Thanks to Danielle Hartwright's unique aesthetic, Myrtle Cottage stops people in their tracks as they first enter Appledore
It's the pristine waterside views and narrow, picturesque lanes that continually draw visitors to Appledore. However, for many who visit this charming fishing village once summer has officially been declared, it may come as a surprise that Appledore also has its own thriving art scene - one that has continually provoked artists to ditch city life and adopt the place as their new home.
Danielle Hartwright is one of those artists who fell head over heels in love with Appledore during a visit back in 1977. Her son had just been born, and she had gone to stay with her mother-in-law across the river in neighboring Instow.
“I looked across at Appledore and I thought ‘that looks really fun and interesting, I must go over there.' I spent a whole afternoon on my own in Appledore and I just thought it was an amazing place. I loved it,” she said.
A few years later, Danielle made the move permanently to Appledore where she now owns and manages holiday lets.
Inspired by Appledore’s art and fishing scene, Danielle uses the properties she manages as a means to encourage visitors to experience and discover local art and freshly caught seafood from Appledore's shores. Most notable of all is her property Mrytle Cottage which constantly stops visitors in their tracks.
“We get photographed on a daily basis," said Danielle. “They take photos, I tell them all about the cottage, then I lead them onto other artists and local galleries,” she said.
With gates wrapped in fishnets and a shark made from driftwood sitting in the garden tree, Mrytle Cottage is the embodiment of Appledore's historic fishing heritage that also showcases a slice of the local art available.
The cottage is impossible to miss. "I am the first thing that people see when they come into the village that makes people go ‘wow, that’s different!’” she said.
Myrtle Cottage is available to rent, but Danielle wants it to be used as more than just a holiday let. She wants the cottage to be a unique experience that offers people a way to immerse themselves in Appledores art scene and explore its fishing heritage.
“It’s a unique opportunity for people to come and explore North Devon and all the art here. Appledore is full of artists. There are workshops in progress, there are people who make jewelry, there are people who do sculptures with copper. There is Sandy Brown who makes sculptures, Jennie Braide who does glass blowing, Maggie Curts who is an amazing potter," said Danielle.
The gates outside Myrtle Cottage showcase Danielle's love of Appledore's fishing industry, while also giving old fishing gear a new lease of life.
Mills, F. (2021) Behind the doors of North Devon's kookiest cottage. Available at: https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/gallery/behind-doors-north-devons-kookiest-6042802 (Accessed: 2021).