Westward Ho! Beach

Without a doubt the Beach is the largest attraction in the area offering over two miles of golden sand backed by a unique pebble ridge linking to Northam Burrows Country Park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Listen to a BBC radio broadcast about the beach note this recording requires Real Player (free to download)

The Beach

Westward Ho! beach

Beach at Low tide (high tide the beach is covered)

The beach offers something for everyone: Going from West to East (town end towards Appledore)

  1. A seabound swimming pool: Built into the rocks is a swimming pool that at high tides disappears under the sea. This is ideal if you want to swim in the sea but without the walk at low tide, but it has yet to tempt me!
  2. In front of the stunning Horizon View Apartments there are some excellent rock pools for the children to try their hand at catching crabs or other sea life (we even saw a sea slug on our last visit). Some streams also appear on the beach here so if you want to build a sandcastle with a moat, or play dam the river, then this is the best place to start.
  3. Next is the main beach running from the slipway all the way along until the North Borrows Country Park entrance. This ¾ mile section of the beach usually has a life guarded section at each end between May and September.
  4. The final section (about a mile long!) at the far end of the beach is an area for kite surfers, Kite buggies and dogs. On a breeze day this can be a spectacular place to just watch some of the mad things the Kite Buggy riders get up to – count me in!

Facilities and the important Blue Flag

Westward Ho! beach

Facilities available include several car parks close by, toilets and showers, refreshment facilities, shops, a daily lifeguard service during the main bathing season (May – September) and deck chair hire during the summer months. Both the car parks and the toilets provide facilities for disabled users.

The beach at Westward Ho! has for the seventh time in a row, attained the standards necessary for Keep Britain Tidy’s Blue Flag distinction award. As one of only 12 beaches in Devon and 71 nationwide to receive the award for 2010, designed to recognise the diversity of the nation’s coastline, as well as boost domestic tourist numbers, Westward Ho! has met various stringent criteria in the following four categories: Environmental education and information, Environmental management, Safety and Services, Water quality

There are summer dog restictions on certain areas of the beach – for more information see the Torridge Council Site

Access is fairly easy down a concrete ramp from the town Additional access is also available from Northam Burrows via a rough path over the pebble ridge.


Westward Ho! 3 day surf forecast
Surfing is very popular at WestWard Ho! As the waves are perfect for the beginner and intermediate surfer. The experienced surfers tend to head off to the more powerful waves of Croyde, Woolacombe and Newquay… brilliant!

This leaves us a really mellow uncrowded beach where you can surf as badly as you want! You don’t have to worry about getting in the way of others, or worry about crashing into people. This is as good as it gets!

The North Devon Surf School is located on the beach and so if you need to hire anything or get some lessons then they are really friendly and will be happy to help.

The video below shows the kite surfing and level of surf really well.

Kite Surfing and Kite Buggies

This has to be seen to be believed – really great fun to watch – I can’t wait to have a go!