Pocket Britain
Britain > Somerset > Western Super Mare

A traditional seaside resort in North Somerset

Listen to this article
If you looked up "seaside resort" in the dictionary, you might well find a picture of Weston-super-Mare. It's a classic example of the traditional British holiday, with all the ice cream you can eat, and a gigantic beach to sunbathe on.
The beach in question stretches out for over 2 kilometres. During low tide, the sea retreats a surprising distance, revealing a vast expanse of sand. The walk from the promenade to the water can feel more like a hike! If you want to go swimming, it's probably better to just wait for the water to come back in, as low tide can also reveal sections of mud. This huge tidal range is the second-largest in the world.
Weston makes good use of its beach, with all sorts of events and activities. During the Sand Sculpture Festival, the simple act of building a sand castle is elevated to an art form. Expert sculptors fly in from all over the world to make elaborate structures on a colossal scale. Previous designs have included Big Ben, Rapunzel's castle, and a ten-foot-tall King Kong!
There's always plenty of sand left over for you to try making your own sculptures. But if you're building something during October, you might want to watch out, as your carefully constructed fortress could come to a swift end! At this time of year, dozens of motorbikes zoom across the beach in a series of races. The sand is formed into a tricky racetrack, that winds its way along the shore.
During the rest of the summer, there are plenty of other ways to get your adrenaline pumping. You can whiz around the water on jet-skis, or power boats. Alternatively you can ride something a little more unusual, like a kite board, or a land yacht. If you're a bit younger, you can go for a more sedate trip on one of Weston-super-Mare's famous donkeys. There are also numerous boats offering trips and tours around the local coast.
The town's biggest landmark is the Grand Pier. This 400-metre-long structure is a pale shadow of its former self, after a fire in 2008 destroyed the pavilion. Thankfully though, a new building is under construction, and the revamped pier is due to open in the summer of 2010. For a good view of the work in progress, you can jump aboard the 40-metre-high Observation Wheel. This also gives you a good chance to scope out Weston's other locations and activities.
As you'll see, the beach also contains an aquarium, built on its own mini-pier. Inside, you'll find some creative uses of windows and tunnels, giving you a unique view of the aquatic creatures. They have a good variety, from tiny seahorses to menacing sharks.
Elsewhere, you'll find plenty more ways to occupy your time. Weston has two theatres, public gardens, and plenty of amusement arcades. The North Somerset Museum, just a minute or two's walk from the beach, offers a look at the area's history. The exhibitions include a recreated cottage from the year 1900, and a chemist's from the 19th century.
Just a little way out of town, there's another popular museum that's a little bit more unusual. Weston-super-Mare is the unlikely location of the world's largest helicopter museum! There are over 70 full-size craft on show, including Russian gunships, and vehicles used in Vietnam. The museum is situated on an old airfield, which means that they can offer real helicopter flights to their guests. The trip is 5 kilometres long, along the coastline, and over the town.
Visitor Information
The North Somerset Museum is open Monday to Saturday all year (except over Christmas and New Year) from 11am to 4pm. Entry costs around £5 for adults, children are free. Burlington Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1PR. Tel: 01934 621 028
The Helicopter Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday all year (everyday in high summer) from 10am to 5:30pm (4:30pm over winter). Entry costs around £5.50 for adults, £3.50 children. Locking Moor Road, Weston super Mare, Somerset, BS24 8PP. Tel: 01934 635227

Back ~ Top ~ Home ~ Index

Pocket Britain is optimised for use on a smartphone or tablet with internet access. All content is subject to copyright. All reasonable methods have been used to ensure information supplied is accurate at the time of publication. However, it is advisable to check information before relying on it. Privacy Policy