After Andy and my expedition on the Tarka Trail and around Bideford, we had a brief break for lunch before setting off on another adventure. This one was with Pat and Loki to the seaside village of Westward Ho! Yes, the name has an exclamation mark in it. It comes from Charles Kingsley’s 19th century novel of the same name, the popularity of which lead entrepreneurs to capitalize on its success and start a seaside tourist attraction.
It was a very warm day by English standards, but we couldn’t complain about the sunshine. Loki certainly didn’t mind, either.
We walked along country lanes with nothing but hedges alongside and blue skies overhead.
We passed a little hamlet of sorts and a continued on through a tunnel of foliage.
Next, the path took us downhill through the woods, and it was nice to get a brief respite from the sun. When we emerged back into the open, stunning views of Westward Ho! spread out before us.
We came upon a house for sale that is supposedly haunted. It did fit the bill in terms of appearance, but it was hard to feel unnerved in a setting like this.
My favorite bit about Westward Ho!, besides the absurd name, was the cute little colorful beach huts.
At this next little striped hut, you can apparently learn to jive! I only noticed the sign at the bottom when editing this shot. Too bad I missed my chance to jive.
As we walked along the top of the cliffs, the views of the beach stretching out into the distance were fabulous. That was where we were headed to eventually meet Adrian for a pick-up.
We passed through the main village of Westward Ho!, which really didn’t call for much photography. It was overrun with tourists and sort of overdone like these places tend to be. Although it was fun to pass through, I much prefer Bideford.
These colorful row houses, though, were pretty cool, especially with the vivid garden in front.
Before long, we made it to the beach.
The upper part of the beach is strewn with pebbles as far as the eye can see, but the seashore itself is sandy. There were countless surfers and groups of kids learning to surf.
Loki was very excited to get into the water. I’d been told about his “snorkeling” beforehand by Adrian and Pat, but nothing could prepare me for the hilarity of seeing it in person.
What a goof! So funny to see him cooling off like that.
Look how happy he is in this next shot. I guess Andy and I look pretty happy, too.
After Loki was sufficiently cooled off, we headed up the road toward our prearranged meeting spot where we rendezvoused with Adrian.
We piled into the car and headed to the nearby town of Appledore for a visit to its lovely pub. One of the coolest things about Devon is that most of the pubs allow dogs inside. I don’t know if Higgs would ever relax inside a pub, but Loki was very good, especially after a long walk.
After a couple pints, Andy and I popped out to explore town a bit.
We dropped Loki back at the pub before going too far, since he needed a good lie down after our trek. He’s getting up there in age, after all.
The River Torridge empties into the ocean here, and the views across to the village of Instow were wonderful. I was glad I had my telephoto lens along with me.
I was soon drawn to Appledore’s photogenic back streets and alleyways. There aren’t many things I love more than exploring a good alleyway and finding out where it may lead.
England also kindly catered to my love of cute doors.
Then I came across this bozo.
Funnily enough, there was another bozo around too. I was trying to get a shot of a particular alleyway sans humans, and there were some people at the other end outside a bar. I shifted to the right to block them out with the buildings, but one guy seemed to keep showing up. Soon enough, I realized he had seen me and was purposely moving the opposite way at the same time I was so he would remain in the shot. Pretty funny.
In case you can’t quite see him, here’s a closeup.
He’s quite clearly looking right at me. Definitely good for a laugh!
And now, a few more colorful shots before I leave you.
Coming soon, Lynton and Lynmouth. Misty shores, towering cliffs and a Victorian railway to boot!