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Appledore at sunset with estuary and boats

with history

  in Appledore, Devon

Nestled on the estuary where the Taw and Torridge rivers converge, this charming fishing village and seaport is steeped in maritime history.

It’s worth paying a visit to the excellent North Devon Maritime Museum to discover more about its past.

First documented in 1135 as “Apildare”. Legend has it that in 878AD Hubba the Dane landed at Appledore before he was defeated in battle.

Stylised blue and white starfish

Centuries of fishing and shipbuilding form the foundations of this idyllic community, both of which are still thriving.

In recognition of the courage of Appledore’s sailors and ships against the Spanish Armada in 1588, Queen Elizabeth I granted it a free port.  A status which remains in place today.

Blue boat with red sail on estuary
Appledore beach with boats and houses

Like many coastal spots in North Devon, Appledore has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times.  Regaining notoriety after Charles Kingsley described it as “a little white fishing village” in one of his novels. 

Winding, narrow lanes adorned with quaint fishermen’s cottages pair with lovely views across to Instow, making this historic village so unique.

Estuary with boats and Instow in the background
Stylised blue and white starfish
a row of colorful cottages in Irsha street

In keeping with Appledore’s seafaring connections, Catboat Cottage gets its name from a type of sailboat.  Easy on the eyes and pleasing to sail, catboats have a single sail on a single mast near the bow.

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