Appledore, a “Must See” Village Near Bideford

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Appledore, a village located near Bideford in North Devon, England.

This quaint village and its surrounding areas rely heavily on tourism to support the local economy, making it the perfect destination for a holiday or day trip.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the history of Appledore and a closer look at what there is to see and do.

Key Takeaways
Appledore is easily accessible from Bideford and offers scenic coastal views.
Visitors can explore the beautiful waterfront and its colourful houses.
Activities on the River Torridge include boat trips, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
Visitors can also enjoy the sandy beaches and coastal walks on The South West Coast Path and The Tarka Trail.
Complementary attractions nearby include Pannier Market, Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Clovelly, Westward Ho!, and Barnstaple.
Appledore has a rich maritime heritage, art galleries, craft shops, and various historical sites such as St. Mary’s Church, Appledore Maritime Heritage Centre, and Hallsannery House.

Appledore, Devon

Appledore is a small village located in North Devon, England, at the mouth of the River Torridge.

Its earliest recorded name was “le Apildore” in the manor of Northam in 1335. Though it had a Saxon settlement, there is no evidence that it was the site of a Viking raid in 878 AD.

In the Elizabethan period, Appledore prospered as a port, with some cottages dating back to this period. The construction of a quay in 1845 further developed the port, leading to a rich maritime heritage from the second half of the 19th century.

Appledore is also known for being the birthplace of painter Edward Calvert, who was born in the village in 1799. Sir William Reardon Smith, a shipowner, was also born in Appledore and went to the Wesleyan school there.

Today, visitors can explore the village’s history through the Appledore Maritime Museum, which chronicles the history of shipbuilding and seafaring in the village. Appledore also has a lifeboat station that was introduced in February 1825 to serve the area around the mouth of the River Taw.

Appledore Location and Transport

Appledore is situated just 2 miles from Bideford, making it easily accessible by various modes of transport, including walking!

Options include taking a bus, cycling, walking along the scenic coastal path, or driving by car. No matter which method you choose, your journey will undoubtedly be filled with stunning views of the River Torridge and the surrounding countryside.

Featured Places to Stay Near Bideford

Tourism and Activities

The main feature for tourists is the quayside in Appledore.

You can park in the large Quayside car park (22 The Quay, Appledore, EX39 1RH), it has toilets and even spots for motorhomes and there is also a play area for the kids in the back corner.

If you’re mobile then the walk from the top corner of the quayside by “Candy’s food”, around the quay, all the way around to the RNLI Appledore Lifeboat Station is flat and there are several places to stop on the way around too, such as the Beaver Inn.

If you have a dog and want something a little longer, just before you get to the Lifeboat Station, turn left and go up towards “The Mount” (EX39 1NZ). In the right corner of the road as it bends left, there is a path, follow that all the way up to the junction back out on the main road and walk back down the A386 to the quay.

Around the back of the quay is quaint streets and colourful houses (see the note on market street in a moment).

Arts and Literature connections

Historical sites and attractions

Other nearby villages and towns

  • Clovelly
    A historic, privately-owned fishing village
  • Westward Ho!:
    A coastal town is known for its surf scene
  • Barnstaple
    A market town offering shopping and dining options

Appledore is also known for Hocking’s Ice Cream, a local brand of ice cream that is only sold in North Devon and is made at the Hocking’s factory located in the village.

Market Street

While most tourists will spend time on the main seafront and quay, do not miss out on Market Street (Market St, Appledore, Bideford ,EX39 1PP).

This little street is hidden just being the main quay and has some absolutely lovely little shops along it. Its hiding behind the main quay, when you’re there, go discover it too.

Where to Stay

While there are no campsites in Appledore, there are several Bed & Breakfasts, plus several cottages and townhouses to rent. You can find the full list in our “Where to Stay” directory, but here are a few favourites of ours:

The Crab Shell, Appledore

The Lighthouse

Willets Cottage (Pet Friendly)

The Retreat (Pet Friendly)

Ferriwais, Appledore (Pet Friendly Retreat)


Appledore offers a unique and delightful experience for tourists with its picturesque waterfront, close-by sandy beaches, and rich history.

With a vast array of activities, events and nearby attractions, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. or to just chill and relax and enjoy the clouds rolling by and watch boats go by.

Appledore Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What are some things to do in Appledore, Devon?
    A: Appledore offers various activities and attractions for tourists such as boat trips, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, beach games, picnics, swimming, walking along coastal paths, and wildlife spotting.
  • Q: How can I get to Appledore?
    A: Appledore is situated just 2 miles from Bideford and is easily accessible by various modes of transport such as bus, car, cycling, or walking along the scenic coastal path.
  • Q: What are the nearby attractions and things to do?
    A: The nearby attractions include the Pannier Market, Bideford Bike Hire, Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Clovelly, Westward Ho!, and Barnstaple.
  • Q: What is the history of Appledore?
    A: Appledore has a strong maritime heritage involving shipbuilding, fishing, and trade, and is connected to arts and literature. Some of the historical sites and attractions include St. Mary’s Church, Appledore Maritime Heritage Centre, and Hallsannery House.
  • Q: What are the beaches near Appledore?
    A: The sandy beaches near Appledore include Westward Ho! Beach and Instow Beach, offer family-friendly activities like beach games, picnics, and swimming.
  • Q: What are some attractions on the waterfront in Appledore?
    A: The waterfront in Appledore features quaint streets, colourful houses, coastal views, and quayside cafes and restaurants.
Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

Do you want to see your favourite Bideford attraction, place to stay, event or activity listed here? Contact Us!