This week we felt like heading in a different direction. It’s been a while since we’ve been here. So I booked us a site near to Weston-super-Mare. Not in walking distance because all the sites that were closer wanted silly money. As a result, we settled for a site within easy driving distance.
Our site was in the village on Lympsham. Lympsham was known as ‘Lymplesham’ in the thirteenth century. Meaning, “a good place to live”.
A month or so ago, I decided that I really wanted to go to Clevedon. To look at its old pier and wander the seafront, but the only site in the area doesn’t allow dogs. This somewhat put paid to the idea at the time. We were staying on sites near to where we wanted to visit. Parking Daisy can be a hassle, in what is usually inadequate spaces for a large motorhome. Now that the tourist season is over, we can go to places we couldn’t find a site for.
With an eye to taking photos, Nik and I looked at the weather report and found that although Thursday was going to be sunny in places. Friday was going to be sunny most of the day. As we’d been to Weston-super-Mare several times before, we thought we would visit there on Thursday. Miss out the town and walk to all the far-reaching places that we hadn’t yet seen. Then go to Clevedon on Friday with the better weather.
Weston-Super-Mare is a seaside resort in Somerset. Located on the Bristol Channel. The Bristol Channel has a large tidal range. The low tide mark in Weston Bay is about a mile from the seafront. So although the beach itself is sandy the low tide uncovers large areas of thick mud. Which are dangerous to walk in. The Grand Pier has Fun rides and attractions, a licensed bar, corporate facilities, a gift shop, toilets, a cash machine and disabled access. There is also an aquarium on the beach and the town centre is within walking distance from the beach.
There had been a motorbike competition on the beach the weekend before. Meaning, all of the green and a large part of the beach was fenced off for the event. We have always parked along the seafront, as this is the best place for motorhomes, not this time, unfortunately.
So we followed along the coast road looking for parking. We saw a sign for long stay parking taking us up the hill at the far side of the town. When we got there we found an empty car park with a sign saying no motorhomes. It would have been perfect for us to park in but hey ho. We eventually went into a car park nearly opposite the pier. There were only two spaces that motor homes are allowed to park in. They were already taken of course. However, we managed to get Daisy into a spot at the far end. With her back end over the grass so she fit the rest of her body snugly into a normal spot. I’d say next time we will check, but we won’t because we know where to park on a normal week.
Parking achieved we headed straight for the beach as to let the dogs run off a bit of energy. Everywhere we have visited over the past few weeks, has been considerably busier than we would for the time of year. Not so at Weston. The sun was out and it was hot. Yet there were very few people making use of the beach. In fact, it was mostly dog walkers about.
As our intention was to walk to the far reaches of each side of the coast, we thought it would be nice to walk along the beach until everything was starting to look the same. At which point we would join the coast path to walk back. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake.
Initially, all was good. Nik was having fun. Taking photos of the diggers clearing away the remnants of the previous weekend’s event. And the dogs were enjoying meeting other dogs. After a while, though, it started to get hot. Dog walkers were few and far between and the scenery wasn’t changing much. We were sure that soon we’d be able to get through the railings and off the beach. So just kept right on walking. Of course, we then reached the stage where we realised we should have just turned around long before but could see we were nearly at the end so kept going.
We did eventually find the end of the beach. However, the railings were blocking our way to the path. So we had to find an alternate route back to the sea front. This meant we were walking through a housing estate back to the main road. This was obviously a pretty boring expedition for all of us. Our day just wasn’t turning out the way we had planned. Once back to the main tourist stretch of Weston, we found a nice little spot on the sand to have lunch and water the dogs.
Nik and I split up when we finished lunch. He was desperate to get some photos out of the day. Unfortunately, the pavement was hot. Hence, I took the dogs along the beach where it was a lot cooler. We then waited in the shade of the pier for Nik to catch up.
We were both feeling pretty disappointed with our day so far but continued on towards Knightstone Island. Following a little pavement train along the promenade until we came to Marine Lake. Built in the 1920s to provide a safe and shallow beach where the tide was always in. No dogs allowed on this beach. Marine Lake Causeway separates the far side of the lake from the sea. Which stretches from the end of Knightstone Island to the far side of the mainland. Of course, we had to walk along this walkway. There was a lovely little breeze and it gives you the perspective of being out in the sea. Fantastic!
This saved the day. Being able to see the lake and Birnbeck pier. We found this part of the seafront the most interesting. It has more history for us to enjoy so went back to our site happy.
The weather report had been updated while we were at Weston. Friday wasn’t going to be such a nice after all. After not having had the best day. We felt that we’d made the wrong decision as to which seaside resort to visit first. It happens.
Clevedon was a popular seaside resort in the Victorian era. Served by a short branch line from the main railway in Yatton. The seafront has an ornamental garden, Victorian bandstand, lovely promenade and Marine Lake which is currently undergoing renovations.
Salthouse field has a little café, a light railway that runs around the outside of the field, and donkey rides during the summer. The rocky beach has been designated as the Clevedon Shore geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Clevedon Pier opened in 1869, is one of the earliest surviving examples of a Victorian pier in the UK.
We set off for Clevedon, aware that the weather wasn’t likely to be particularly good. Hoping to be surprised. We parked at Salthouse Fields car park. This is another car park that only allows a small area for motorhome parking. Fortunately, in October, there isn’t much of a problem. The parking is beside Salthouse Fields Car Park. A two-minute walk from the seafront and Marine Lake.
There were workmen and machinery at Marine Lake, due to the renovation work. Obviously, Nik had lots of fun taking photos of men at work. Not quite the pictures I’d envisioned for this weeks excursion. We walked along the promenade towards the pier, taking in the sites.
Clevedon Marine Lake was created as a key element of the Promenade 1928/29 and was immensely popular until the 1960s. When cheap foreign holidays became popular.
There isn’t really any beach to speak of at Clevedon just several rocky areas that vaguely pass for a beach. Not one of them allow dogs. All Year round. We didn’t see many people walking dogs, which we found pretty unusual for a seaside town. After several people had walked past us and looked at our dogs like they were vermin. Nik and I started to get a feeling that this town doesn’t like dogs. Then we realised that most of the people we were passing where our parent’s age and nobody looked happy. There were definitely some very bad mannered people out and about this day.
The pier was also being refurbished. Nik wouldn’t have been able to take the photos he was after, with all the scaffolding in place. With that in mind, we didn’t bother walking on it. Instead, we continued further along looking at all the old houses. One thing is for sure; Clevedon has some fantastic old architecture. Nik and I thoroughly enjoyed gazing at all the stunning properties. Eventually, we found the coastal path taking us out of town. The dogs had been on the leads all day. So we followed the path to give them a bit of free time.
The beginning part of this path has a huge old wall lining it. It looks like an old fort wall. We had no idea what it was originally built for. Sadly, I have been unable to find out since. Shame because it is impressive. We found a little beach on our journey, so took the dogs for a little play before heading back towards the town.
To finish our day we walked around the Marine Lake. Up along the poets walk, past the lookout to St. Andrew’s Church. By the time we reached the church it was looking like rain. So we climbed a little hill just there and walked back to Daisy following a path through the nature reserve.
Nik was disappointed with the number of pictures he was able to take. This time due to the dull weather. I’d quite like to revisit, maybe in the spring. Hopefully, the lake will be completed and the weather better. We really didn’t get the best view this time. And because we met more miserable looking people we came away with a bad impression of the town which I’m sure isn’t the case.
For more about Weston-Super-Mare click HERE