Ok, it’s not exactly the Riviera, and technically it’s on the Severn Estuary rather than anything that could truly be called ‘the wide open sea’, but I like Weston-super-Mare even so. I might not want to stay for a week, but as a stopover en route to Devon or Cornwall, it has plenty to offer.
The estuary means that the beach stretches out for what seems like miles, so it’s good for walking. It also means there’s plenty of room for everyone – kids playing games, folks walking dogs, people just ambling or sunbathing and kite surfers tucked at one end of the beach out of the way. There are signs warning of dangerous mud, and the local news often features tales of people being rescued after misjuding the tides or wandering off track, so it pays to have your wits about you.
In summer, you can park on the beach, which is ideal for vans as there are no white lines to try to squeeze into.
Weston’s pier burned down a couple of years ago, and a new one has been built in record time. It’s a little understated, and unlikely to amaze with the dazzling array of fun and entertainment, but it’s pleasant enough. I’m more tempted by a boat trip out to Steep Holm, one of the islands out in the Bristol Channel.
There are any number of campsites around Weston, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a pitch, even in peak season.