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There's more to Appledore than meets the eye.
Appledore in General
Member Name: devongirlie
Appledore in General
Advantages: Picturesque, best ice cream in the world.
Disadvantages: A bit sleepy
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.
Summary: Go for the ice cream if nothing else.