Westward Living is a family owned business offering luxurious self-catering holiday cottages in Westward Ho! North Devon. The proprietors Kathy and Chris Murdoch live with their 3 young boys & Raffles the cheeky black labrador within the grounds. Both Kathy and Chris are passionate about their local area of Westward Ho! and love nothing more than sharing their local knowledge and hospitality to guests.
Kathy has many years experience in the holiday industry, originally at her family's Kingsley Park holiday camp in Westward Ho! before working as cabin crew with Virgin Atlantic where she met Chris who was an air craft engineer (and why he is so great at maintenance!) . Historically Duckhaven Stud was a racehorse training yard run by Kathy's now retired father Alan Smith.
The cottages are located within the grounds of an ex working thoroughbred racing yard which was called Duckhaven Stud. With the exception of Paddocks, Furlong and the Gallops, all our cottages are named after winning horses were trained and bred by Alan who lives in the main farm house.
We have many glorious horses residing at Duckhaven, when Alan retired so did all the horses, they do still live on site and enjoy the best views over the North Devon Coastline with plenty of love and attention from the family and our guests!
The main stable block, tack room and grooms accommodation has been tastefully renovated to provide superior self-catering cottages, fully equipped for your holiday needs. We have a play barn onsite, which has a small indoor heated plunge pool with training jets for our guests to enjoy. This is open between April and September. You will also find table tennis and badminton facilities, pool table, table football and a huge chalkboard in the barn and a children’s play and farm zone. Many guests tell us that they really enjoying collecting the fresh eggs for breakfast in the morning. We also offer our guests private horse tours with Alan.
We welcome horses as well has humans here at Westward Living. Farriers cottage has a private paddock including field shelter, adjacent to the garden where you are welcome to bring your own horse at a small fee of £100 per week which includes hay and straw bedding. Please call us on 01237 238 967 to discuss our livery option.
You are free to wander anywhere within the grounds, but be wary not to startle the horses. If you are patient they will come over to you.
Mornings and early evenings you are likely to see a variety of wildlife including deer, foxes, badgers rabbits and hares. As our farm is a headland jutting out into the Atlantic a variety of migrating birds can often be seen.
We have our own private direct access to the South West Coastal Footpath. Turn right to Westward Ho! - about 1 mile - or left to Clovelly, about 10 miles. Raffles our much loved and cheeky family dog loves accompanying guests on coastal walks. He is available all days and comes with a lead and other accessories - just let us know when you would like to set off and we will make sure Raffles is ready.
For those who prefer “surf” to “turf”, we offer the Seahorse Apartments, three luxury seaside apartments in the nearby village of Westward Ho!
The team at Westward Living enjoy volunteering our time to support local projects to improve the local supply chain. We work with various local bodies to promote the region and have donated accommodation as prizes and sponsored charitable events including the the Children's Holiday Foundation, Bideford Sea Cadets and many more.
In 2013 we launched our award winning coastal wedding venue Ocean Kave and the Sunset Rooms (appropriately named as it over looks the Sunset) within the grounds which is the ideal setting for a romantic wedding or group celebration, this venture won the Wedding Industry Awards - Best Countryside Wedding Venue in the South West 2015 and 2017.
2013 Also saw Westward Living, winning the Devon Tourism Awards Gold Award for Best Self Catering for the second year running, Matt Druce won the outstanding customer service Gold Award and we were so delighted that Westward Living and the Seahorse Apartments scooped the Winner of Winners for putting the Ho! back into Westward Ho! You will often find Matt tending to the grounds and looking after the four legged and feathered guests at Duckhaven.
In 2017 we won the Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards for Self catering holiday provider and International Traveller Experience as well as the Trip Adviser Award of Excellence for the 5th year running.
We are always open to ideas so please let us know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve our offering or sustainability we'd love to hear from you!
We look forward to welcoming you to North Devon's precious gem - Westward Ho!