Appledore, Instow and Westward Ho! Cottages
The Torridge rises in the west, not far from the Cornish border. Between the place where (legend has it) it was formed by the tears of star crossed lovers, and the sea, it forms a great loop, passing through Great Torrington, Weare Giffard and Bideford before meeting the Taw and the Atlantic in Bideford Bay.
Waking to the sound of the sea, sailboats and seagulls in our cottages situated in the beautiful villages of Appledore, Instow and Westward Ho!
Here the Taw and Torridge estuary forms a great confluence. On the West side of the Torridge lies Appledore, a seafaring village of brightly painted fishermen’s cottages and narrow streets leading to a busy quayside. It’s a great place to stay if you like to be immersed in coastal life. Waking to the sound of masts tinkling in the breeze is magical.
Once up and out you could lose a day or two browsing the galleries of local artists, launching a ski boat, kayak or a dinghy, enjoying an ice cream or eating and drinking in cheerful pubs and cafes overlooking the water.
On the opposite bank sits Instow, a genteel resort, home to the ‘officer classes’ of the Torridge. Here you’ll find a cricket pitch that’s almost on the water, Instow Yacht Club, a fabulous deli and shops selling local art. The beach is fabulous too. At low tide it’s great for exercising the dog or strolling among the beached sailboats. Sunset here are lovely too.
Westward Ho! is the area’s beach town. It’s home to England’s oldest links golf course, the Northam Burrows Country Park, dunes, pebble ridge and miles of flat sands. It’s becoming more and more popular with surfers and kite surfers and has changed a great deal in recent times, with new restaurants, shops and cafes adding a more cosmopolitan air. Some things, happily, will never change, such as the best ice cream in Devon. Form an orderly queue at the Hockings van on sunny days!
Inland and upstream you’ll find busy Bideford, beautiful Weare Giffard and the civil war town of Torrington. They are all linked by the Tarka Trail, a traffic free cycleway that follows the course of the river and the old railway. It passes through lovely countryside, over old bridges and past meandering creeks as it makes it’s (largely flat) way up the valley.