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Instow

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Devon  /  Bideford  /  Instow
(4/5 based on 400 reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, parks, trails
Instow is a village in north Devon, England. It is on the estuary where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet, between the villages of Westleigh and Yelland and on the opposite bank of Appledore. There is an electoral ward with the same name. Its total population at the 2011 census was 1,501.There is a small river beach and sand dunes, that home some rare species of orchid including the pyramid orchid.The Tarka Trail passes through Instow, providing an easy means for people to arrive by foot or on bike. This section of the Trail is also part of the South West Coast Path, offering longer walks along the coast.Instow Railway StationThe line opened from Barnstaple to Fremington in 1848, and then passenger trains ran from Barnstaple to Bideford from 2 November 1855 after the Bideford Extension Railway. The line was further extended to Torrington in 1872. Passenger services ceased on 2 October 1965 although ball clay traffic continued until 1982. The track was finally removed in 1985.Instow has a famous railway signal box, which is over 130 years old and was the UK's first Grade 2 Listed signal box. It used to control the signals at Instow Station and also the operation of the level crossing. You can see the wheel that operated the gates, pull the signal levers, one of which still operates a signal, and generally learn how the box worked. In 2003 the box was nationally recognised for its restoration and educational value by receiving the Carillion Rail Award at the National Railway Heritage Awards. The signal box is now managed and run by volunteers of the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre and is open to the public on occasional Sundays and Bank Holidays.
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