Walk - Instow to Westward Ho! (via Bideford)

8.0 miles (12.9 km)

Instow Westward Ho!

Easy - Easy walking

The easy walking along this section of the Coast Path allows for plenty of opportunity to enjoy the wide range of plants and birds inhabiting the grassland and dunes of the Taw/Torridge Estuary. Follow the old railway trackbeds along the Tarka Trail to the preserved station at East-the-Water, where you cross the Torridge and follow it up the other side to Appledore and Northam Burrows SSSI. From here it's a gentle stroll across Northam Burrows into Westward Ho!

There are a range of wonderful places to lay your head near the Coast Path for a well-earned sleep. From large and luxurious hotels, to small and personable B&B's, as well as self-catering options and campsites. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

Tors Top Bed and Breakfast

Beautiful views offering versatile accommodation and locally sourced breakfast, situated just off the Coast Path. Single night stays welcome.


This spacious and stylish detached property is situated in one of North Devon’s most prestigious locations and enjoys some breathtaking views across Bideford Bay. Sleeps 10

Honeysuckle Cottage B&B

A small B&B located in the quiet village of Westleigh (near Instow), 500 yds from the Coast Path & 20 yards from the local pub-the Westleigh Inn-serving food 7 days a week.

Corner House B&B

500 yards from the quayside, family run and homely welcome. Single night stays available.

Culloden House

Quiet Victorian residence 5 minutes from the Path and local restaurants, 5 Doubles,2 Singles and a Twin room all en-suite. Single Occupancy available.


*5 min walk from Tarka Trail (Bideford)*. Clean and light room with double bed. Toast/cereal/croissant breakfast provided.


A hand-picked collection of hundreds of holiday cottages across the South West

Old Keepers Cottage Bed and Breakfast

Charming rural B&B on the outskirts of Bideford in stunning location overlooking the River Torridge with accommodation for up to 6

Westacott Farm Camping

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the North Devon countryside at our working family farm. Situated within an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the North Devon coast.

Marsdens Devon Cottages

One of Devon’s leading agencies with over 450 cottages in popular locations including Croyde, Woolacombe, Braunton and Lynmouth. Book online today!

North Cottage

Close to the Coast Path, village centre with restaurants & pubs, beach and golf course. Double, single & twin rooms, available Wifi.

Bennings B&B

Friendly, family run B&B. Double and twin rooms, both en suite. No charge for Wi-Fi. Great location and generous breakfast for your next day's walk!

Brian and Colin’s B & B

Brian and Colin’s B & B convenient for the SWCP, quiet and peaceful location. King size ensuite. Public transport at the front door!
You'll be spoilt for choice for where to eat and drink along the Path. With lots of local seasonal food on offer, fresh from the farm, field and waters. Try our local ales, ciders, wines and spirits, increasing in variety by the year, as you sit in a cosy pub, fine dining restaurant or chilled café on the beach. The businesses that support the Path, where you've chosen to visit, are listed here.

The Quay Cafe

Located right on the famous SW Coast Path our dog-friendly, fully licensed café offers organic coffee, great food, delicious cream teas.....

Interactive Elevation


  • The preserved station and signal box at East-the-Water, which includes The Railway Carriage Visitor Centre and a restaurant in a restored carriage.
  • Crossing Bideford’s historic Grade 1 listed Long Bridge over the River Torridge. It has 24 spans and all are different.
  • Walking the riverside path known as Landivisau Walk (after Bideford's twin town) through Bideford’s quayside, past the many inns and the statue to Charles Kingsley.
  • The historic port and ship-building town of Appledore which sits at the point where the Rivers Taw and Torridge meet. The huge, modern indoor shipyard builds large ocean going steel hulled vessels.
  • The Northam Burrows, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is about 253 hectares of grassy coastal plain with salt marsh and sand dunes at the mouth of the Taw/Torridge Estuary. Further information available from The Burrows Centre. Tel: 01237 479708.
  • Literary links of Westward Ho!: the town of Westward Ho! takes its name from Charles Kingsley’s novel and is the only place name in England which contains an exclamation mark.
  • Watching the surfers at Westward Ho!.

Longer option

Walk to Buck’s Mills (an additional 6.8 miles, 10.9 km).

Public transport

National Express coach number 502 runs from Taunton to Barnstaple and First Great Western trains run regularly from Exeter to Barnstaple, where you can catch the hourly First North Devon bus number 1 to Instow, and on to Bideford, Northam and Westward Ho! For details visit Traveline or phone 0870 6082608.


Instow Sands (Postcode for Sat Navs: EX39 4HX), Bideford, Appledore, Northam Burrows Country Park and Westward Ho!


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