Westward Ho!

Until 1863 Westward Ho! was just pastureland with a few farmhouses and ploughed fields. However the beach holds the earliest evidence of life in this area. An ancient forest and stone age remains are exposed at low tide.

The name WESTWARD HO! is taken from CHARLES KINGSLEY’S book “Westward Ho!”. There was money to be made in building a resort overlooking the PEBBLERIDGE, as described in the book. A development company was set up to exploit it, and so Westward Ho! was born. The WESTWARD HO! HOTEL foundation stone was laid in 1864.


westward ho! 1870

Westward Ho! in 1870

In 1874 the UNITED SERVICES COLLEGE was established for the sons of officers, one of the pupils was RUDYARD KIPLING, he wrote the book “Stalky & Co” about his schooldays here.

By the early 1900’s the resort had been bought by a local investor and was sold off in small lots in 1907. The growth of mass transportation saw the resort develop for a different clientele. During WW2 much of the village was taken over for the war effort and whole schools were evacuated here.

The resort reached it’s peak years in the mid 1970’s just before the advent of the foreign package holidays.