The view from Instow looking over to Appledore at low tide whilst walking The South West Coast Path
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Barnstaple to Appledore: Walk the South West Coast Path

Walking the South West Coast Path from Barnstaple to Appledore and trying to cross the River Taw at low tide.
Crossing the River Taw at low tide

Distance: 13.6 miles

Severity: Easy

Time: 5hrs 26mins

Steps: 27,803

This might be a long section but it's flat and easy as it follows the route of the old railway line from Barnstaple to Bideford. It passes through pastures, marshlands and sand banks of the River Taw, ending up in the picturesque coastal town of Appledore.

Our day began with a breakfast bacon buttie in Barnstaple before crossing the town's historic long bridge and following signs to the Tarka Trail and South West Coast Path.

Walking The South West Coast Path section from Barnstaple to Appledore which also becomes part of the Tarka Trailo
The Tarka Trail

As this section is also part of the Tarka Trail it is popular with cyclists and walkers and can get quite crowded in the summer months. It also seems far away from the more deserted stretches of the Path that we've achieved so far.

At Fremington Quay there's a cafe and information point before Yelland and then past Instow cricket ground with a glorious view over the River Taw. Instow is a cute little village directly opposite Appledore and at high tide you can catch a ferry across to the town itself.

The view across the River Taw to Appledore whilst walking the South West Coast Path from Barnstaple to Appledore
Walking alongside the River Torridge looking over to Appledore

Unfortunately for us it’s low tide so we try to see if we could cross the low river to avoid the estuary route but sadly not. So, after a giant slab of Lemon Curd sponge cake at John’s cafe - well worth a visit - we're on the road again.

It’s quite a frustrating route because know that we’ve got to head all the way down the River Torridge to Bideford and then back up the other side, essentially going nowhere fast!

The bridge over the River Torridge at Bideford whilst walking the South West Coast Path
Bridge over the River Torridge at Bideford

Eventually we reach Bideford, cross the bridge into the town and head on out the other side. We were hoping to get to Westward Ho! on this section but arriving in Appledore I simply couldn’t walk past the cute little cottage we've rented just off Irsha Street to continue on to Westward Ho! so we decided to call it a day.

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