England-Devon Flag

Appledore >  Google™ Map Sep 2023  Devon Coat of Arms

Population - 2,814.

England-Devon Flag UK > England > Devon

Sep 2023

Devon Coat of Arms

One of North Devon's quaintest destinations, they say, and a colourful welcome with none of the famously rugged surroundings that the area is more famous for, they also say.

Appledore - Welcome To
Appledore - Myrtle Street

Brick nerds might notice the traditional, two-tone, stone terraces as you skip down to The Quay but only if they've not pulled in at the first available opportunity and have sensibly headed on to the much larger area of parking at sea level.

Idiots!

Yes, it's all going down down at The Quay, inexplicably not shown, with the requisite fleshpots catering for fans of the gallery, antiques, coffee and\or and outdoor booze. There's a mini-maze of narrow lanes behind with more of the same but with fish and chips now available, that completes a line in a game of daytripper's bingo.

You can walk up Meeting Street, if inclined, with the assumption that it's an alternative way back to the car parked up on high.

Appledore - Meeting Street

A missed turn, however, means a housing estate delivers a distraction for the next 20-or-so minutes. Still, there's an idea of what it would be like to live up a height with fine views of water and westish to Westward Ho!

The Ho!, by the way, is only about two miles away by flying crow but looks to be twice the size it was when SlyBob was last round these parts.

  The Champ (Meeting Street)

They're big on live music and almost uniquely will let you bring in your own grub just as long as it's washed down with something bought at the bar, including a selection from local Bideford brewsters who call themselves Clearwater.

For reasons unknown, this pub used to be called Ye Champion of Wales until 2014 and a refit and a rebrand as 'The Champ'. For reasons unknown, Google™ still thinks it is.

It's fairly standard fayre so far, for sure, with not much you've not seen before so why much ado about this destination and room for a couple of coaches in the car park?

For that you need to look behind and the River Torridge. The village of Instow opposite does a good impression of a reflection and it is all, quite frankly, rather marvellous.

Appledore - To Instow

This is where the Torridge meets the River Taw, you see, before spilling out into, what's thought to still be, the Bristol Channel. The Bristol Channel? The Bristol Channel? Yes, the same treacherous stretch with one of the highest tidal ranges in the world, never mind the UK, limits the passenger ferry to Instow to a three-hour window and none during daylight some days.

The Time and Tide Bell, of the kind last seen in Morecambe, will give you a ring when it's safe to set sail but at the rate this flow can come in, it's a suprise to hear it hasn't bust a clapper!

Appledore - Time and Tide Bell
Appledore - To the Estuary

It all contributes to a spectacular, sandy situation, even more so around the headland at the estuary proper, and, if you squint, there are a few folk in the distance out and about on it.

They're presumably local and not holidaying 'Grockles' for whom the local RNLI provide an occasional service to those tempted to think they can walk directly across. Hey, they may be idiots but at least they've parked up in the right car park on their day out from their grockleboxes, probably.

  North Devon Maritime Museum (Odun Road)

This car park being banged on about, a little bit too much perhaps, is opposite the North Devon Maritime Museum. Not that it was known at the time but you know what it's like when you follow the first, big blue P, eh?

Appledore - North Devon Maritime Museum

Of course there are tales of smugglers and fisherfolk, some tragic no doubt, but shipbuilding? Shipbuilding you say?

Peppering the tranquility on The Quay is a strange wailing and it's not the sound of young gulls pestering people for chips. Why, it's only old Sting and Jimmy Nail, lamenting the loss of shipbuilding, no doubt, at the dried-up Richmond Dry Dock.

Appledore - Richmond Dry Dock

This ain't the scene, however, of the handcrafting of hulls for traditional fishing vessels using tools and techniques passed down through the generations. No, and rather surprisingly, this is the start of some heavy industry the scale of which can be seen half-a-mile upstream.

Erling Harland and Wolff, no less, of big, Belfast boat building fame, are the current operators and are, soon to be \ if not already \ have completed, converting an old minesweeper for the Lithuanian Navy, no lesser. Rivetting stuff, for sure, but it's a multi-million pound contract so shipbuilding on the Torridge looks to be doing better than it is on Tyneside.

If that's the case then what's with all the wailing?

Oh! It seems that Sting has just dropped his ice cream and he's having none of Jimmy's offer to buy him another one. Them pop stars, eh?

What's What
 The Champ
 North Devon Maritime Museum
 Time and Tide Bell
Where's Where
;