Westward Ho! Tourist Information

Westward Ho! Tourist Information

Description
  • Explore the Tarka Trail
  • Visit Lundy Island
  • Fish for wild sea bass

Westward Ho! was named after the book of the same name written by Charles Kingsley in the mid 1800. It has two miles of sandy beach known as the Golden Bay, and is famous for its Pebble Ridge, which lies between the beach and Northam Burrows Country Park. Here you will find the Royal North Devon Golf Course and a large area of sand dunes home to a rich variety of birds, insects and wild flowers. Horses, cattle and sheep graze on the Burrows as they did on common land in days gone by.

Holidaymakers and locals alike enjoy bathing, surfing, canoeing, and kite surfing - just a few of the sports practiced here making it an ideal base for an active holiday. The South Western Coastal Path runs through Westward Ho! and the Tarka Trail is close by - a must for cyclists and walkers. For relaxation and inspiration, take the ferry across to Lundy Island, an un-spoilt land playing a muse to photographers, writers and artists.

Food & Drink

Being in North Devon, establishments in Westward Ho! are perfectly situated to take advantage of the rich and diverse range of local produce available, from locally reared beef to freshly landed cod, the gastronomic options are endless. Here you will find eateries such as the Pig on the Hill and The Village Inn which strive to offer hearty homemade food using locally sourced produce and ales!

For a true fine dining experience, head to the neighbouring town of Appledore, home to the award-winning ‘Bensons Restaurant’ which prides itself on serving locally sourced fish landed on the quay opposite. Appledore is also home to ‘Hockings Ice Cream,’ described by many locals as the best ice cream in the South West and on a hot summers day be sure to look out for the ice cream van which frequents the beach at Westward Ho!

Family Attractions

The spectacular sandy beach provides hours of family fun and the rolling hills of the beautiful Devonshire countryside surrounding the town offer fantastic walks, but there is so much more in the immediate area to entertain the whole family.
The neighbouring town of Bideford, 5 minutes away by car, is home to a diverse range of family attractions. For a truly unique experience, head to the Big Sheep, home to sheep racing and dog and duck trials.

Thrill seekers are well catered for at Bideford’s Milky Way Adventure Park, an all inclusive day family fun. Roller coasters, indoor play areas, regular shows and the gruelling assault course ensure there is something here for everybody, whatever the weather.

Shopping

Westward Ho is home to a small selection of independent stores where gifts and essentials can be purchased. Shopaholics should head to the neighbouring town of Bideford, home to the Atlantic Village Shopping Centre. Here you will find famous high street names such as Cadburys World, ASDA, Marks & Spencer, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and Julian Graves. And with the on-site Atlantis Adventure Park complete with indoor & outdoor play areas, trampolines and mystery maze, the children just won’t want to leave.

History & Heritage

Lundy Island, a peaceful, unspoilt oasis of unique flora and forna, can be reached by ferry from the nearby towns of Bideford and Ilfracombe, and is a haven for artist and photographers looking to capture its encapsulating beauty.
Nearby Barnstaple plays host to Arlington Court, a spectacular National Trust property home to Jacob Sheep, Red Deer, Peacocks and Devon’s largest colony of lesser horseshoe bats. Arlington Court is also home to the Trust’s largest collection of horse drawn carriages and visitors can act like the lord of the manor by indulging in a carriage ride around the grounds.

The Tarka Trail, a series of paths following Tarka the Otters journey in the book of the same name, takes in the beauty of the area and bicycles can be hired explore the route.

Beaches

Westward Ho! is blessed with over two miles of sandy beach known as ‘the Golden Bay’. There is a seawater swimming pool and seasonal lifeguard patrol offering safe bathing conditions, and at low tide, a network of rock pools are exposed ideal for a spot of crabbing.

With ideal conditions for water sports, kitesurfers, canoeists, kayakers and surfers all regularly frequent the beach whilst the churning surf is home to wild sea bass, attracting anglers from all over the country. At the low tide, the massive expanse of firm sand makes it perfect for kite buggy racing.

Nearby Saunton Sands and Croyde offer some of the best surfing conditions in the area and with numerous sandy beaches and hidden coves along the North Devon Coast, you really will be spoilt for choice.

Events and Entertainment

North Devon is full of small towns and tiny villages, each with their own customs and traditions, ensuring that there is always something going on the area.

The Whitsun Bank Holiday sees the historic Westward Ho! Potwalloping festival takes place. Historically, the event was held after spring tides to throw fallen pebbles back onto the pebble ridge protecting the land from the sea. Although still performed today, the festival has developed into a much larger event with entertainment, displays, local craft and stalls.

During June the annual Gold Coast Oceanfest is held in Croyde, a scenic 20 mile drive from Westward Ho!. The event is a celebration of music, sport, and environmental awareness and features live music, international artists and sports workshops.
The cultural diversity of the wider area is celebrated during the summer when the North Devon Festival takes place, an eclectic selection of art, performance and music with over 200 events taking in the North Devon Area.

Activities

The beach plays host to a fantastic range of activities from surfing and skim boarding to sunbathing and swimming. For those looking to try their hand at something new, why not learn to surf with the North Devon Surf School, one of the top surfing schools in the UK based on the beach at Westward Ho! Budding anglers will want to try their hand at catching one of the famous Sea Bass in the surf at Westward Ho!

For the keen golfer, Westward Ho! is home to The Royal North Devon Golf Club, England’s oldest links course, which is still consider to be one of the finest in the country.

The North Devon area is home to beautiful countryside best explored by foot or bicycle and the Tarka Trail, a series of foot and cycle paths following the literary journey of Tarka the Otter, takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery the area has to offer.

Travel

By car – Exit the M5 at junction 27 and follow the A361 to Portmore. Exit onto the A39 and then join the B3236, following signs for Westward Ho!

By Rail/Coach – Railway services operate between London Paddington and Barnstaple, changing at Exeter St. Davids. There is a regular bus service from Barnstaple to Westward Ho! Westward Ho! has a coach station and is served by National Express.

  • Explore the Tarka Trail
  • Visit Lundy Island
  • Fish for wild sea bass

Westward Ho! was named after the book of the same name written by Charles Kingsley in the mid 1800. It has two miles of sandy beach known as the Golden Bay, and is famous for its Pebble Ridge, which lies between the beach and Northam Burrows Country Park. Here you will find the Royal North Devon Golf Course and a large area of sand dunes home to a rich variety of birds, insects and wild flowers. Horses, cattle and sheep graze on the Burrows as they did on common land in days gone by.

Holidaymakers and locals alike enjoy bathing, surfing, canoeing, and kite surfing - just a few of the sports practiced here making it an ideal base for an active holiday. The South Western Coastal Path runs through Westward Ho! and the Tarka Trail is close by - a must for cyclists and walkers. For relaxation and inspiration, take the ferry across to Lundy Island, an un-spoilt land playing a muse to photographers, writers and artists.

Food & Drink

Being in North Devon, establishments in Westward Ho! are perfectly situated to take advantage of the rich and diverse range of local produce available, from locally reared beef to freshly landed cod, the gastronomic options are endless. Here you will find eateries such as the Pig on the Hill and The Village Inn which strive to offer hearty homemade food using locally sourced produce and ales!

For a true fine dining experience, head to the neighbouring town of Appledore, home to the award-winning ‘Bensons Restaurant’ which prides itself on serving locally sourced fish landed on the quay opposite. Appledore is also home to ‘Hockings Ice Cream,’ described by many locals as the best ice cream in the South West and on a hot summers day be sure to look out for the ice cream van which frequents the beach at Westward Ho!

Family Attractions

The spectacular sandy beach provides hours of family fun and the rolling hills of the beautiful Devonshire countryside surrounding the town offer fantastic walks, but there is so much more in the immediate area to entertain the whole family.
The neighbouring town of Bideford, 5 minutes away by car, is home to a diverse range of family attractions. For a truly unique experience, head to the Big Sheep, home to sheep racing and dog and duck trials.

Thrill seekers are well catered for at Bideford’s Milky Way Adventure Park, an all inclusive day family fun. Roller coasters, indoor play areas, regular shows and the gruelling assault course ensure there is something here for everybody, whatever the weather.

Shopping

Westward Ho is home to a small selection of independent stores where gifts and essentials can be purchased. Shopaholics should head to the neighbouring town of Bideford, home to the Atlantic Village Shopping Centre. Here you will find famous high street names such as Cadburys World, ASDA, Marks & Spencer, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and Julian Graves. And with the on-site Atlantis Adventure Park complete with indoor & outdoor play areas, trampolines and mystery maze, the children just won’t want to leave.

History & Heritage

Lundy Island, a peaceful, unspoilt oasis of unique flora and forna, can be reached by ferry from the nearby towns of Bideford and Ilfracombe, and is a haven for artist and photographers looking to capture its encapsulating beauty.
Nearby Barnstaple plays host to Arlington Court, a spectacular National Trust property home to Jacob Sheep, Red Deer, Peacocks and Devon’s largest colony of lesser horseshoe bats. Arlington Court is also home to the Trust’s largest collection of horse drawn carriages and visitors can act like the lord of the manor by indulging in a carriage ride around the grounds.

The Tarka Trail, a series of paths following Tarka the Otters journey in the book of the same name, takes in the beauty of the area and bicycles can be hired explore the route.

Beaches

Westward Ho! is blessed with over two miles of sandy beach known as ‘the Golden Bay’. There is a seawater swimming pool and seasonal lifeguard patrol offering safe bathing conditions, and at low tide, a network of rock pools are exposed ideal for a spot of crabbing.

With ideal conditions for water sports, kitesurfers, canoeists, kayakers and surfers all regularly frequent the beach whilst the churning surf is home to wild sea bass, attracting anglers from all over the country. At the low tide, the massive expanse of firm sand makes it perfect for kite buggy racing.

Nearby Saunton Sands and Croyde offer some of the best surfing conditions in the area and with numerous sandy beaches and hidden coves along the North Devon Coast, you really will be spoilt for choice.

Events and Entertainment

North Devon is full of small towns and tiny villages, each with their own customs and traditions, ensuring that there is always something going on the area.

The Whitsun Bank Holiday sees the historic Westward Ho! Potwalloping festival takes place. Historically, the event was held after spring tides to throw fallen pebbles back onto the pebble ridge protecting the land from the sea. Although still performed today, the festival has developed into a much larger event with entertainment, displays, local craft and stalls.

During June the annual Gold Coast Oceanfest is held in Croyde, a scenic 20 mile drive from Westward Ho!. The event is a celebration of music, sport, and environmental awareness and features live music, international artists and sports workshops.
The cultural diversity of the wider area is celebrated during the summer when the North Devon Festival takes place, an eclectic selection of art, performance and music with over 200 events taking in the North Devon Area.

Activities

The beach plays host to a fantastic range of activities from surfing and skim boarding to sunbathing and swimming. For those looking to try their hand at something new, why not learn to surf with the North Devon Surf School, one of the top surfing schools in the UK based on the beach at Westward Ho! Budding anglers will want to try their hand at catching one of the famous Sea Bass in the surf at Westward Ho!

For the keen golfer, Westward Ho! is home to The Royal North Devon Golf Club, England’s oldest links course, which is still consider to be one of the finest in the country.

The North Devon area is home to beautiful countryside best explored by foot or bicycle and the Tarka Trail, a series of foot and cycle paths following the literary journey of Tarka the Otter, takes in some of the most breathtaking scenery the area has to offer.

Travel

By car – Exit the M5 at junction 27 and follow the A361 to Portmore. Exit onto the A39 and then join the B3236, following signs for Westward Ho!

By Rail/Coach – Railway services operate between London Paddington and Barnstaple, changing at Exeter St. Davids. There is a regular bus service from Barnstaple to Westward Ho! Westward Ho! has a coach station and is served by National Express.

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