Explore the Coast and "Country" Side of Bideford Bay
Copyright Notice Out on the Tarka Trail - Bideford to Instow  
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Bideford Railway Museum
On the Level
Kick off your shoes - Take a break from the trail and enjoy the beach at Instow!
Traffic- free and on the level, this section of the 180 mile "Tarka Trail" runs betwixt the B3233 and the River Torridge on what was once the Old Bideford to Barnstaple Railway line. We can't guarantee you have as exciting a journey as "Tarka" but, nevertheless, this is a great opportunity to appreciate the stunning estuary views, get out in the open air, enjoy a walk or a cycle ride with the whole family. Bracing in autumn and winter or a chance to cool off on a hot summer's day, this part of the Trail can be enjoyed by all ages. If you are walking, we recommend you set out from Bideford Station and take the opportunity to look around the Railway Museum. The Old Railway Carriage is open for refreshments from Easter to October. There is a good view of the port of Bideford and its ancient long bridge from the top of the old railway bridge. If you are lucky the famous schooner , "Kathleen & May", will be alongside Brunswick Wharf, look out for her tall masts from the trail. Further along the track you pass under the massive Torridge Bridge which spans the estuary. Over to the right on the hillside you can see the tower of the 13th Century Church of St. Peter situated in the village of Westleigh and looking upwards straight ahead you can just about make out Tapeley Manor, home to the Christie Family. The 20 acre gardens at Tapeley Park were created in the 19th century by Sir John Belcher. On the opposite bank the huge metal structure is Appledore Ship Yard now thankfully in production again after its recent closure. Where the Two Rivers meet, two villages nestle beneath two hillsides on either side of the estuary, the busy fishing village of Appledore and the elegant village of Instow. The old railway platform is still at Instow but the station is now home to the North Devon Yacht Club. The level crossing gates and the award winning Signal Box, which is now a listed building, are kept in pristine condition. The trail continues through the Level Crossing but rest a while in Instow Village, you can pick up the trail again between the sand dunes at the other end of the beach. This will give the children the opportunity to kick off their shoes and build sand castles. The village stores have a delicious selection of ice creams or if you have built up a real appetite there are a variety of places to eat along Marine Parade or the promenade including the prestigious Commodore Hotel. The trail carries on through Yelland, Isley Marsh Nature Reserve, Fremington Quay and Barnstaple. It must have been a great train ride!
The 180 mile Tarka Trail, inspired by Henry Williamson's classic novel "Tarka the Otter" traces the route that the fictional otter took. It meanders through many of the places that are vividly described in the book and forms a figure of eight circuit with breathtaking views of some of North Devon's most dramatic scenery, including rugged coastlines, moorland, lush woodland and rolling countryside. We shall be featuring additional sections of the trail at a later date. There are several cycle hire places at different stages on the route including Bideford. For general information about The Tarka Trail please visit Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service. - Click here for Tarka Trail Map >Next Stop Fremington Quay
Instow/Appledore Ferry Service. In the Summertime, if the tide is right, you can take the ferry over to Appledore from the jetty by the Round House. The ferry service that had existed between Appledore and Instow for more than two centuries was withdrawn in September 2007 but was happily reinstated in 2011. The very first ferry ran from Braunton in 1639. Visit Appledore Instow Ferry Service website for timetables
Tarka Trail cycling by Instow Signal Box photo copyright Pat Adams
Instow Signal on the Tarka Trail photo copyright Pat Adams
North Devon Yacht Club  quayside photo  copyright Pat Adam
Down the trail with Tapeley  Park just visable on the hill to the right!
Tapley Park Gatehouse onthe Tarka Trail  photo copyright Pat Adams

Tarka Trail. Westleigh milestone photo copyright Pat Adams

Traffic Free and On the Level Tarka Trail Bideford to Instow photo copyright Pat Adams
Looking up to the Church of St. Peter, Westleigh
Tarka Trail Sculpture  photo copyright Pat Adams
Tarka Trail  Milestone photo copyright Pat Adams Barnstaple 7 miles>Bideford 2 miles
Tarka Trail Instow Like Kiln photo copyright Pat Adams
Instow from Appledore
Underneath the Arch!
Torridge Bridge Photo copyright Pat Adams
Hello Mr. Robin!
This way for Bideford Station - Cross over the ancient Long Bridge, and go up the steps opposite the Royal Hotel
Captains of Industry. Appledore Shipbuilders photo copyright Pat Adams
Ahoy there! - Stop off and visit the schooner "Kathleen & May " at  Brunswick Wharf
Into the Sun - The ancient Bideford Long Bridge on the Horizon - Photo by B.D. Adams
Time for Tea -all aboard - going through Bideford Railway Centre
Kathleen & May alongside Brunswick Wharf Passing under the very impressive Torridge Bridge
Back to Bideford Railway Station
All Articles, Photographs and Illustrations ©Copyright P. Adams North Devon Focus 2015 - All rights reserved
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