Places to Visit near Instow Beach Cottage

Instow is ideally located for exploring the best that North Devon has to offer. Within easy reach of this beautiful seaside resort are some of the county’s most loved destinations, including the golden beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde.

From Instow head west and you will soon be in the historic fishing village of Clovelly, famous for its cobbled streets and donkeys. In the opposite direction is Exmoor, where you can relax in a traditional, cosy tea room, or wander the heather clad moors looking for some of the native wildlife.  

To help you find out more about the local area please find a little information on some of the nearby towns and villages below.


The fishing village of Appledore lies just across the estuary from Instow and can be seen from the cottage. This quiet village with a working shipyard is a wonderful place to take a stroll with boats bobbing in the sea and various shops lining the streets. There is even a seasonal ferry that runs between Instow and Appledore, so no need to get in the car.

Once in the village, narrow lanes with colourful terraced cottages await, as do craft stores and a number of popular pubs and restaurants. If visiting in September check out the Appledore Book Festival that runs for 10 days and attracts some of the literary worlds biggest names.


Sitting alongside the River Torridge is Bideford, a quiet town with several shops, pubs and restaurants, as well as a lovely park with a children’s play area and a seasonal paddling pool. Once one of the country’s largest ports, the quay is now used by fishing vessels and pleasure boats, it is also from where the Oldenburg sets sail for Lundy Island, which lies 12-miles off the North Devon coast and is well worth a visit for seeing the unusual landscape and puffins that live there.  


North Devon’s largest town is Barnstaple. This lively market town has something for everyone, including a theatre, a multi-screen cinema and a trampoline park. There are also several well-known shops in its high street and a historic Pannier Market that is open six days a week. From the town, you can cycle along the well-known Tarka Trail as it heads either towards Bideford via Fremington or Braunton, which is the gateway to North Devon’s golden coastline.

Westward Ho!

Given its name by author Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho! Is the only place in Britain to have an exclamation mark after its name. This lovely seaside resort is popular with families as it is home to a wonderful sandy beach that is great for a number of water sports, such as surfing. The village also has several places to eat and a colourful arcade for children to enjoy.

At the far end of the beach is the Northam Burrows, which is a great place to enjoy a walk as it is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is also where The Royal North Devon golf course can be found.


Situated at the base of a 400-foot cliff is working fishing village of Clovelly. Part of an estate owned by the Rous family for more than 400 years, this gorgeous village lets visitors step back in time as they explore the cobbled street that leads to the harbour, which is only used by donkeys and sledges, with no cars able to drive down the main street.

There are several things to do in the village, including taking part in a number of workshops, visiting an art gallery or enjoying a boat trip along the coast.


As you head west towards Cornwall you come across the pretty village of Hartland, which is famous for it scenery. At Hartland Point, one of the country’s most remote headland you can see for miles and the views really are spectacular. The nearby Hartland Quay, which was sponsored by a number of well-known greats such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh is also well worth a visit as is the Shipwreck Museum. Also at Hartland is an abbey that was built in 1157 and was one of the last to be dissolved by Henry VIII, who gave it to William Abbot; to this day it remains in the hands of his descendants.


The beautiful Exmoor National Park is less than a 30-minute drive when staying at North Yeo. This diverse area of purple heather-clad moors, woodland and patchwork fields is a great place to go walking or just sightseeing from the comfort of your car. Within the national park, you will discover a number of towns and villages that are well worth exploring, such as Lynton and Lynmouth where Exmoor meets the sea. Dotted around Exmoor you will also find traditional tea rooms and cosy pubs. If you are lucky you may also spot some of the local wildlife, including red deer and Exmoor Ponies.