Westward Ho!'s unusual name comes from the title of a book by Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho! - the exclamation mark is an intentional part of the town's name, and the only such place name in the United Kingdom.
This quaint oil day village is benefiting now from inward investment with a large part of the village being regenerated with restaurants, hotels and luxury apartments being built. The number of tourists to the area is increasing the lure being the fabulous beach and extra curricular surfing activity.
The town can be found to the north of the A39 road, providing easy access from the towns of Barnstaple, Bideford and Bude. It lies at the south end of Northam Burrows, and faces westward into Bideford Bay, opposite Saunton Sands and Braunton Burrows.
Westward Ho! is small and best explored by foot. There are two Pay and Display car parks - one by the slipway to the beach, another between the church and The Waterfront Inn, although during high season it can be very difficult to find a parking space in both car parks.
Westward Ho! is well known for its surfing seas and the long expanse of clean sand backed by a pebble ridge. Other attractions of the town include the arcades, go kart track and the grasslands behind the pebble ridge.
Hocking's Ice Cream Van - A local favourite. There are usually two vans facing the sea front.
Moran's Restaurant - opened in 2013, with an extensive menu. Open all day but serves mainly Thai food in the evening.
The Waterfront - A busy, modern pub with an external play area for children. Occasionally hosts tribute singers. The Westward Arms - opened in 2012, with an extensive range of drinks. The Pierhouse has two balconies with spectacular views of the sea (and on a good day, of Lundy island). It is owned by the same family as The Waterfront.
The Waterfront Inn
There are also a variety of holiday cottages located close to the the beach and with amazing sea views.