Route Highlight

Westward Ho!

The first beach since Bude is a two-mile sandy stretch. It leads from the family-friendly candyfloss and go-karts at Westward Ho! town to the wild and windy headland at Greysands facing Saunton Sands on the far side of the estuary. The sands are backed by acres of grassy Northam Burrows common land.

Westward Ho! has the unusual claim to fame of being the UK’s only place-name with an exclamation mark. That’s because it is named after Charles Kingsley’s smash-hit Victorian romantic novel that first drew visitors to the area.

During your trip

Other Route Highlights

The Taw and Torridge

At the mouth of the Torridge, Appledore’s charming maze of pastel-painted fishermen’s cottages offers views (and water taxis) across the Torridge to grander captain’s houses at Instow on the east shore.

The Surf Shore

The enormous beaches at Saunton, Woolacombe and Putsborough offer miles of sand stretching into a hazy distance between grassy headlands. They’re huge flat spaces for any number of watersporters, swimmers, families and sunbathers. The surf can be exciting but it can be a long walk to reach it at low tide.

Ilfracombe

North Devon’s biggest resort is a mix of peeling Victoriana, kiss-me-quick seaside tartiness and contemporary chic, set amid steep cliffs, rocky inlets and sandy coves. Highlights include Damien Hirst’s controversial harbourside statue, the hidden Tunnel Beach and St Nicholas’s Chapel on Lantern Hill – Britain’s oldest lighthouse.

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