A Local's Guide to: Westward Ho!
Article By Roger Tisdale a former Westward Ho! councillor
What do you think about when you see the name Westward Ho! Is it the two-mile-long Blue Flag-standard, clean water quality, sandy beach – perfect for surfing and children alike?
Alternatively, it may be the stunning scenery of this special part of North Devon, running from Northam Burrows through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by way of the coastal path towards Kipling Tors, and beyond.
Certainly, if you have not visited our thriving village in recent years you may be surprised with the variety of restaurants and shops that grace Westward Ho!.
How many villages can boast of having such a choice of Chinese, Italian, Moroccan or Thai restaurants, or established favourites like the Blue and Green, Country Cousins, Golden Fry Fish and Chips and the Pierhouse?
There are numerous quality pubs like the Pig on the Hill, the Village Inn and the Waterfront to name but a few. What about the diverse range of shops and cafés catering to residents and visitors alike?
Westward Ho! has a chemist, a butchers, a delicatessen, a fishing tackle shop, a hardware store, a post office – not forgetting the two bakeries, two hairdressers and three convenience stores.
A magnet for locals and visitors alike is the Beach café, the Rock Pool café or Tea on the Green.
Try any or all of them – you won't be disappointed. I almost forgot that a great range of holiday gifts and souvenirs are available from three established shops and our Post Office.
Visitors will first notice the community spirit and pride that we have in Westward Ho! when they enter the main car park in the village.
They will see that local businesses have collaborated to properly maintain the flower borders around the car parking bays, while across on the village green the perseverance and dedicated work by the Westward Ho! gardeners means that the beds of flowers and shrubs always look tidy and well presented.
Looking down, rather than the beautiful views of the waves crashing onto the beach or of Lundy on the horizon, newcomers will see plaques detailing local history provided by the Westward Ho! History Society.
The work from another local group to bring regeneration to the village has had a major input into securing the funds for the Golden Promenade from the Slipway to the Nassau to be completed, as well as the restoration work on the Rock Pool.
There is the Royal North Devon Golf Club, the Residents' Association, the wide range of activities at the Kingsley Hall, the local walking group – there is so much more I could tell you.
You may now understand why so many apartments have sprung up in the last few years. Westward Ho! is simply a wonderful place in which to live!
Roger Tisdale is a former Westward Ho! councillor