Westwood meets Westward Ho!

What a week this has been….my first holiday in 12 yrs and it has been truly remarkable and memorable. Despite all my different worries and anxiety leading up to the holiday, the majority of it was unfounded, and as the days went by my anxiety got less and less and for the first time in many years I actually felt ‘relaxed’. Despite the resort being busy, it was not over crowded. Just what the doctor ordered! Now however its back to the reality of normal life routine, and the business of looking for a new job.

I have spent a fabulous week in a chalet with two great friends, very close to the sea front in Westward Ho! North Devon. This has been my first ever visit to Devon…..but it won’t be my last, that much I am very sure of.

Westward Ho! is situated on the North Devon coast. It has been a very popular resort since the Victorian times where there was a boom in seaside holidays. Despite the village being a very prominent modern holiday attraction, it still holds a lot of it’s old charm and traditions, such as the Devonshire cream teas.

Where our chalet was situated meant that we could see the sea over the lower based chalets, and we were but a 2 minute walk down to the edge of the seafront and its huge area of rock pools and the outdoor swimming pool where the water from the sea supplies the swimming pool itself.

The beach itself has several main attractions, on the far side to our right it has a lovely golden sand beach, has some incredibly beautiful smoothed and patterned pebbles and boulders. Along this particular stretch of the bay, it is an absolute  haven for surfers brave enough to challenge the huge incoming powerful waves. Further towards the other end of the bay (near to where our chalet was at Golden Bay Holiday Village) were the rock pools and even more pebbles and boulders. There are several areas which have  steps leading down to the beach, where providing you are ok at doing a balancing act, you can walk and jump along from one boulder to another until you come to a main walkway which to either side of you are small numerous pools of crystal clear water. This is ideal, especially for young children who want to try to net tiny little fish or crabs and sea snails and various other little molluscs. A great way to keep the kids happy for a few hours.

The weather has been very kind to us most of the week, although it rained, this was mainly in the mornings and during the night-time. During the daytime despite being extremely windy most days we had plenty of beautiful warm sunshine, and even when it did rain the air was still very warm. On Thursday we chose to relax in Westward Ho! itself, the weather that morning to begin with was dull and wet, but as the day wore on, it became very sunny…….and in the afternoon walking along the main path through the village along the sea front, it became much hotter, I unknowingly caught as much of the sun on my neck and shoulders as I caught photos on my camera……ouch! On Friday the weather changed significantly, it rained most of the day, and the wind picked up considerably, the tide remained in all day which meant the waves came crashing up the walls in the bay.

I have to say that my highlight of the week was Thursday evening, sitting on a bench below the chalet village with camera in hand watching  the setting sun. This was a spectacular sight, the likes of which I can’t remember having seen before, the beautiful golden sun sitting low in the sky, and passing in and out of the clouds, it’s rays bouncing off the water. All this happened in a few minutes at around 9pm. Although I took numerous photos of these various stages of the sunset, there are far too many to share with you (however if you look at my face book page under my own name of Sue Westwood, rather than my blog name ‘Sootykins’ I have already posted several for public viewing and will be posting more of them….please feel free to have a  look) Here are just a couple of my personal favourites.

Because the tide varied from day-to-day, this meant the sea front and the conditions never looked the same any two days running. We found it a challenge to photograph the incoming waves, sea spray and surf, as well as the different  breeds of seagulls flying overhead. In addition to this we were on the look out for other sea wading birds. We came across a few Oyster catchers and even some cheeky Jackdaws.

Here is a  selection from the hundreds of photo’s I took, including a few very  ‘challenging ones’, which I hope you enjoy viewing.

Thanks for stopping by.

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3 thoughts on “Westwood meets Westward Ho!

  1. Well done on going on holiday. I know it must have been a huge challenge for you. The fact your anxiety decreased by the end of the week is fantastic news and you should be incredibly proud of yourself. It was great you had the support of your friends and hopefully it will encourage you to do it again. Job searching is hard at the best of times and most people feel anxious about going into a new job, how does job searching feel to you?


    • Thank you, yes it was a great experience. It has been so long since I have been able to relax and not stress out. My friends were brilliant, they both also suffer from depression and anxiety…..so it was just as tough for them. But we all had a lovely time and made the most of each day we were there.

      I am gradually finding snippets of confidence returning in some areas of my life, but still have a long way to go.


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