Westward Ho! Beach
Facing westwards into Bideford Bay, Surfers and swimmers, kayakers, and paddle boarders will love this long sandy stretch of sand. The main beach is backed by the grassland of Northam Burrows Country Park and the imaginatively named Pebble Ridge.
This part of the coastline is known for its dramatic cliffs, and Westward Ho! is no exception with the beach falling within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The beach is home to long flat stretches of beach ideal for sunbathing. Surfing areas are clearly designated, and there are slipways over the pebbles at the RNLI points. It’s usually easy to hire equipment and book training sessions.
Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, with a few summer restrictions – check the beachfront signs.
There are numerous amusement arcades, cafes, hotels, restaurants, and tearooms at prices to suit a range of budgets. Other activities on offer include go-karts, mini-golf, and bowling.
There is plenty of car parking, with spaces for disabled visitors near the beach itself. There are free public toilets, including those in the recently-added visitor centre at the Northam end of the beach.
The waves can be very high here, and the tide comes in quickly; at low tide, the water is around waist height for an averagely tall adult. Lifeguards are stationed here in the summer, and if you’re not in the mood for swimming or surfing, look out for shrimp, fish, and crabs in the rock pools.
Type of beach
Dogs friendly beach?
Dogs are not allowed on the majority of the beach between 1st May and 30th September. However, there is a 200 metre section, in front of Sandymere, where dogs are allowed all year round.
- Wind surfing
- Disabled facilities
- First aid point
- Lost child centre
- Deck chair hire
OS grid ref.
SS 4321 2946
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Westward Ho! Beach Reviews
free parking at abbotsham court,follow the footpath, best mid to high tide
kingofkooksApr 16th 2021
Amazing selection of reefs and waves in the area.
Great family beach.
MarkAug 29th 2021
Good sandy beach which was very gently sloped so safe for younger children, quite warm and also had lifeguards. A couple of showers outside the public toilets to rinse off the salt. Plenty of amenities with amusement arcade, go karts and mini golf, also plenty of food options. We parked at Abbotsham Court and enjoyed the 1.5 miles walk into Westward Ho!, But also passed a free car park at Seafield at the south end of the town.
HowardMar 18th 2021
Amazing reefs,mid to high tide.easy parking at abbotsham court
parked van at Abbotsham Court overnight EX395BH
rickJul 13th 2022
Great place to stay on the next night I moved to the free carpark at Seafield westwardho lovely park up and great sunset lots of vans stayed the night and great vibe. Even scored some surf in the area. At Greencliff epic spot
Love this beach it’s so clean and with lots of good rock pools to entertain the whole family ,lots of areas to park free and a great location
I Love It!
KateJun 10th 2021
Great open beach, amazing for the dog!
Kite flying is fun out of summer season - all seasons are great. Dramatic waves, surfing possible, it ms just fun!
Vast beach at low tide
LouiseAug 31st 2022
I was a little underwhelmed I must admit. We arrived at low tide and found an absolutely vast expanse of beach, dwarfing the clutch of holidaymakers dotted over the pebbly bank. People swarmed over Westward Ho! but not a lot of them seemed to be here for the beach.
Like other beaches in the vicinity the sand had a quite silty appearance, and I don’t doubt the water would be clean here - the water in the many lovely rockpools was crystal clear - but I just couldn’t face the windswept 15 mile slog over the beach to the distant sea (I exaggerate). This wouldn’t be my beach of choice to return to, except for rockpooling at the slightly more sheltered southern end. And maybe tearing across the sand in some kind of monster truck, if that was ever to be a thing.
KevtherevJul 23rd 2022
Westward ho is great. If you can’t find anywhere on this beach you must have aproblem.there is plenty of room for everybody.nothing like Weston super mud.
LynnOct 02nd 2020
I love this clean, firm sandy beach. It is devine, but check tide times cause when it’s in can’t walk on it as the sea comes up and sometimes nearly over the pebble ridge. It’s wild and wonderful. Highly recommend x
Very much like Weston supermare
Cha72837Apr 17th 2021
Went for a dog walk, nice and big but definite weston supermud vibes.