Westward Ho!, Devon

Out of season Westward Ho! is just a pretty unremarkable village not far from Bideford on the coast of North Devon, albeit with a rather splendid beach. Almost three miles long, it's mostly sandy, backed by a pebble ridge and then the salt marshes of Northam Burrows Country Park. The beach has appeal to families who come to spend the day here making sandcastles and exploring the rockpools, and to those with a penchant for watersports - it's popular for surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. It used to be quaint and parts of it still are, but like a lot of coastal places it's been somewhat spoilt by modern development that doesn't quite fit in, and it's not without its holiday parks - hence it tends to get very busy in the summer season. 

Wondering how Westward Ho! got its name? It's named after a best selling book by Charles Kingsley, who also wrote The Water Babies. He lived in nearby Clovelly and when tourists started coming to see the area that he wrote about, a couple of sharp eyed developers seized an opportunity and so the 'new' village of Westward Ho! was born. It's the only English place name to have an exclamation mark! Fancy that!

One beach zone has no dog restrictions.  All information correct at the time of writing

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