While I love a city mini break, any longer than a couple of days and a visit to the beach is pretty much essential for us. We live in the middle of the country so we don’t see the beach that often. It’s a real treat for N and myself to feel the sand between our toes, and go for a paddle in the sea. So when I’m looking for possible places to visit, I always try and find somewhere that has both town or city and a beach.
Our latest break away was to Bath. While it’s not the closest to the coast we were near enough, with only a 40 minute car journey to the seaside. The hardest choice was where to visit. As a previous visit to Weston-super-Mare almost had us stuck in the mud (I’d not heard about all the mudflats), I didn’t fancy trying there again. This time I made sure I checked out safe beaches and what the situation was with lifeguards and the mud. It’s always disappointing if you can’t actually get to the sea when it’s your only chance for a few months.
This time though I’d had a few recommendations from friends. And as I’ve stayed in the area for previous dancing weekenders, I knew there were a couple of beaches that would be nice even if we couldn’t get to the sea.
On the last day of our holiday, I decided that we’d spend the morning on the beach. Luckily the weather played ball, brightening up for our final day. It turned out to be a beautiful hot clear day once the mist burnt off. My choice of beach had been Burnham on Sea although it was too hard deciding which direction to head at the pier to find a car park. We drove the whole length of the promenade. We decided that as the sea was in and we couldn’t see any sand so we tried driving a bit further up the coast. We spotted a beach in the distance and headed there.
We ended up in Berrow, one of the beaches that had been recommended to me. As we’d only been intending to stay an hour or so the £6 fee at the car park horrified me. It’s a great price if you’re staying all day. We drove out then back in again because we couldn’t be bothered to drive elsewhere. Then I realised it might have been parking on the beach. Not one of my favourite things to do being the first one there, so backed up and parked by the cafe.
We’ve been driving around for the last year since our camping trip with all the buckets, spades and beach gear in the boot of the car, so we didn’t have to worry about not having stuff with us.
Berrow has plenty of beach to spread out on and the sea was just going out. There were a few dog walkers, and then as we sit down our seating more people arrived from the caravan park behind. But it was nowhere near as busy as I would expect for such a beautiful day.
One thing I always look out for on beaches is the presence of a lifeguard. The thought of the sea coming in and not really knowing how fast or which direction is coming in always scares me a bit especially when there’s a child involved. So it was reassuring to see there was a lifeguard at Berrow.
N got to work with his bucket and spade, building sandcastles rather than a hole this time. Then he decided he wanted to do as others were and head down to the sea to fill up his bucket. When the sea is in and heading out it’s pretty safe with sand rather than mud. I’m presuming they put flags out at a safe zone, to let people know where they can and can’t go when the sea is further out. But we were fine when we were there.
It’s lovely to see N enjoying a different type of open air, enjoying the sand, and watching him laugh and play in the shallows. Is there anything better than kids playing in the waves?
He then decided he wanted to collect some shells to decorate his sandcastle. The shells on Berrow are extremely small so we just had a few to take back up to his building.
I love a beach for beautiful minimalistic photos and even though my camera is in being fixed, I still have my point and shoot to play around with though. I would have liked to have been there for sunset, but so far we’ve never been back to a beach after we’ve left, because of having bedtime to deal with. Maybe this summer I’ll make the effort to go back to attempt some more exciting photos.
We ended up spending nearly three hours at the beach. It’s amazing how time flies. Unfortunately the cafe was still serving breakfast when we wanted lunch. So we decided that it would be better to stop on the way home for food.
What did we love about Berrow beach?
The space. Even once Berrow got busier you could still spread out and not be anywhere near another family.
Being able to go into the sea which you can’t always do in this area. It’s reassuring that they were lifeguards and we were lucky that the sea was high tide at the time we arrived, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the sea.
Having reasonable beach facilities within a short walk from the beach. As well as the cafe there were toilets and showers. Handy if you’re staying in the caravan park behind and don’t want to take sand back to your van.
If you’re a dog owner then Berrow is a great place to visit the beach. Dogs are welcome at any time which is good for them, but not always great when the beach is busy and you don’t want to be sprayed with water or sand from them. But it’s lovely to see them playing and enjoying themselves out with the whole family.
The traffic leaving Berrow beach and having to go back via Burnham-on-Sea was a nightmare thanks to roadworks. Traffic around the coast is always a problem with visiting the beach in the hot weather.
It was a lovely morning at the beach and put it in the mood looking forward to our summer holiday camping in Woolacombe.
Which beaches do you recommend around the Somerset area?
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