Hey guys! I’m back with another AG travel diaries post, this time all about North Devon. We stayed there for a week at the end of May/beginning of June in Westward Ho! and it was so amazing. I can’t even explain how sad I was to be leaving it all behind as we were driving home. Classic case of the post holiday blues. I’ve not been to Devon since I was a small child so experiencing it again now that I can really appreciate it was really exciting. Overall the holiday has reminded me why I like travelling so much and why I’m obsessed with the beach. So here is my post all about my holiday!
NOTE: we spent the first and last day of our holiday travelling. What should’ve been about a 6 hour trip from Hull to Devon actually took us 10 hours with two stops on the way down and 8 hours with two stops on the way up. It doesn’t matter how early you leave in the morning as we left at 9am and still hit tons of traffic past Birmingham and Bristol. I would advise you to leave plenty of time for your journey and expect it to take longer than it should.
Saturday 29th May
After a long 10 hour car ride, we finally arrived in Devon for about 7pm. I instantly fell in love with our holiday property. It had an overall beach theme and there were lots of furnishings related to this such as the mosaic seahorses in mine and my sister’s room. The architecture was very clever with the house having 3 levels to it. Mine and my sister’s bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom were on the lowest level. A couple of steps lead up to the living room-dining area and the second level. This also opened out into a balcony which overlooked the sea and beach below. A flight of stairs transported you to the top level with a sitting area and my parent’s room and bathroom. Honestly, I think it might be my favourite accommodation we’ve ever stayed in.
The highlight of the day was watching the sunset over the sea from our balcony. The sun never sets over the sea on our local East Yorkshire coastline so I can’t remember the last time I was lucky enough to experience it. Wow. From the light sparkling across the water to the brilliant mix of red, orange and pink painted across the sky, it was like an exquisite piece of art work.
Sunday 30th May
Our morning was spent exploring Westward Ho! It’s a typical seaside town complete with cute independent shops and restaurants, amusements and ice cream vans and of course easy access to the beach. I bought myself a fish patterned pillow and a beach house ornament for my sea themed room at home whilst browsing the shops. A defining feature of Westward Ho! is its aesthetic row of multi coloured houses which are definitely worth a visit because of how beautiful they are.
We returned to the centre of Westward Ho! in the afternoon but for an entirely different reason: the beach! The beach is spacious and sandy with an array of rock pools on the left side. An interesting feature is the man made pool that exists there which fills up with sea water as the tide travels in. It was quite busy so we decided we’d go in it later on in the week. I paddled in the sea, read my book and sunbathed which was an afternoon well spent for me.
Monday 31st May
We spent another sunny day on Westward Ho! beach and I decided that this was going to be the day I finally submerged myself fully into the sea. We don’t have wetsuits so I decked myself out in my swimming costume and hoped for the best. As it turned out, the sea was absolutely freezing. I could feel my limbs numbing under the icy influence of the sea and I managed to get up to my waist before giving up because it had just gotten too cold. I vowed that I would fully go into the sea on our Devon holiday and I watched out for the best opportunity to do so.
In the evening, we travelled to the Bearslake Inn in Okehampton for a meal with a friend of mine and his wife and dog, Richard Bloss, whom I met through my blog. Both the food and company were great. I ate a delicious hamburger with fries for my main course and finished up with a piece of hazelnut cake and ice cream for dessert. The Gastropub had a classy interior with wooden tables and a fireplace in the corner and a thatched roof on its countryside esque exterior. Overall, it was a lovely place to have a meal.
Tuesday 1st June
In the morning, our grandparents travelled across to see our accommodation. They were staying in a nearby seaside town with some other family members and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet up. After that, we all journeyed out to my great Uncle’s house for a spot of lunch. They have a gorgeous thatched roof property about 20 mins out from Westward Ho! and we enjoyed touring around its beautiful interior. For lunch we were offered a delicious dish of homemade lasagne and garlic bread with meringue cake for dessert. I have to say that the highlight of the visit was their gorgeous dog whom I pretty much fell in love with. I’m not usually a dog person but it was impossible not to bond with their excitable and friendly pet!
The afternoon took us back to Westward Ho! beach yet again. With the sun sparkling down on the water, I raced into it, determined to finally cover myself with sea water. Although it was completely freezing yet again, I actually managed it this time! I can’t even describe the jubilant feeling I have when I’m in the sea; I feel like I never ever want to leave it. Its lucky that I live so close to the coast at home! We finished off the day in the right way with a deliciously creamy ice cream courtesy of Hockings (Devon’s own famous ice cream).
Wednesday 2nd June
This was the only day of the week where it rained. We spent the morning in Westward Ho! centre and I picked up a stunning sea-blue ring from ‘Everything Westward’ for £15. I can’t wait to be able to wear it out more. In the afternoon, when the rain had cooled off, we travelled across to Woolacombe to visit some other family members who were staying there. It was very nostalgic because this is the region of Devon that we used to stay in when me and my sister were much younger. The beach is stunning there and a favourite with tourists. There are also some cute independent shops although a majority are surf shops because Woolacombe attracts a lot of surfers. We had a paddle in the sea which was still ice cold and finished off the day with a meal at our family’s property.
Thursday 3rd June
We travelled to Clovelly in the morning which is famous for being incredibly beautiful. If you are planning on visiting there, I warn you that the slope is extremely steep and will completely wear you out when going up and down! For this reason, people use sleds or donkeys to transport goods up and down. Although climbing down the slope was difficult, the stunning layout of the different coloured houses made it totally worthwhile. Not to mention the breathtaking views of the sea that the village offered! I will definitely be visiting Clovelly again when I’m in the area.
Our day ended with a walk on the beach, ice cream and fish and chips. We purchased them from the takeaway ‘Atlantic Bay’ and they were so yummy. In my case, I opted for halloumi and chips and a sweet chilli dipping sauce. What a perfect way to finish the day!
Friday 4th June
Our last full day in Devon! I could feel the holiday blues overtaking me but pushed them aside in pursuit of a good last day. Because of the tide times, we began our day at the beach. Sunbathing, reading and paddling in the sea shaped my morning and as the tide crept slowly in, we rushed off the beach about midday to avoid being cut off. After that, we visited a cute local cafe for lunch. ‘The Main Sail Tea Room’ is a hidden gem with a varied menu and an option for cream tea, a Devon speciality. I shared a tuna mayo sandwich and cream tea which consists of a scone with jam and cream with my mum and they were absolutely delicious! I would love to visit again on our next visit to Westward Ho!
After lunch we meandered through Appledore, an aesthetic village near to Westward Ho! It had some interesting independent shops and a gorgeous waterfront that made it ideal as a location for crabbing. There were some stunning pastel coloured buildings and I found it really fun to explore this cute village. It’s definitely worth visiting some of the small villages in North Devon like Appledore and Instow but I would recommend grouping them and visiting them together maybe across an afternoon because it didn’t take us very long to completely cover all of Appledore in our exploration of it.
We finished our day and holiday off with one final walk on the beach. It was starting to hit me hard that we would be leaving this beautiful place and stunning place tomorrow and sadness was washing over me like the waves across the sand. We bought some ice cream (I had biscoff flavour) and watched the amazing sunset over the sea. It was the perfect way to end our holiday.
Thank you for reading this post! Have you ever visited Devon? Let me know in the comments down below! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now.
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull