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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! marks the end of the trail for those on the Exmoor and North Devon Coast Path.  The town does have a trail end feel to it, sitting at the end of the "easier" estuary walking sections around the Taw and Torridge rivers, and resting in the shadow of the rising cliffs and escarpment rollercoaster of the jagged North Cornwall Coastline, which starts to rise up quickly from the last bit of flat ground here at Westward Ho!

The town’s claims to fame centres on the written word, the resort being named after the book of the same name by Charles Kingsley (though it is said he preferred nearby Clovelly!). The area was also home at one time to Rudyard Kipling whose stories in Stalky and Co are set in the area. It is also claimed to be the town in Britain with an exclamation mark in its name - and who are we to argue with that!

Whilst fine for an overnight stop, we wouldn’t recommend it as an extra day at the end of the walk. Westward Ho! is another example of a "resort" that sprang up with the Victorians desire to take the classic seaside holiday and it remains a quiet family resort.

The expansive 2 mile beach is the central attraction and marks the end of the coast path framed as you reach Westward Ho! by a impressive pebble ridge bank that first brought the attention to the town in the Victorian era.

There are some good guest houses and B&B's catering for walkers, and with easy bus options to take you back to Barnstaple and the mainline railway, Westward Ho! is a friendly and amiable place that serves its location well as a familiar reintroduction to the modern world for the exiting coast path walker.

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