Situated by the side of the Bristol Channel, some 30Kms from Bristol, and a two hour drive from Birmingham, is the seaside resort town of Weston-Super-Mare. With bus day trips running from nearby cities, it is also one of the most popular seaside resorts of the country. Boasting a long promenade and a sandy beach, the town is popular with people of all ages.
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 of the place. Still, there are enough activities that can be done if it rains (and considering British weather, it probably will).
The Grand Pier recently built anew after the old one burnt down is the focal point of the entire promenade. A large gaming center of sorts with indoor gaming machines and rides for primarily children, it is the perfect escape from the rain. With a number of eating places and the attraction of 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. 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. However, their No Outside Food policy is strictly enforced and 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 the 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 beachside selling the normal touristy beach accessories. As the low tide hits the water, the beach simply expands into an enormous playground. Remember to take your wellies so you can walk for miles hunting for crabs and shells.
Weston-Super-Mare is also proud of the number of activities it organizes from time to time. From holding T4 at the Beach to a Beach Volleyball event that was taking place during the time of our visit, it is recommended that you search the internet before planning your visit so you can try and catch one of the numerous events or carnivals that happen in the town throughout the year.
The beachside is usually alive with people walking, eating, resting, and generally 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 promenade 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.
The SeaQuarium is a small Sea Life Center and has a similar feel to it. Once again a great way to dodge the rain, the staff was extremely friendly and informative paying special attention to my 4-year-old daughter. Since most places at the Weston-Super-Mare promenade close by 5pm with last entry around 4pm, 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. Once again on chargeable basis, you can 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.
The real charm of Weston Super Mare is that it is a family friendly place with lots of people visiting from different parts of the country and enjoying the sun and the sand along with some unwanted rain. It is however an expensive trip because although the rides are around a pound or so each, by the end of the day if you are traveling with the 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, obviously depending on the weather. Another aspect of life by the sea is just sitting and enjoying some people watching. With individuals from all walks of life, I have found this to be one of my favorite pass-times.
There is a lot more to Weston-Super-Mare than what I have described above. The Helicopter Museum, the Weston-Super-Mare Museum, and the architecture of the city, were all aspects that we could not experience for one reason or another.
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 as it brings about a whole new side to this small and charming seaside town.