Appledore at sunset with estuary and boats

with history

  in Appledore

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.

Colourful boats on Appledore estuary North Devon

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

Stylised blue and white starfish

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

View across the estuary from Instow towards Appledore at sunset
Catboat Cottage Irsha Street Appledore North Devon

Winding, narrow lanes adorned with quaint fishermen’s cottages pair with lovely views across to Instow – making this historic village so unique. In keeping with Appledore’s seafaring connections, Catboat Cottage gets its name from a type of sailboat with a single sail on a single mast near the bow.

Stylised blue and white starfish