Holidays and long weekends away from home are a great way to unwind, spend time with loved ones and recharge your batteries.
They also offer fabulous opportunities to learn new things, do activities you might not have done for years, have some fun and make some memories.
Health & well-being
Taking time out for yourself is vital in this busy age when we’re constantly being bombarded with requests for information and have numerous demands made on our time.
The average UK adult apparently checks their phone 150 times a day. Experts say that most of us are overexposed to digital devices and a detox would be advisable. Over in Silicon Valley in the States, Google has instigated a ‘Digital Sabbath’ where employees are encouraged to switch off their phones at weekends.
Here we offer a haven of tranquillity for those wishing to practice mindfulness by gazing out over the beach and the sea.
Ahh the great outdoors, breathe the fresh sea or country air, take in the scenery, feel the breeze on your face and in your hair, and hear country bird song or gulls calling around you.
It’s wonderful getting away from the stresses and strains of everyday life to take a well-earned break. Research has also shown that having some time in the countryside whether walking, admiring the view or enjoying the wonder of it all can be a brilliant way to relax.
The National Trust found a couple of years back that 23% of Brits walk less than five miles in a month, even though 64% wish they could get out more. So, pull on your walking boots and wellies, it’s time to get some fresh air for some outdoorsy R&R.
From us you can easily join the South West Coast Path and walk along our heritage coastline. For more details, please visit https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/143/.
Our coastline is in the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covering 171 km2 of coastal landscape from Marsland Mouth on the Cornish border to Combe Martin on the edge of Exmoor and includes the Hartland Heritage Coast, the North Devon Heritage Coast and Braunton Burrows.
For those who are more adventurous, Westward Ho! is a focal point for surfers but is frequented more by beginner surfers than advanced ones. There are designated surfing areas and the RNLI Lifeguard service is available from May to September.
The North Devon Surf School is based on the beach and so if you need to hire anything or have lessons, then they are friendly and happy to help.
The Royal North Devon Golf Club at Westward Ho! is the oldest course in England and was designed by Tom Morris in 1864. In 1867, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, who was Patron of the Club in 1866, gave it the Royal title. It then became known as the Royal North Devon and West of England Golf Club, but in 1910 this was changed to The Royal North Devon Golf Club. The course is played on Common land at Northam Burrows and the covers 170 acres. For more information, please visit the club’s website: https://www.royalnorthdevongolfclub.co.uk/visitor_welcome.
Fishing is the new rock’n’roll! Along the North Devon coast, you can fish for two of our favourites, mackerel and sea bass and there’s nothing nicer than catching your own supper!
Here in Westward Ho! we’re famous for Wild Sea Bass as they like to hang out in the shallow waters and waves around the beach, so you don’t have to cast too far. The best time to see and/or fish for them is in the early morning or evening.
But a word of caution, Sea Bass of 16 inches or less must be returned to the sea unharmed as it’s illegal to take under sized fish. To find out more, please visit www.summerlands-tackle.co.uk.