Instow beach

A fantastic dog friendly beach. Parking along the beaches edge is free for one hour. Carparks available at both ends, including 3 public toilets & a fantastic little café outside the commodore hotel everyday.

Instow beach

Welcome to Instow Beach, a dog-friendly and stunning stretch of golden sand located on the North Devon coast in England. This picturesque beach is a popular destination for families, sunbathers, and water sports enthusiasts alike, offering a wide range of activities and breathtaking views.

At Instow, you’ll find miles of soft sand, perfect for building sandcastles, playing games, or just soaking up the sun. The beach is on the edge of the river Torridge, part of the Torridge estuary.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the beach, enjoy a picnic on the sand, or simply relax and watch the world go by.

For families, Instow sands offers a safe and shallow paddling area, making it a popular destination for families with young children. There are also plenty of amenities nearby, including toilets, showers, and cafes, as well as a large car park for visitors. A word of caution though, the water is not safe for swimming. There are many, many options nearby if you would like to get really wet!

Beyond the beach, Instow is a charming village with a selection of shops, pubs, and restaurants, pick up souvenirs, or just enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

Frequently there is a coffee shop from an old caravan (very stylish) with chairs outside, plus Instow is the perfect place to each some fish & chips from “Mr Chippy” and watch the sun go down over Bideford and Appledore (it takes 5 minutes by car and they’ll still be warm when you get there!).

So, whether you’re looking for a day of sun, sea, and sand, or a more active adventure, Instow is the perfect destination. With its stunning scenery, wide range of activities, and excellent facilities, Instow is the perfect place to escape, relax, and recharge.


Click any of the images of Instow beach below to see larger versions

Sunset at Instow Beach
Instow Beach

Instow Beach Reviews

Below are the latest reviews of Instow Beach.

Based on 892 reviews
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Address: Instow Beach, Bideford EX39, UK

Ashley Moore avatarAshley Moore
4 months ago
Great dog friendly beach, great for walking, paddle boarding or sailing. Lots of great pubs to grab a bite to eat. See some amazing sunsets over the town of Appledore. Instow is a picturesque village situated on the estuary where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet. It commands panoramic views of the estuary, the sea and the surrounding countryside. The Instow Parish has around 800 households and a population of 660 in the 2021 census, of which an estimate of 580 live within the village, with a small number living in outlying farms and cottages.Developed in the early nineteenth century much of Instow has retained its character due to an enlightened policy of the Christie family who own Tapeley Park and a large part of the village. A major part of it is in a conservation area. Development of small groups of more modern housing has occurred in the last fifty years allowing a greater diversity of residents and many properties are second homes or holiday lets.For those who like to eat and drink Instow has many pubs, hotels and restaurants. From South to North, The Quay, The Commodore, Instow Arms, The Boathouse and the Wayfarer. There are also many Bed and Breakfasts and several homes are also Airbnb or available for short term letting.The village has a very well stocked deli shop (Johns) and Post Office on Marine Parade and a garage repair centre in Mollands yard near the Parish Hall. Situated between Barnstaple and Bideford it has all the advantages of village life but with excellent bus transport giving access to the facilities of large towns.
Freasa Bird avatarFreasa Bird
10 months ago
Quietly tucked away behind the main road, this little gem is a pleasure to visit. Dog friendly (and cat friendly in my case) for an evening stroll on the sand. My cat loves exploring there and getting lots of attention from unsuspecting passers by. The beach is spacious and doesn't get crowded during off peak times. The water is not for swimming in (unsafe due to sewage works nearby) but the scenery is breathtaking and the sunsets are glorious there. Pay and display carpark of ample size on site as well as a few local eateries and pubs just a 5 minute walk away. Stunning natural beauty.
Angus Hamilton avatarAngus Hamilton
11 months ago
It's a pleasant beach with the usual large pay and display car parking nearby. It's made a bit more interesting because of the view across the estuary. It's a good place to let your dogs run free and wild.
Jennie Anderson avatarJennie Anderson
12 months ago
Super friendly beach never too crowded….plenty of snacking dining options lining the long sea front. Locally run small supermarket/deli and shack selling beach goods at one end and oyster bar at the other. One hotel and four family friendly pubs.
Carol Bender avatarCarol Bender
10 months ago
Instow beach is a sandy, estuary beach which is easy to walk on. No swimming allowed. Dogs are allowed on the beach. Pay and park available.
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The address for Instow beach we have is: Instow beach, Bideford. Use the map below for a closer view. Do check with your host for a definite location.

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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.

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