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Instow is a very nice beach, be aware that access is quite limited to the beach (and can even be non existent) depending on the height of the tide. There is free parking for 1 hour along the sea front and then further along you can park for 2 hours for free. For longer stays there is a large car park which is accessed by a track behind the sand dune area. I'm not sure whether this is chargeable in the summer months, but really it ought to be free since the root is is hard on cars suspension with some risk of grounding unless you have a 4x4. The dunes are pleasant to walk through and often families choose to setup 'camp' there rather than on the main beach itself. When the tide is fully out the beach becomes huge and during WWII was used by troops for Normandy landing training since it is not discimilar in style to those beaches. There is a small military prescence in the town, but this rarely affects access to any part of the beach. The beach is popular with dog walkers, although there are sections during summer where dogs are not supposed to be, however this seems to be largely ignored and unenforced, and really isn't an issue as long as dogs properly are cleared up after. Overall a very nice beach it'll probably never get a top water quality rating since being on a estuary means that there will always be unwanted 'stuff' flowing past the beach out to sea. It would be nice to see the access track to the long stay car park greatly improved so that cars can get in and out more easily.
Mark, 13 January 2012
Have lived in Barnstaple all my live and always use this beach, both for fishing and family days out. Got there on saturday 20th July with the grandchildren to find the beach the emptiest it has ever been because the beach car park was locked and no one was able to use it. The parking on the road is for 2 hours so that is the time we were able to stay. Find this unbeleivable with the weather as it is at the moment. Have been there most weekends for the last month or so and the car park was always open on those occasions.
peter trick, 20 July 2013
Very concerned at the lack of care taken by dog owners, saw large amount of families on the beach this weekend, this caused some friction. I observed a dog running loose and when member of the public appeared to speak with the offending dog owner, the scene almost developed into a fight.
The footpath along the frontage was also obviously used by unchecked dogs as a toilet!
Who is responsible for the general upkeep because it would appear it is going to the dogs.
My family will not be using this beach when we visit again in summer.
, 2 March 2014
Dog Behaviour on this beach is disgusting, 3 time attacks have taken place here in 3 months and none of the owners could have cared less!
, 6 April 2014
This beach is a disgrace, dogs running all over it, totally out of control. If you ask the owners to clean up after
their dog or ask them to put their dog on a lead you are just left with a blank refusal.
As long as their dogs are happy that is all that matters.
If dogs must be let on the beach then they all should be on a lead!
Peter Smith, 14 September 2014
Yet Again I have heard that Instow Parish Council are trying to ban dogs on the Beach nearest to the shop and Coffee Hut.
I do wish these people would mind their own business. This is a lovely beach to walk our dogs. We would just like to be able to do it all year around, not just on cold wet days in the winter.
Lance Green, 15 May 2017
I heard a rumour that Instow Parish council are now trying to ban dogs on part of the beach, this would be a shame to punish all dogs just for the poor control of a few owners!
Peter Smith, 24 April 2017