INSTOW has an active sporting life. The beach and estuary attract many holiday makers, local families, swimmers and walkers. The long distance South West Coastal path runs through the village and the Tarka Trail with its excellent tarmac surface is a 180 mile long route forming part of National Cycle Network route number 27. The North Devon Yacht Club has had its home in Instow since 1905 and as well as a large adult membership it has a flourishing Cadet section. The North Devon Cricket Club, which was established in 1823 has an excellent ground with outstanding views, a unique pavilion and has long been a favourite of touring teams. The 11(ATT) Squadron Royal Marines based in the village at Arromanches Camp is a significant user of the sea and shore.
The Grade 1 listed Church of St. John The Baptist is situated on a hill above the village and dates back to the C12 with extensive restoration in the Victorian period. The Church is open to visitors during the day usually being opened around 10 am and closed around 4 pm. There is a map of the churchyard at the back of the church along with a list of all the known graves. Visitors are welcome. There are regular Sunday services.
All Saints Chapel. Situated in the centre of the village next to the allotments was given by Napier Orphoot in 1936 as a ‘Chapel of Ease’ to give parishioners easier access to services. This small delightful building with Art Deco and Byzantine features has a garden with small play equipment for young children and a car park. It is still used for Communion once a month on Sunday.
Contact information for the facilities mentioned on this page can be found on the Local Organisations page.
All Saints Community Centre. In 2011 All Saints Chapel use was extended to being a small community centre. As a ‘Drop-In Centre’ it aims to relieve social isolation, providing refreshments, light lunches and company. It has quickly established itself as an excellent venue for the community to meet informally, for regular activities or for organisations to hold committee meetings, parties or fairs. At present there is a regular drop in session between 10.30 am and 1 pm on Tuesdays, anyone is welcome.
Instow Community Primary School. Education has been provided in the village from as early as 1772 and today Instow has a thriving primary school with approx. 130 pupils, coming from the village and surrounding areas. It has been described by OFSTED a successful school which also noted the strong support from parents and the community.
Instow Parish Hall. This was given to the Community by the Christies. It is regularly used for all kind of activities. During term time there is a Pre School there each morning.
The village has an active social life with regular activities including Short Mat Bowls, Table Tennis, Pilates, Hand Bell Ringing, Salsa Dancing, choirs and a Walk and Talk Group. There is a large very active WI, a Drama Group and a long established Twinning with Arromanches.
Good communication is achieved through a free monthly Parish Magazine which goes to over a 1000 households and outlets. All organisations are encouraged to contribute articles. A new residents’ association is in the process of being formed.
Situated on the Tarka Trail at the south end of the village there is a famous old railway signal box. This is over 130 years old and was the UK’s first Grade 11 listed signal box. It used to control the signals at Instow Station and also the operation of the level crossing. It is open to the public on occasional Sundays and Bank Holidays. An image can be viewed on the “Images of Instow” page.