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


Lifeguard service


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.

Devon dog friendly beaches »


  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing
  • Wind surfing


  • Slipway

Nearest town



EX39 1LL

OS grid ref.

SS 4321 2946

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Blue Flag AwardMarine Conservation Society Recommended

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Westward Ho! Beach Reviews

Westward ho!

May 13th 2022

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

Great family beach.

Aug 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.

I Love It!

Jun 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!

Very much like Weston supermare

Apr 17th 2021

Went for a dog walk, nice and big but definite weston supermud vibes.

free parking at abbotsham court,follow the footpath, best mid to high tide

Apr 16th 2021

Amazing selection of reefs and waves in the area.

Abbotsham Cliffs

Mar 18th 2021

Amazing reefs,mid to high tide.easy parking at abbotsham court


Oct 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

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