Westward Ho! Beach
Westward Ho! - Award winning Blue Flag Beach
Westward Ho! is named after the famous novel by Charles Kingsley. Rudyard Kipling also has many connections with the town.
Did you know that Westward Ho! is the only place in England that has an exclamation mark in its name?
Westward Ho! - A Blue Flag Beach
Blue Flag beaches have to meet 27 strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.
The Blue Flag is only valid for one year so every effort has been made to keep up the high standards this year.
Westward Ho! beach offers over two miles of golden sand backed by a unique pebble ridge linking to Northam Burrows Country Park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Access is fairly easy down a concrete ramp from the town of Westward Ho!
Additional access is also available from Northam Burrows via a rough path over the pebble ridge.
The Beach Access Statement is available here: Westward Ho! Beach Access Statement (PDF) [455KB]
The beach is adjacent to the South West Coast Path and is near to the picturesque villages of Appledore and Clovelly, and the ancient port of Bideford.
Facilities available include several car parks close by, toilets and showers, refreshment facilities, shops, a daily lifeguard and deck chair hire during the summer months.
Both the car parks and the toilets provide facilities for disabled users. A dog exercise area is also provided with restrictions in the Blue Flag area.
The beach has RNLI lifeguard cover between the Spring and Summer seasons (May - September) who oversee the many varieties of activity that the beach lends itself to, everything from horse riding to surfing from Kite Buggying to Kite Surfing!
For a map of beach zones and facilities available click here:
The beach is also used by many local organisations who utilise the vast area to commercially run their activities, both in and out of the water.
Westward Ho! Wind Waves & Water Scheme
The Authority has a duty of care to all beach users and therefore has a registration scheme in place called the Westward Ho! Wind Waves and Water scheme.
This voluntary scheme enables organisations utilising the beach for their business to provide Torridge District Council with details of how they operate disclosing information such as risk assessments and health and safety checks.
The Authority only endorses these registered organisations as suitable, safe operators.
Torridge District Council recommends that these operators be used in preference to those that have not registered.
This years registered operators are:
The North Devon Surf School
tel: 01237 475992
Westward Ho! can be reached by leaving the A39 at Bideford and following signposts along the A386 and the B3236. Bus number 1 from Barnstaple via Bideford offers frequent services to Westward Ho!
Blo-karting has been included as an approved activity in the wind sports zone (following a 12 month trial). Blo-karts are subject to all the conditions of craft using this area only.
All other classes of Land Yacht remain prohibited.