Appledore in North Devon s a quaint, old-time fishing village hugging the banks of the River Torridge where flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Narrow streets of quaint, brightly painted ancient fishermen’s cottages, run back from the Quay. Many Appledore cottages, once sturdily built fishermen's cottages, are now stylish and surprisingly spacious holiday homes, with others converted to galleries or craft shops selling works by local artists. Fish are still landed on the Quay, from where there are beautiful views across the estuary to the village of Instow and across to big beaches of Crowe Point and Saunton Sands. In the early mornings and evenings all sorts, stroll down to the Quay from your Appledore holiday cottage and relax with on the benches overlooking the estuary, watching gig boats racing, flotillas of sailing dinghy’s and the occasional coaster bound for Bideford Quay a few miles up the Torridge Estuary.

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There are plenty of beaches within easy reach of Appledore. In season, take the ferry across the Torridge to the small beach resort of Instow. Alternatively it’s a nice little cycle ride or small car journey to the surfing beaches of Northam Burrows and Westward Ho! A little further afield the long sandy beaches at Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe lie within easy reach of your holiday cottage.

‘Must do’s’ in Appledore include a trip to the wonderful Sandy Brown Museum, Appledore’s Internationally famous potter who’s brightly coloured ceramics are a joy to behold. On the culinary front, another 'Must Do' (or in one case, lick) is a cornet of the locally made award-winning Hocking’s Ice Cream (best eaten with a ‘girt dollup’ of clotted cream on top), or a visit to John’s of Instow, a local delicatessen that would be equally at home in a trendy London side street. You will find both as you stroll along the waterfront on Appledore's splendid Quayside.

For holiday ideas, whether for short breaks or longer holidays, visitors to Appledore North Devon are spoilt for choice. As a base for a self-catering holiday, Appledore cottages are located within easy reach of many places to visit and things to do to in this corner of North Devon to fill a fortnight. Head inland to Great Torrington, home of Dartington Glass (watch glass blowers at work then pick up a bargain in the factory shop) and stroll around the magnificent RHS Rosemoor Gardens just outside the town. You can access the Tarka Trail, a 40-mile cycle and footpath on an old railway line that runs from Braunton through Barnstaple and Bideford to Torrington and a good few miles beyond that. There are plenty of places from which to hire a bike, the nearest being in the old Bideford Station which still boasts a few yards of track and rolling stock. A little further afield lies the wonderful fishing village of Clovelly and the dramatic coastline around Hartland Quay (a must for a stormy day to watch giant Atlantic rollers crashing onto the rugged coastline). For families with young children, no trip to North Devon is complete without spending a day at The Big Sheep in nearby Abbotsham village or The Milky Way Theme Park on the Clovelly Road, both declared by many a visiting youngster as being “the best day out - ever!’”. Tapeley Park is the local stately home within a setting of both semi-tropical and formal gardens and woodland walks, with play and pets' areas, and a tea-room always open. It can be seen across the Torridge Estuary from Appledore's Quay. Tours of the House however have to be booked in advance (01271 860897). Visiting golfers should take advantage of the lessons given by the club professionals at the Royal North Devon Golf Golfers in nearby Northam (01237 477598), locally known as the "St. Andrews of England", and enjoys the fame of having the oldest ladies' club in the world (the club, not the ladies!). As well as a good round of golf, players can enjoy spectacular coastal views.

One of Appledore's closest neighbours is Bideford, where visitors will find all main services including supermarkets for keeping cottage kitchens well-stoocked. Bideford is also the departure point for a fascinating day trip to Lundy on the MS Oldenburgh. Between March and October, book your tickets at the Lundy Shore Office (01271 863636). After enjoying the sea-trip, while there, look out for puffins, seals and even sharks, climb the craggy rocks, and walk to explore the Castle and the lighthouse.

Finally, even through there is no need to go out to eat when staying in a self catering cottage, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants in Appledore that will tempt you away from the kitchen. Recommendations include The Beaver Inn with its waterside terraces, The Quay Bistro, Bensons (great locally-sourced fish menu) and The Seagate.