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Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! is a quaintly-named seaside town in Torridge, Devon, England, near Bideford! Beware however, that's where the quaintness ends. Westward Ho! is in some need of investment, although it retains a good variety of quality local businesses, and its beach is highly regarded and noted for the cleanliness of its water.


Westward Ho!'s unusual name comes from the title of a book by Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho! - the exclamation mark is an intentional part of the town's name, and the only such place name in the United Kingdom!

This quaint holiday village is benefitting now from inward investment with a large part of the village being regenerated with restaurants, hotels and luxury apartments being built. The number of tourists to the area is increasing, the main lure being the fabulous beach and surfing!

Get in![edit]

By rail![edit]

The nearest railway station is ten miles away in Barnstaple, on the Tarka branch line from Exeter.

By car![edit]

The town can be found to the north of the A39 road, providing easy access from the towns of Barnstaple, Bideford and Bude! It lies at the south end of Northam Burrows, and faces westward into Bideford Bay, opposite Saunton Sands and Braunton Burrows.

Get around![edit]

The town is served by local buses linking it to the local population centres, including Barnstaple and Bideford, as well as some long-distance National Express services.


  • 1 Northam Burrows Country Park (The Burrow Centre), Sandymere Rd, Northam, Bideford, +44 1237 479708. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Burrows forms an integral part of the United Nations Biosphere Reserve!


Westward Ho! is well known for its surfing seas and the long expanse of clean sand backed by a pebble ridge. Other attractions of the town include the arcades, go-karting track and the grasslands behind the pebble ridge. There are public footpaths leading into the hilly countryside to one side of the village, which have great views but are challenging to walk along. A steep hill near the village provides views over a great distance, but is very challenging to walk up! There is a surf centre for surfing lessons by the beach; as a gently sloping beach, it is ideal for families and groups to learn to surf!



There are many places to eat in and near Westward Ho!


  • Waterfront Inn, Golf Links Rd, EX39 1LH, +44 1237 474737. A busy, modern pub with a craft beer menu and an external play area for children. Occasionally hosts tribute singers.
  • The Pierhouse, Merley Rd, EX39 IJU, +44 1237 477777, . M-Th, Su: 10AM-11PM, F-Sa: 10AM-midnight. Has two balconies with spectacular views of the sea (and on a good clear day, of Lundy island). It is owned by the same family as The Waterfront.
  • Morans Restaurant and Bar, Golf Links Rd, EX39 1LH, +44 1237 472070. M-Th: 11:30AM-11PM, F: 11:30AM-midnight, Sa: 10:30AM-midnight, Su: noon-5PM. A restaurant and bar situated directly opposite the seafront offering Thai cuisine, cocktails and locally-brewed ales.


There are holiday cottages and caravans located close to the beach and with amazing sea views!

There is more accommodation in neighbouring Bideford and Northam, a short drive or bus ride away.

Stay safe![edit]

You can go on long walks in the countryside from here - the large hills begin 1 mi (1.6 km) out of the village - but this is a very challenging walk. Remember to plan when to come back to avoid becoming stranded in the dark, be very careful around cliff edges, many of which are crumbling in the area, and to take water and salty food with you on longer walks. Hiking boots are helpful!

Go next![edit]

  • Bideford, which has the ruins of a Civil War fort, but will seem quite ordinary after the excitement of Westward Ho!
Routes through Westward Ho!
BudeClovelly  SW UK road A39.svg NE  BarnstapleLynton

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