Ideal for family getaways, Appledore holidays are all about simple seaside pleasures like beach days and boat trips, crabbing and river swims; punctuated with ice cream cone treats and fish and chips lunches. Quaint, characterful and colour-splashed, the North Devon fishing village of Appledore, with its fabulous quay and seafaring heritage, is a dream seaside destination that draws visitors to its cottage-lined streets and nearby sandy beaches all year round.

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Did you know? A local’s guide to holidays in Appledore…


There’s something so alluring about Appledore holidays that visitors just can’t seem to get enough of. Could it be the brightly coloured cottages lining its quaint cobbled streets, the host of activities on offer in the area, its sprawling quay, illustrious maritime history, or picturesque situation over the estuary? We say all of the above…and more.

Peppered with small shops, art galleries and tea rooms the village buzzes with its own unique atmosphere where shopping sprees and cream teas can be enjoyed in equal measure. Nearby Westward Ho! is perfect for those essential bucket and spade days, and at high tide, short (seasonal) ferry hops transport visitors to the golden sands of Instow Beach. For lovers of walking and the outdoors, the South West Coast Path lies close by so you can experience the best of the area’s coastal location and picturesque scenery without having to drive.


Things to do in Appledore

Just 3 miles from Bideford, Appledore is in a fantastic position to enjoy the area’s family attractions so days out with the kids are both easy and within close reach. Beaches like Westward Ho! lie a mere 8 minutes’ drive away, so if you or your clan are partial to surfing, water-sports or simple sandcastle building and sunbathing, then this is where you’ll want to spend a big chunk of your time while visiting.

Appledore is also host to a number of fabulous events which are worth noting in your calendar. The first and probably best-known of all is the Appledore Book Festival. Taking place from the end of September until the beginning of October, this charming literary event welcomes successful writers and speakers, and includes book readings, live workshops and film nights.

Of course, every coastal fishing town or village needs to celebrate its seafaring roots, and Appledore is no different. At the beginning of August, the Appledore Instow Regatta takes place showcasing Model Yachts Racing, World Championship Crabbing Contest, Salmon Boat Races, Gig Sprints, Gig Club Racing, Gig River Races and much more. There’s plenty of fun for all the family, and a variety of food stalls to keep everyone fed and watered

Fancy finding your sea legs and enjoying some of the area’s best views? You might enjoy an adventure on a ferry to nearby Instow, or if you prefer to stay closer to shore, try one of the fishing trips that operate in the Torridge Estuary – you may even catch something for supper!


Appledore Attractions

If a full schedule of activities and outings for every member of the family is what you’re after, Appledore does not disappoint. From horse riding excursions to adventure centres, there’s something to keep everyone entertained.

Golf enthusiasts will relish the chance to play 18 holes at the Royal North Devon at Westward Ho!; the cradle of English Golf. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest golf course in the country and is regarded as the St Andrews of the South. The golf course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links layouts and has recently been placed in Golf World ‘s “Top 100 Courses in the World” that a golfer “must play”.

Of course there’s also Appledore’s thriving maritime history which dates back to the 14th century, and the best way to connect with the past is through the North Devon Maritime Museum’s ‘hands on’ exhibits including films and videos, working models, a panoramic telescope, a ship’s wheel, and knots to tie. Housed in a beautiful Georgian building, there are a wealth of photographs and displays to explore including seven exhibition rooms telling stories of various landmark historical events such as the WWII beach landings, wrecks and rescues, shipbuilding techniques and the Victorian era.

There’s plenty more to do in this lovely place but a trip to Appledore wouldn’t be complete without time spent down on Appledore Beach; billed as one of the most beautiful in all of the UK. Resting on the estuary of the Taw and Torridge rivers, this sandy beach has stunning views across to Instow Beach and is popular with families in the summer. Take an evening stroll across the sand and admire the scenery or pack a picnic and enjoy a pleasant afternoon of relaxation, sunshine and fresh air.

Another wonderful place for a scenic stroll is Northam Burrows with the walk beginning in Appledore’s main car park on the seafront. It follows a 7ish mile route along the coast and as well as sporting incredible scenery, the burrows are also a Site of Scientific Interest due to its coastal habitats including sand dunes and salt marshes where you’ll discover a variety of flora, birdlife and other fauna.


Restaurants in Appledore

No holiday would be complete without a selection of fabulous restaurants to choose from, whether for lazy seaside lunches or an evening meal with a glass of wine. Thankfully you’ll be spoilt for choice with a host of fabulous eateries to choose from including The Royal George pub with its superb views across the estuary and a menu consisting of innovative dishes with twists on traditional classics.

The family owned and run Flame Factory is another popular spot on the quay front that serves up wood fired pizzas, delicious burgers, sizzling steaks and a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes using only the freshest, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. And if you’re longing for fish and chips, you can’t go wrong with the locals’ favourite of The Royal Plaice for light and crispy, fresh and delicious seafood to either eat in or to take away.

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