Situated by the side of the Bristol Channel, some 30 Kms from Bristol, and a two hour drive from Birmingham, is the seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare.
Popular with all ages due to a long sandy beach, a promenade that comes with multiple attractions, and owing to easy connectivity from nearby cities – day trips galore – the town has become one of the most popular seaside resorts of the country.
Weather permitting, Weston-Super-Mare can be a lovely place to spend the day with family and friends. Our day trip from Birmingham unfortunately happened on a cloudy and partially rainy day limiting our experience to mostly indoor activities. Still, there are enough attractions that can entertain the young especially when the British weather plays spoil-sport.
The Grand Pier, built anew after the old one burnt down, is the focal point of the entire promenade. A large gaming center of sorts with indoor machines and rides for primarily children, it is the perfect escape from the rain. With a number of eating places and more than enough bright lights, tickets to be won, a 4D Cinema, Dodge Ems, and the like, Grand Pier is the perfect playground for any child, and that includes the young at heart.However, it is also slightly hard on the pocket, once the kids get going, with games ranging from 50 cents up to a couple of pounds each.
The Grand Pier boardwalk is a lovely place to get panoramic views of the town and the seaside or just sit back and take in the rays (if there are any). A word of caution, they have a No Outside Food policy which they strictly enforce and that can be a bit annoying when traveling with small children.
The beach at Weston-super-Mare is sandy and relatively clean. There are areas where small rides for children are set up. A couple of pounds can get you a 5 minute donkey ride or a small trip on a horse driven carriage.
There are shops along the entire beach-side selling normal touristy beachy accessories. The real fun though is when the low tide hits the water and the beach expands into an enormous playground filled with natural aquatic finds. Remember to take your wellies so you can walk for miles hunting crabs and shells.
Weston-super-Mare proudly organizes a number of events from time to time such as often holding T4 at the Beach (a music festival) or a Beach Volleyball event that we were lucky to witness during our visit. It is recommended that you search the internet before planning your visit in order to catch one of the numerous events or carnivals that happen in the town throughout the year.
The boardwalk is usually alive with people walking, eating, resting, and lounging around taking in the gentle cool breeze flowing in from the sea. If walking is not your thing, there is also a toy train running from one side of the boardwalk to another for a leisurely ride. It is also the best place to be out in the open if you don’t want to get your shoes dirty in the sand.
On one end of the promenade is the The SeaQuarium which has a similar feel to is as a petite Sea Life Center. Once again, it serves as a great way to dodge the rain. The staff at the center is extremely friendly and informative, paying special attention to kids, and helping the visitors make the most of their visit.
Since most places at the Weston-super-Mare promenade close by 5 PM with last entry around 4 PM, it is advisable that you visit the SeaQuarium at the beginning of your day trip.
The Weston Sand Sculpture Festival is another attraction somewhat worth a visit. Entry into the “theme attraction” is on chargeable basis and you get to walk around a path showcasing some huge and impressive sand sculptures. There is also a small play area towards the end where kids can get their hands dirty trying to make some sand art of their own.
The real charm of Weston-super-Mare is that it is family friendly with lots of people visiting from different parts of the country and enjoying the sun and the sand along with some unwanted rain.
It can however turn out to be an expensive trip if you don’t keep a watch on your pocket because although the rides are around a pound or so each, by the end of the day if you are traveling with family, you can expect to spend anywhere from £80 to £100 including snacks and drinks.
It isn’t a bad idea to take your own homemade food and have a nice little picnic by the beach, which can certainly keep things within budget.
There is a lot more to Weston-super-Mare obviously. A sunny day is likely to attract bigger crowds and thus can prove to be more entertaining. There is also always the joy of simply sitting and enjoying some people watching; with individuals from all walks of life strolling with smiles on their faces. Then there is the Helicopter Museum, the Weston-super-Mare Museum, and the architecture of the city, that further add character to this beautiful town.
Weston-super-Mare makes for a great day trip. As with most places, it is highly recommended that you choose a day that is relatively sunny for it brings about a whole new side to this small and charming seaside town.