The North Devon coast is renowned for its excellent unspoilt beaches offering miles of clean golden sands, clear blue seas surrounded by dramatic cliff faces and rugged headlands. With many of the beaches located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and often surrounded by National Trust land, they offer stunning scenery all year round, regardless of the season.
Despite not being as well-known as the award-winning sands at Woolacombe, or Croyde for its reputed surf, the expansive beach at Westward Ho! Backed by a unique pebble ridge does not disappoint, and is popular with families, surfers and anglers.
With a rather unique pebble backed ridge, the beach at Westward Ho! Is a dynamic coastal form, where the resort consequently faces a constant battle against a changing coastline (find out more about the history of its famous pebble ridge). The moving sands even reveal the remains of a shipwrecked wooden vessel, last seen in 2012 (we believe!). In the 1920’s, a seawall was built as a recognised necessity to help protect the main part of the resort from further erosion. Today, this now serves as a lovely place for a stroll, to admire the unique coastal landscape, and thus has increased the popularity of Westward Ho! As a desirable destination for tourists.
A huge expanse of unspoilt golden sands backed by an unusual pebble ridge at the seaside resort of Westward Ho! more than caters for visitors needs, and hence a popular spot for families. For 15 years in a row, Westward Ho! Beach has achieved a blue flag status, for its safe, clean environment.
There are facilities such as seaside shops, toilets, showers, and a range of food outlets found at one entry point to the beach, and access via the Northam Burrows Country Park at the other, you really have the best of both worlds. Between May to September, there is a RNLI Lifeguard service available at both ends of the beach too, offering safe play in the sea.
With a two mile stretch of undeveloped sands, Westward Ho! Has more than enough space for everyone to relax and enjoy the beach, whether it’s for building sandcastles, ball games or simply bathing in the sun. Rockpooling at Westward Ho! Can be great fun for the kids. Natural pools are often found teeming with wildlife, such as blenny’s, winkles and crabs, and are really easy to access, particularly in the summer months. Suggested spots are around the sea water swimming pool, just off the promenade or the very big rock pool named ‘Mermaids Pool’ (no mermaid spotted yet). For more ideas, it’s worth checking out https://www.visitwestwardho.co.uk/rock-pooling.
Yes, dogs are permitted to use the whole beach between 1st October and 30th April. However, during the key summer months, there are restrictions in place on the main beach, but dogs are still allowed all year round at the Northam Burrows end. There is a great walk recommended where your dog can have plenty of space, and off lead time https://walkiees.co.uk/dog-walks/devon/northam-burrows-and-westward-ho
There are many activities held on the beach, including kite buggying as well all the water sports.Surfing is popular, but you’ll also find more kite-surfers, and wind-surfers at Westward Ho!. It’s also a great place to fly a kite, and even has a specialist kite shop (plus surf) and an annual kite festival. Kids will also enjoy open swimming at the sea pool. Angling is popular due to the presence of the bass. Find out more in our Things to do section.