Newest Review: ... very own big wheel which shows fantasic view. You can't swim or paddle in the water here one it is sinking mud and two the water is filth... more
Amonet's very first op!
Weston-super-Mare in General
Member Name: amonet
Weston-super-Mare in General
Date: 22/06/00, updated on 04/08/01 (119 review reads)
Advantages: scenery, unknown unspoilt areas
Disadvantages: the grockles
Weston-super-Mare, affectionately known as Weston-super-Mud by locals and not-so-locals ... I'm half from Weston (the other half from London, don't ask which comes from where) is vastly underrated! I spent my younger years severely disliking the place, mainly because I didn't know it well enough. We all know the seaside part of it - loud, garish, a bit dirty in the summer, crowded, clean beach but dirty sea water - but do you know the real Weston?? As a resort, it's not that old. It WAS an old fishing village before it was discovered by the Victorians - hence the large amount of beautiful Victorian buildings and architecture. It was a fashionable place to visit and many families remained and made their homes there. Unfortunately the main thoroughfare for holiday makers (or "grockles" as they are locally called ... if you ever hear someone say "grockle bashing" RUN AWAY!) totally by-passes all these old buildings and the older unspoilt part of town. When you drive into Weston, drive all the way into town as far as the pier and then turn RIGHT. You will enter the Real Weston. You will leave the crowds and holiday shops behind. Drive around the hill and you will reach Sand Bay, a completely unspoilt and uncommercial beach. It's been totally untouched by the tourist industry and looks the same as it did 200 years ago. There are a few houses there and a well hidden holiday camp - you wouldn't even know it was there if noone told you. There is a faux castle on the hill, with a well-thought of restaurant. Tiny quaint roads, trees all over the place, hills and outcroppings into the sea from which you can see almost no sign of civilisation. The beach's position allows it not to suffer so badly from the extremes to which the tide goes in the main part of town - ie three quarters of a mile out. It's shallow water and not quite as muddy as the water in Weston.
Back in town, after you've turned right, turn right ag
ain and you will turn into a road that runs parallel to the main street. Along here you will find the Heritage Centre and the Museum, plus roads that will take you up the hill and into the really old part of town - older buildings, older roads etc. You will also find Weston Woods. This is another legacy of the Victorians - the hill was bare until they came and planted the trees for hunting. The wood is so long that I've never actually reached the seaside end of it. There is almost nothing there but trees, trees and more trees. It's gorgeous and again unspoilt. You can't hear any traffic or people in the woods. If you are feeling fit, keeping walking to the far end of the woods and you will reach an old Roman Fort - can't tell you what it looks like as I've never got that far!
All this is just the town itself - taking in other surrounding villages is a great treat. Uphill boasts an ancient church and sheep that have been grazing there for 3000 years, real cottages. Brean and Berrow do have a few touristy places, but take a drive out on the Down and you will be practically out in the Atlantic, following the route that my old grandfather used to drive his bus during blackout, with tiny slits in the headlamps to light his way ... and a sheer drop on one side of the road. You can follow his path and drive to the old fort/lookout station from WWII. You could walk if you are the type - prepare to be gone all day!
Lastly, get in your car and go for a drive around the countryside near Weston. It's so beautiful and peaceful, it won't take you more than 5 minutes to get away from civilisation.
Hints for visiting Weston:
Tell the blokes with the donkeys that you are local and you might get a discount.
Don't ask any locals where the TSB is because you will get one of 2 answers - 1) it's off the end of the pier or 2) the nearest one is 100 miles up the M5.
Avoid the sea ... trust me on that one.