What to do in Instow

For children

When the tide is in try crabbing from the quay. fly your new kite on the beach. dig the biggest sandcastle with a moat all around which fills up when the tide comes in. paddle in the water and feel the bubbles swirl around your toes. watch the tiny fish darting around on the edge of the sea. pick up shells. make a secret hut from driftwood. see little crabs scurry away in the tide pools. eat a Hockings ice-cream. [mind it doesn’t melt]. and on wild windy days, when the sand streams in waving curtains across the beach, the wind surfers come out to play, jumping and spinning and riding along the surf.

For gardeners

See the environment friendly displays and flora organized by the dedicated instow in bloom team. The brilliant spread of wild spring flowers, beside Anstey way is breathtaking. Visit the gardens at Tapeley House. Nearby you can also visit Arlington Court, the lovely National trust property which has fine gardens and walks.
walk around the wonderful Instow open gardens on display every year. for the real enthusiast there is rhs Rosemoor where you can stroll around a garden of intoxicating beauty, meticulously crafted and planted. along the Tarka trail newly planted apple trees are just becoming established

For nature lovers

Walk along the tide line, around the corner to the hidden beach. here there are shells and pools, crabs and birds. take binoculars. the estuary is an important habitat, home to a multitude of native wading birds and host to a variety of visiting birds during the winter. further along the coastal path you reach the RSPB reserve Isley marsh, rare salt marsh and inter tidal mud flats which again provide rich feeding ground for curlews, dunlin and redshank. this year there have been plenty of spoonbills, little egrets which seem to have taken up home here, teal, and many thousand of visiting geese. along the Tarka trail towards Bideford there are kingfishers, cormorant, swans, mallard, sandpipers. Instow is at the fulcrum of the Biosphere reserve, a protected area of dunes, river and coastal habitat. For the discerning and concerned naturalist there is more about this on the environment page.

For art and design

Visit waterside studio. take a self guided tour of our local studio potters, Clive Bowen, Sandy Brown, Svend Bayer and Philip and Frannie Leach. we will supply details and directions. visit the Burton Art Gallery where Reg. Lloyds wonderful ceramic collection is on permanent display. tour Barnstaple museum for a brilliant collection of North Devon Art Pottery.