Appledore, Instow Ferry

rivers, estuary, cruising, boating, passenger boat,

Across the Estuary

Appledore shore line

Had to get my sea legs on the other morning, well to be correct, my estuary legs. Goodness what a beautiful morning it was, brilliant sunshine a light breeze and the clear aquamarine waters of the river Torridge sparking against the golden, sun drenched stone of Appledore Quay.

Small ferry crossing the river, children and adult passengers
Buckets & spades at the ready

I had arrived there, with my faithful friend Gypsy – yes Appledore is very dog friendly- to meet the Skipper of the historic ferry, which whisks you across the river to the sandy shores of Instow. We had agreed to meet at 9.30 am, on a Saturday morning, which is usually quiet – late sleepers in Appledore, – not this morning though, there was a queue of passengers waiting for the first ferry trip of the day, across the water to Instow. During the season, April to October the ferry only operates between the hours of 09.30 and 21.00hrs, running for two hours either side of high tide, dependant on the type of tide and weather conditions. Boarding the boat, – Gypsy most enthusiastically, – we glided across the water, passed a flotilla of sailing boats, white sails flapping in the breeze and headed towards the quay at Instow.

ferry, boats, passengers, Instow, Appledore
Arriving at Instow

For centuries there has always been a boat crossing between Appledore and Instow . With the development of Appledore and the arrival of the railway in Instow a ferry became an important means of transport for workers, cargo and holiday makers alike.

Find out more about about the fascinating history of this crossing click the link above.

In 2007, due to a withdrawal of a grant and lack of support, the commercial ferry ceased to operate and the boats sold off. However, after public meetings being held in Appledore and Instow between 2009/10 uncovered a feeling of general disappointment. The public concern at the lack of a ferry, led to a group of determined individuals to start a working group. Toiling extremely hard in a period of recession they managed to obtain the necessary funding and licences to reinstate the ferry and test its popularity & viability. On the 25 June 2011, with great trepidation, the ferry was, once again launched into service. During this first season, which ended in September 2011 the ferry carried 8,400 passengers, which proved its success.

Ferry, Instow, Skipper, Non profit, Volunteers
Yes, Instow is over there.

Martin Foot has been one of the skippers of the Appledore-Instow ferry for some eight seasons. The ferry is a Non-profit organisation run mostly by volunteers. although the skippers, because of their acquisition of licences and responsibilities are paid. As we set off on our short voyage, it became apparent, because of the number of passengers, Martin would not have time to talk to me. In fact when we got to Instow, Gypsy and I had to disembark! as there were a number of passengers and dogs waiting to board. Still, no matter, it was no hardship for me. I was quite happy being ferried across the river, between Appledore and Instow all day. As well as the skipper three volunteers are required for the crossing, one based on each quay, assisting prospective passengers and another accompanying the Skipper, helping with the mooring ropes at each side. In fact he had to move me on one occasion to level the weight distribution ??

The Appledore – Intow ferry is a great asset to both villages, giving both locals and holiday makers a great deal of pleasure, boosting the local economy and keeping the heritage of the river Torridge alive. Its really enthusing to see how the community spirit has come together, working hard to ensure the service was re-established and continues to thrive. From this “blow in” Thank you all.

To find out more about the ferry and its history visit their : website

Published by

TRUFFLEicious was an independent business based at Great Chalfield, Wiltshire, in a stable we converted into a 5* hygiene registered kitchen, within the grounds of Great Chalfield Manor. Wiltshire In January 2019 I moved to Appledore, North Devon, UK, where as well as cooking I have also built & maintain a local food & drink blog web site for small businesses & visitors alike. My new site is a non-profit website. Having worked as a cook for more than 40 years mainly in private family houses for Polo functions and at Harrods. “My aim is to supply & blog about the benefits of 100% Homemade foods made from my own original recipes and containing fresh, natural, local ingredients, which contain NO nasties”. Visit my website: I have wealth of experience behind me, encompassing a broad range of cookery techniques & original own recipes. I also write a blog, giving recipes, cookery tips & dealing with what to do with your leftovers & also food & nutrition blog (Low FodMap Diet) "Paws for Thought" I was invited to The Great British Food Festival, Bowood House, Nr Calne, Wiltshire on August Bank Holiday Monday 2017 where I gave a cookery demonstration on Gluten Free Cakes. Media Interviews: BBC Radio Wiltshire Graham Rogers Morning Show. Love your leftovers 26.12.18 BBC Radio Wiltshire. The Social. Sue Kinnear & Tim Weaks 17.12.2018 BBC Radio Wiltshire. GBBO Tech Challenge. Rachel Houghton morning Show 27.11.18 I will also be on the Sue Davis show, BBC Radio Wiltshire, for 6 weeks in October 2017 sharing my recipes on food leftovers. The Marie Lennon Morning Show. BBC Radio Wiltshire. Tues 12th December 2017 talking about making chocolate Truffles for Christmas. Chatting with Holly Rattley about my blog in the Kitchen at BBC Radio Wiltshire on Thursday 28th December 2017 & demonstrating what to do with those Christmas leftovers. BBC Wiltshire also featured me on "The Social" with Sue Kinnear & Tim Weeks in Dec 2018 chatting about building my websites & social media. TRUFFLEicious/FoodiesDevon is registered as a food business with Torridge Council & our Scores on the Doors are 5*. We hold current public & product liability insurance & Food Hygiene Certificate. I am an avid user of social media & you can follow me any FB, five accounts, twitter five accounts, Instagram, four accounts. View my profile on LinkedIn.

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