Instow is a village set on the east bank of the River Torridge, just next to where it meets the River Taw, and opposite where the two rivers spill out into the Bristol Channel. There is a firm, sandy beach with views across to Appledore on the opposite bank, and the North Devon Yacht Club has its headquarters in the village. For walkers, the Tarka Trail passes through the village, heading towards Barnstaple in one direction and Bideford in the other. Instow has long been popular with artists, due to the abundance of interesting subjects, such as boats at rest in the estuary. Instow Quay was built in around 1620 by the then Lord of the Manor Sir John Speccot. During the summer there is a ferry linking Instow and Appledore. A short distance to the south of Instow is Tapeley Park and Gardens, particularly known for its Terraces full of semi-tropical plants and exotic flowers.
Railway buffs may be interested to know that, although Instow is no longer served by the railway, the line having closed in 1982, it has a historic signal box which survives to this day. The signal box is over 130 years old and was the UK’s first grade 2 listed signal box. When it was threatened with demolition, the villagers came to the rescue and mounted a restoration fund. Today the signal box is looked after by the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre and opens to visitors on occasional Sunday afternoons in the high season.
Map of the area.
|Instow from Appledore Quay. Photo by Tim Leete, via Wikimedia Commons|