In September, we went on a family holiday to the West Country and spent five days exploring Somerset.
On my journey there, I’d been lucky enough to stop off at the incredible Cheddar Gorge.
From there, I headed to Brean, where I met up with the rest of my family outside the holiday park that would be home for the next few days.
Our first full day there was a little grey and cloudy, but as we were keen to explore, we jumped into our cars and headed off to Burnham-on-Sea.
Burnham is just a 12-minute drive from Brean, which was nice after the long journey the day before. We managed to find a parking space on the road, right next to the beach.
Before arriving in Somerset, we’d heard several news stories about people getting stuck in sinking mud on Somerset beaches. This part of the coastline sits between the notoriously muddy Bristol Channel and the Severn Estuary. The Severn Estuary also has the second-highest tidal range in the world. When the tide starts to turn, people head back towards the beach and find themselves caught up in the sinking mud!
It’s very unlike me not to want to dip my toes in the sea, but there was no way I was going to risk getting caught in the sinking mud! On this trip, I would have to make do with walking along the Somerset coastlines vast promenades instead.
There wasn’t a huge amount to do in Burnham, so after taking a walk along the promenade, we headed into the local Wetherspoons for a bite to eat. For those of you not acquainted with Wetherspoons, they are incredibly cheap public houses, which you’ll find in most towns throughout England, which serve simple, but great value for money food! It’s not usually my preferred place to eat, but sometimes, needs must, and you can’t beat their prices!
The landscape in Burnham is quite bleak, probably not helped by the fact that when you look out to the other side of the channel, you can see a great big nuclear power plant on the Welsh coast! On a sunny day in the middle of the holiday season, I’m sure it looks a lot more inviting. However, on the day we were there, it looked tired and sleepy. It didn’t seem like there was much to do to bring in the crowds. However, walking along the promenade was a pleasant enough way to spend the morning.
Brean is a unique little place with a population of just 635. During peak holiday times, most of the people in Brean are holidaymakers. Along every inch of Brean’s coastal road, there are endless holiday camps and caravan sites! A little like Burnham, there is very little to see or do in Brean, although it is home to Brean Leisure Park. Marketing itself as ‘The South West’s Ultimate Family Day Out!’, sadly, it was closed while we were there and presumably only opens up during peak tourist season.
The coastal towns in Somerset are such a unique part of the UK’s coastline. The beaches here are nothing like those on the UK’s south coast. Whilst the beaches on the south coast are either pebble or the softest, finest sand in the land, the beaches in Somerset are much firmer, making them perfect for walking on (as long as you stay away from the sinking mud!). The sand is so compact here that they use the beaches as car parks (although I have to say this made the environmentalist in me scream!). We even managed to get my brother in his wheelchair down onto the beach, which is rare, as the sand on other coastlines makes it impossible for anyone to push him.
The following day, I’d arranged to meet up with a new client who lives in Weston-super-Mare. After lunch with my client, I made my way to the beach to meet my family.
I mentioned in my blog post about Cheddar Gorge that I had been to Somerset once before. Even today, that visit has etched its memory on my brain forever, and that memory was eating hot sugary doughnuts on the end of the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare in the pouring rain! Naturally, we had to go back and try out those doughnuts again, and they were just as good as I remembered, although this time, we were lucky enough to be eating them on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
Due to meeting my client in the morning, I didn’t have too much time to explore Weston-super-Mare, but the part’s I did get to see made me want to go back and visit again.
Whilst we mostly stuck to the coastal resorts on our trip, there is much more to see in Somerset. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the area in the future.