The delights of Weston Super Mare

by | Sep 5, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Some have unkindly called it Weston Supermarket which actually is not too far from the truth. We rose early this morning and departed about nine o’clock  for a journey that was supposed to take one hour 17 minutes according to my GPS.  This equipment is remarkably and annoyingly successful in predicting arrival time because it has lots of data to go on than is apparent at first.

My step meter – pedometer- app. shows that today we walked 15,624 steps. Come in my footsteps and I will tell you what we did.

We stopped off at the Mendip Pantry, our favourite tea and snack place.  We both decided to have porridge which although slightly under cooked was delicious  especially with the offered honey and I had a latte as is my wont.

Shortly after our arrival, a young man came in and started talking very loudly. I quickly connected him with the home for the disabled next door and made allowances. The server was very courteous and considerate of him and played up to all his statements. After he left I talked to her about him. He is autistic. He remembers everything that goes on to the most minor details. He noticed that her husband bought her to the shop at a certain time and honked his horn. It seems that everything that happens in the physical world is of equal importance and for some reason is retained.

The server said that he sometimes brings her flowers as a token of appreciation but at other times he also picks some weeds, bundles them up and gives them to her also as a token of appreciation. She said that he had a heart of gold and never spoken anything against anybody but he does lose his temper if his needs are not met.

In the same cafe I saw the advert as shown.   Someone who can walk so far has got to have strength of character so I may well go to see him and listen to his story about fighting against impossible odds  physically mentally and spiritually.

Off to our destination. We actually went to a place above Weston called Sand Bay aka Kewstoke which is a couple of miles north along the coast.  It is exactly as described. 1.  There is a bay 2.  It is sandy. 3.  Apart from a pub and a fish and chip shop there is very little of interest except for acres of caravans and bungalows.  I honestly do not know what people find to do there but actually that is not quite true.  I noticed the large number of people at the bus stop.  They use this as a commute to Weston itself. Weston is quite tricky from the parking point of view. Parking in Sand Bay is very inexpensive, I think it was a pound for three hours,  something like that.

We strolled in the bay, taking off our shoes and walking bare feet. We came across a camera crew who were from Bristol. It transpired that they were filming a girl playing a guitar. The idea was to get an ideal background and the whole thing was actually mimed.   We had some jovial exchanges with them and they took it in good humour.

We then took the short and historic coast Road to Weston and ended up at the Marine swimming pool. You might say, why bother to have a swimming pool when there is such a large beach.. There is one answer to that and one answer only,  and that is ….mud. Except at high tide mud is very difficult to avoid. It can be quite dangerous and you can get stuck. The tidal range is the second highest in the world,   being about 15 m. The beach is so flat that you never manage to get water high enough for a good swim.

This artificially  created pool is a haven for families and children who want a decent safe and pleasant few hours without having to spend any money. Francoise  went for a swim, her second swim of the year, and had a lovely time.

These days people are very relaxed about others changing on the beach with the possibility of showing a little bit of flesh here and there. I find that people who are very self-conscious and who make great attempts to be proper attract more attention than if someone just stripped off and changed without a care in the world.

We then decided to go to B and Q  to buy some paint to refurbish our bathroom. Unfortunately they did not have the right color or the right paint so we ended up going to Wickes.   The ever cheerful person on the till said that help would be along in a couple of minutes and sure enough it was.  I quickly detected that he had a sense of humor so joked with him that a sense of humor was necessary to be in this business and secondly he had to be a bit of a diplomat when people disagree about the sort of paint they wanted to buy. He said ‘you’ve got me summarized exactly’.

I say jokingly that anyone who is thinking of getting married or moving in with someone else should perform two actions 1. find your way around at night in a strange city  2. decorate a room together. If there are no rows then you will survive.

Weston has one of the most comprehensive out of shopping mega store centers I can recall having seen in this country. You name it, it is there.  Dozens of national brand names. Strange because many parts of Weston, a bit like Blackpool, are verging on the poverty line for many inhabitants. There are many homeless people in the streets.    I think the stores are there because the town has a very large catchment area, the biggest outside Bristol for many miles. They seem to attract many customers and the cost of land is a bit less so people can offer to provide large free car parks which does help.

We then drove back to the town centre. One of the problems is parking, as I said. We parked in an unmarked road area. In other words no yellow lines, but it did say that we had to pay by phone and I hate doing that sort of thing so we parked anyway. Time will tell if we get a ticket though to be honest I could not see any TV cameras.

We decided to walk around the center of the town so we found a place to park. Once again, my cunning and stubbornness towards paying any money for parking when I can find parking for free,  came into its own.

Clue – If you drive five minutes away from tourist areas you can find streets where no parking restrictions apply. This we did by driving south, out of the main town centre, and looking left for unrestricted areas. It was then a short walk back to the old town center.

On the way we saw some very good graffiti examples of which you can see a sample below

It was time to eat something. I had intended to have my normal fish and chips but did not feel like it. I find I’m normally guided to go somewhere to eat and this was no exception. We ended up at a very unpretentious bakery with a cafe inside the shop called Winnies Cafe.  We saw advertised ‘quiche with salad for £3.99’ so we decided to go for it.

This establishment sums up exactly what I like about eating establishments. First of all, it was a family place. It was not a chain. The staff were real people and cared about their customers including looking after a woman with walking disabilities. She complained that her tea was too strong; this was immediately corrected by adding some milk and water. In addition, there was some lovely background music, jazz, which set the mood wonderfully for us sitting back and relaxing. I would definitely return. It is so nice to be treated as a person and not just as a number.

We passed by the Winter Gardens which is famous for organising a wide variety of cultural and social activities. There was a newly created fish pond with lots of goldfish swimming around. Someone had thrown in a bag, indeed two bags. How can people be so selfish and insensitive that they cannot find the energy to deposit their rubbish in one of the freely available litter bins.

We walked along the front and noticed that in the shelters there were little poems inscribed into the glass. We then went to a seafront cafe which I had been on a previous occasion and we met a carer who was looking after somebody who could not make any eye contact at all. I forget how we opened a conversation but this was a lovely human being who enjoyed her job of caring. She was off to Cos in Greece in a week or so so could have a real break from her work and not being called into the office for emergencies.

Amazingly we discovered that she lives about 100 meters from where we live in Midsomer Norton so she said ‘look out for the couple with a spotted black and white dog’. As we would say, what a small world.

We decided to go to Brean, at the northern end of which is a big promontory which has at the end a fort, Brean Down Fort, I think dating back to the 19th century. As the crow flies, it is about a mile but driving there is a nine mile journey around the countryside which is a real pain.  Brean is another apparently boring place with loads of caravans and mobile homes and very little in the way of entertainment but people go there in their droves year after year so there must be something to it.

Anyway we climbed up the very steep steps  and started on our outward journey but I found the heat a little bit too much to bear, it was about 27 degrees centigrade, and not much wind so we decided to cut back on ourselves and return via a service road not the steps to our car from whence we returned home.

view towards Weston, north east

View south towards Brean settlement itself. Steps were very steep.

My general opinion of Western Super Mare.  On a bright hot sunny day it is a lovely place to go to. The town council have worked very hard to make sure the amenities are up to scratch. It is very family friendly. I disagree with them that toilets should be charged for at  20p a time,   but apart from that the whole thing has been  well thought out.  Last time we went, the weather was bad and the wind was so strong that if I had taken my trousers off I could have had free skin sand blasting but having said that  this seaside town has all the amenities that a family could wish for, and I say good luck to them.  There are busses from Bristol.



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