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Welcome to the Instow website.

The comprehensive guide to Instow for both the visitor to our village and those who live here.

...commanding an extensive view of the sea and of the rivers Taw and Torridge, with the surrounding picturesque scenery,... lnstow possesses all the advantage of town and country, being half-way between Barnstaple and Bideford...

Descriptions like this, written by an estate agent in 1830, still attract people to Instow. On entering the village most people follow the signs to the sea-front, and within a minute there is the extensive view - an expanse of water, bright in Summer with the sails of catamarans and wind-surfers, or, if the tide is out, a Iong stretch of golden sand. Few can resist staying a while to enjoy the view across the estuary, with Appledore beneath its green hills, sunlit on a Summer morning or silhouetted against a dramatic sunset. The water too is everchanging - blue and sparkling one day, whipped into whitecaps by a gale-force wind the next - yet even on the dullest day there is always something to see: birds at the water's edge: people braving the rain to exercise dogs or children; fishermen or gravel-barges on the far shore: ships to or from Bideford: and, the ferry chugging across to Appledore on Summer tides.

Viewed from Appledore the panorama of Instow itself provides an introduction to its history. Starting at the south, the eye is led from the old lime kiln and the railway station (now the yacht club), by way of the quay, the jetty, and the imposing terraces facing the beach, to the Royal Marines unit, the cricket club and second sandhills. The church tower and the remains of the windmill on the hill above, show the whereabouts of old Instow Town, while the houses of Worlington cluster on the high ridge above. Behind the seafront, the houses on the lower slopes look out over the water, while higher up at the back of the parish are the fields and farms, some of them unseen from below. Other features have disappeared over time but seen or unseen, present or past. all have their place in Instow's story, for its landscape is the result of the interaction of people and their environment over many centuries.


Alison Grant (taken, with permission, from the Instow book ~ published by Honeytone)

All content Copyright 2011