Instow is a delightful ‘seaside’ village in North Devon. It sits opposite Appledore, where the Taw and the Torridge rivers split and go their separate ways. It has a lovely little beach that is one of the few year-round dog friendly beaches in the area and every day – rain or shine – devoted pooch lovers are to be seen walking up and down the beach with their beloved pets. It actually has a lovely community of dog walkers and many people meet and stop for a chat and know each other by their dog’s names!
The area is marked by the stunning Tapeley House in the nearby village of Westleigh. Privately owned by the Christie Devon Estates Trust – which incidentally owns Westleigh Village and many beaches including Instow, Saunton Sands and Braunton Burrows – Tapeley House and Gardens are worth a visit. In the summer months there are many events hosted there, such as outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s plays in the gardens, mindfulness and holistic therapy fetes and open days. Hector Christie is a firm believer in sustainability and eco-living and centres the house and gardens around such a lifestyle.
Instow is also known for being part of the Tarka Trail – the cycle path that runs some 30 miles from Braunton to Meeth. Part of it used to be the railway line between Barnstaple and Bideford and was converted to a cycle path in the late 1980s. There are many nice stops along the way including Fremington Quay Café, Fremington and Instow village itself.
Places to eat in Instow, Devon
The village has a few pubs worthy of a visit – I’ll get around to reviewing them at a later date. However, the only shop in the village is Johns’ of Instow which was initially just a small grocery shop and delicatessen, but now hosts a café. Johns’ also has a beach hut by the slipway, which sells ice-creams, coffee etc.
For my review of Johns’ of Instow, click on the link or on the map below: Johns’ of Instow’s café, Instow