Weston-super-Mare is a typical English seaside resort on the shore of the Bristol Channel, in the traditional county of Somerset, approximately 25 mi (40 km) south-west of Bristol, 35 miles west of Bath and 20 miles north of Bridgwater. The main attraction, Weston Bay, has miles of clean sandy beach and traditional seaside attractions. It is also known for being where the famous Welsh children's author Roald Dahl went to school.
- 1 Tourist Information Centre, Winter Gardens Royal Parade, BS23 1AJ (follow signs for sea front from J21, M5), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 9:30AM-5PM. Accommodation booking, discount tickets, travel information, maps, tourist leaflets
Direct trains are available from Bristol Temple Meads, London Paddington, Birmingham New Street, Gloucester, Cardiff Central, Taunton and Exeter St David's, with connections from all parts of England, Wales and Scotland.
By coach or bus
National Express coaches connect to most parts of Britain. Buses connect directly with Bristol, Bath, Bridgwater, Taunton and Glastonbury.
Weston-super-Mare is on the National Cycle Network and connected by Route Burnham-on-Sea, where route continues to Bridgwater and Taunton to the south. Route from Cheddar to Clevedon passes by, but not through, Weston-super-Mare at approx. 5 km to the west, which presents a possible connection opportunity to Clevedon, Portishead, and Bristol. Nailsea and Long Ashton can also be reached, the area is reasonably flat and easily for cycling.which connects it to
The nearest airport is 2 Bristol Airport (BRS IATA). It is possible to get an airport bus to Temple Meads or Parson street railway stations in Bristol and take a train to Weston from there. Bus 121 runs direct, but slowly and infrequently. The quicker but more expensive option would be to take a taxi (£25).
Most of the major attractions lie within easy walking distance of the railway and bus stations. There are local bus services within the town provided by First Bus Taxi services are located centrally, and a trip from the town centre to the outskirts can be expected to cost around £5.
- 1 The Grand Pier, Marine Parade (follow signs for sea front from J21, M5), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. The Pier suffered a devastating fire in 2008, but in October 2010 the £39-million rebuilt pier opened to the public. The Grand Pier includes multiple attractions including a Go-Kart Track, Robo Coaster and Ghost ride. Food and drinks are available and there is also a themed bar. £1.
- 2 The Wheel of Weston, Beach Lawns, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1AT (2 minute walk from town centre, on the seafront, due to its size very easy to find), ☏ . 10AM-8PM. The Wheel of Weston is a 40-m-high observation wheel which 30 pods are attached. Each pod can take 8 people, brilliant views of surrounding area on clear day. Adult £6.50, child (14 years and under) £4.00.
- 3 Tropicana, Marine Promenade. When it opened in 1937, this lido was the largest open-air swimming pool in Europe. Erected in art deco style, it was rebranded as the Tropicana in 1983 and received upgrades such as a wave pool and water slide. But as the infrastructure aged, visitor numbers declined, and Tropicana was closed in 2000. The facility was neglected and deteriorated quickly, and after a decade of disrepair the infrastructure had become unsafe. The city council announced that Tropicana would be demolished to make room for a new project. Lack of funding and planning permissions delayed the project, until artist Banksy curated an art exposition in Tropicana in 2015, attracting international attention. The city council committed an investment of half a million pounds to render the site safe until a new use for it can be found. The Tropicana's impressive sea wall and art deco facade are a modern day relic of the lost glory of Weston-super-Mare.
- 4 Birnbeck Pier (get off at bus stop ). Pier in Victorian architectural style, connecting the shore to Birnbeck island. The pier was constructed between 1864 and 1867 when it opened, and a toll of a single old penny was charged to walk over the pier to the island. It became important as steam paddlers crossed the channel, bringing in passengers from Wales. During the Second World War however it was taken over by the military and commissioned as the HMS Birnbeck, then used as a research facility for secret weapons such as the famous "bouncing bombs". After the war it resumed operation, but visitor numbers had started to decline. Since the 1960s there have been proposals to redevelop the pier as casino, hotel, luxury flats, or marina. Regular ferries ceased operation to the pier in 1971 and the last trip was made in 1979, after which the pier remained disused. It was badly damaged by a storm in 1990, forcing the city council to fence it off in 1994, a state in which it has remained for 25 years. As of 2020, it is in a state of dereliction, has changed ownership a few times, and has been the target of vandalism. The north landing collapsed after a storm in 2015.
- 5 The Silica, High St. 24/7. A modern art sculpture in the shape of a carrot or parsnip, depending on whom you ask. It has a small kiosk at its base, and is lit up at night. Free.
- 6 Corpus Christi Church. Worth a visit for its beautiful stained glass windows.
- 7 Church of St. Nicholas. Small church on a hill surrounded by a graveyard. It's worth the hike up hill to enjoy a sunrise or sunset. The church itself isn't open very often, but the view is worth the effort.
- 8 Town Hall, Walliscote Rd. Town hall with an iconic clock tower, a landmark worth seeing.
- 9 Weston Museum (North Somerset Museum), Burlington Street (five minutes walk from Tourist Information Centre, near High Street), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-Sa 10AM-4:30PM. Illustrates the history of North Somerset from prehistoric times to the present day with a collection of 50,000 historical objects. Finds from Worlebury Hill Fort are on display and other exhibits include minerals, natural history, costume, a chemist shop, dentist and dairy. As of Aug 2020, it is closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
- 10 Helicopter Museum, The Heliport, Locking Moor Road, ☏ . Apr-Oct: 10AM-5:30PM , Nov-Mar: 10AM-4:30PM. Claims to be the largest dedicated helicopter museum in the world. Over 80 rotorcraft from all over the world. Many foreign helicopters are featured, in particular Soviet-era and Eastern European craft. Also helicopters from the Queens Flight, including a Wessex. Offers regular 15-mile summer Helicopter Experience Flights over the area. £3.50-5.50.
- 11 Seaquarium, Marine Parade (follow signs for sea front from J21, M5), ☏ . Daily 10AM-4PM. Over 25 displays allowing visitors to see aquatic life from local waters and regions of the world. An underwater tunnel lets visitors get close to the sharks, rays and other creatures as they swim by. Shop and cafe. As of August 2020, it is closed because of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. £9.50.
Archaeological and historical sites
- 12 Brean Down, Brean, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. National Trust-owned peninsula 2 miles to the south of Weston, jutting out into the Bristol Channel. The steep cliffs made it the perfect location for an Iron Age hill fort, and for a Victorian fort to defend against the French navy. It also features defensive positions dating from the Second World War, including a searchlight bunker to illuminate airborne targets at night, a torpedo launching facility, a naval gun battery emplacement, and barracks. Reaching the fort from the Weston-super-Mare station takes an 18-km (!) detour to find a crossing over the river Axe. free, donations welcome.
- 13 Worlebury Camp. A hillfort built around 2300 years ago in the Iron Age by members of the Celtic Dobunni tribe. it is protected by seven defensive walls and ditches and has over 90 storage pits where important archaeological discoveries have been made. It's also a great view point.
- 14 Site of former St Peter's School. Location of the former St. Peter's School, a boarding school attended by famous Welsh children's author Roald Dahl from 1925 to 1929. No trace of the school remains, as it closed in 1970 and was demolished to make way for a housing estate, with the sole reminder of the school being St. Peter's Ave, which was named after the school. A plaque commemorating the former site of the school has been installed at the junction between Shrubbery Rd, Shrubbery Ave and St Peter's Ave.
- 15 The Beach. 24/7. Has two miles of sand, although at low water the sea can be nearly a mile away from the Promenade. There are designated areas for kite buggies, small land yachts and kite boards, while jet skiers, power boat users and other boats can launch from Knightstone slipway. Traditional donkey rides. Free.
- 16 Marine Lake (follow signs for sea front from J21, M5). Located at the northern end of the beach, Marine Lake is a small man-made lake filled at high tide by the sea. It has a beach as well as a concrete walkway around the landward side, and a causeway at the ocean side. Popular with families as the water is calm and fairly shallow. free.
- 17 Boat Trips, Knightstone Harbour, ☏ . Trips around Weston Bay lasting for an hour, and also a longer day trip to the nature reserve of Steep Holm and Flatholm Island in the Bristol Channel. The MV Balmoral and the PS Waverley occasionally call in at Weston. Details from Tourist Information Centre.
- 18 Sand Bay Beach, Kewstoke Road (M5 Junction 21, signs for Kewstoke, access from beach road). 24/7. Sand and shingle, salt marsh and site of Scientific Special interest at northern end. Cafe, restaurants, shops, toilets, a campsite and caravan park are all available. Free.
- 19 Uphill Nature Reserve, Uphill, BS23 4TA, ☏ . Nature reserve covered by grasslands, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Aside from its natural value, it also has archaeological points of interest: a disused lime kiln, a sheepwash, and a powder house.
- 20 Brent Knoll. 24/7. A 137-m-high hill roughly halfway between Weston and Bridgwater. Aside from offering visitors a magnificent view over the Polden Hills, Glastonbury Tor, the Mendip Hills, and Cheddar Gorge, it is also archaelogically important: it has been a human settlement since the Bronze Age, as well as an Iron Age hill fort. Free.
- 21 Steep Holm, in the Bristol Channel. 24/7. An island about 8 km off the coast of Weston, and a challenging place to visit because of its high cliffs and strong tidal currents which make landing on the island difficult. It has a very rich history, and dotted with ruins of a 13th-century priory, a fisherman's cottage dated 1776, and fortifications from 1860. It features naval gun placements and anti-aircraft batteries from the Second World War. Nowadays it is mostly a bird sanctuary and nature reserve. Free.
Theatres and cinemas
- 1 Playhouse Theatre, High Street, ☏ . A 658-seat theatre hosting summer variety, concerts, dance, films, drama, local amateur productions and a Christmas pantomime. £4-20.
- 2 The Winter Gardens, Royal Parade, ☏ . Ballroom dancing, conferences, farmers' markets, fairs, wrestling in a pavillion opened in 1927. free-£12.00.
- 3 Odeon Cinema, The Centre, High Street (5 minutes from railway station), ☏ . Daily noon-10PM, occasional late screenings. A 4-screen miniplex showing main feature films, online booking available. £3.25-8.10.
- 4 The Blakehay, Wadham Street (just off High Street), ☏ . A 200-seat community theatre and arts venue, with a programme of plays, concerts, puppet theatre, films and dance performance.
- 1 Weston Air Festival: , Beach Lawns, Sea Front, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Two-day event in June with air displays and static exhibitions. (date needs fixing)
- 2 Sand Sculpture Festival: , The Beach, ☏ . Daylight hours only. Spectacular sculptures by artists from around the world. The largest may be as high as 10 feet tall and use up to 20 tons of sand. April-November. Free. (date needs fixing)
- 3 Weston Beach Race: 9–11 October 2020, The Beach (Follow seafront signs from J21 of the M5), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An annual extravaganza of motorcycle stunts and races over a specially constructed sand course. £4-16/day in advance. (date needs updating)
- 4 Weston Illuminated Carnival: 12 November 2021, town centre and seafront, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 7-10PM. Part of the Somerset carnival season, November annually. 2020 editions was cancelled because of the Corona virus pandemic. free, donations collected.
- 5 The Campus, Highlands Lane, Locking Castle (travel along Elmham Way in Weston-super-Mare following road signs for Worle and Sand Bay; at the roundabout take the first exit onto Bransby Way; turn left onto Highlands Lane), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Skateboard park, BMX area, sports halls and pitches.
- 6 Hans Price Sports Centre, Marchfields Way, BS23 3QP (follow the A370 into Weston-super-Mare; take the first turning on the left after the retail park which contains KFC and Gala Bingo, into Wyvern School; follow the signs for the sports centre), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 5-10PM; Sa 9AM-2PM. Sports hall, indoor climbing wall (term time Mondays only 5-6PM), all-weather floodlit artificial turf pitch, outdoor floodlit courts, gymnasium, multi-use games area, outdoor grass pitches, fitness suite.
- 7 Water Adventure Play Park, 34 Knightstone Rd, BS23 2BD, ☏ . Daily 9:30AM-5PM. Small water park mainly intended for young children, with splash pads. The facility has toilets and changing rooms. No dogs allowed. Bringing picnics is allowed, although there is also a small cafe. £2.50.
- 8 Brean Theme Park, Coast Road Brean Sands, TA8 2QY, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-8PM in winter, 11AM-4PM in summer. The largest free admission theme park in the UK with over 40 rides. Free.
- 9 Puxton Park, Cowslip Lane Hewish, BS24 6AH (get off at station ), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Adventure park with indoor and outdoor play areas, water area, and farm shop. £11 for adults, £13 for children.
- 10 Court Farm Country Park, Wolvershill Road Banwell, BS29 6DL, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Farm and petting zoo with a large herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle and other farm animals. £7.70.
- 11 Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Hutton Moor Road, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS22 8LY, ☏ . Gym and swimming pool.
- 12 Pirate Adventure Land, Beach Lawns, Beach Rd, BS23 1AT, ☏ . 18-hole adventure golf course. £5.40.
- High Street (three minutes from sea front). Main shopping centre.
- 1 Sovereign Shopping Centre, High Street, Salisbury Terrace, BS23 1HL (just off High Street), ☏ . 38 shops and a cafe. A bit outdated, but looks nicer inside than its scruffy look on the outside. In Aug 2020, many shops are still closed because of the coronavirus.
There are many fish and chip shops, cafes and other fast food outlets in and around the High Street and sea front. Also a small number of Indian and Chinese restaurants and take-aways.
- 1 Yo-Ji, 25-27 St James Street, BS23 1ST, ☏ . 11AM-3PM, 5-10:30PM. Japanese restaurant serving fine cuisine and sushi
- 2 Old Thatched Cottage, 14 Knightstone Road, BS23 2AN, ☏ . Situated in the oldest building in Weston is this family-run restaurant specialising in steak and fish.
- 3 Bengal Raj, 8-20 Boulevard, BS23 1NA, ☏ . Indian restaurant.
A range of traditional style pubs and national chain outlets, many serving food, concentrated around the High street area and sea front.
Large numbers of guest houses, also self-catering accommodation and a few independent hotels.
- 1 [dead link] The Grand Atlantic, Beach Road, BS23 1BA (on the seafront, 5 minutes south of town centre), ☏ . Victorian-era hotel set on the seafront. Close to town centre. Has had an extensive refurbishment. Restaurant and bar.
- 2 Nook and Harbour Holiday Apartments, 50 Knightstone Road, BS23 2BE (northwest of the town centre, next to Marine Lake on the Seafront), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. B&B and holiday apartments, next to Marine Lake & Knightstone Island.
- 3 Anchor Head Hotel, Anchor Head Hotel, Claremont Crescent, BS23 2ED (follow seafront road from town towards Sand Bay, near the headland), ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 10AM. Located towards the north-west of the town, between Marine Lake and Birnbeck Pier.
- 4 Premier Inn, Hutton Moor Road, BS22 8LY (follow A370 from M5 Junction 21 into Weston-Super-Mare; after 3rd roundabout turn right at traffic lights into Hutton Moor Leisure Centre; turn left and follow road into car park; next to the Pavilion Beefeater), ☏ . Standard Premier Inn hotel, 1½ miles from Town Centre. From £57pppn.
- 5 The Royal Hotel, 1 South Parade, BS23 1JP (on the seafront next to the Winter Gardens), ☏ . Large Georgian Hotel which is in the centre of Weston on the seafront, 2 minutes walk from the High street, Grand Pier and Knightstone Island.
Other local attractions near Weston-super-Mare are:
- Wells and the nearby Wookey Hole Caves (full of adventure for little kids)
- Long Ashton
|Routes through Weston-super-Mare|
|Birmingham ← Bristol ←||NE SW||→ Bridgwater → Plymouth|
|Bristol ← Long Ashton ←||NE S||→ Burnham-on-Sea → Bridgwater|