets behind the main road. Here we spotted a fish and chip shop which must have been good judging by the queue. Every corner on the paths seemed to lead to another street. There was various pubs art gallieries and tea shops.
On our second visit we went for one main reason. This was because we had booked ourselves on a boat trip which departed from here. It was a good job we had boked as the boat was full. The newsagents in the village take bookings for this boat trip.
The route the boat trip took was up the river estury towards the mouth of the sea. At this point the boat turned and we headed up to bideford. When we reached bideford old town bridge we turned round and headed back towards appledore. From the boat were good view and plenty of people were taking photos on the boat.
Both days offered a good afternoon out.