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25 things to do in Weston-super-Mare

25 things to do in Weston-super-Mare

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Weston-super-Mare is an English seaside resort on a mission to reinvent itself. Sure, its iconic Grand Pier will always be front of mind when visitors plan a trip to North Somerset. But there’s so many more things to do in Weston-super-Mare. 

I was invited to the town to find out how Weston is building on its reputation as a traditional holiday destination by embracing street art, putting on a programme of bustling events and by supporting its independent retail sector.

In this post I’m sharing some of the new, lesser known and well loved reasons to visit Weston-super-Mare. 

What attracts people to Weston-super-Mare?

Japanese-themed mural on wall in Weston-super-Mare

It was the Victorians who led the tourism charge to Weston-super-Mare, arriving by train from 1841 when the branch line opened. 

They came for the beach and the benefits of bathing in sea water as well as the invigorating activity of walking along Weston’s first major attraction, Birnbeck Pier. 

Modern day visitors like me share their enthusiasm for these simple pleasures. But there’s much more to 21st Century Weston including attractions, a thriving street scene and lots of places to avoid the Great British weather. 

Read on for my tips on things to do in Weston-super-Mare with kids.

Attractions in and around Weston super Mare 

Here’s Weston-super-Mare’s top attractions and places to spend a family day out:

Seafront attractions in Weston

Hanging out by the sea is a must when you visit Weston-super-Mare. To behonest, it’s delightfully unavoidable, as the sea is such a huge part of the town’s identity.

Here’s some must-see attractions and things to do on the seafront:

1. The Grand Pier

The entrance to The Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare

For a truly British seaside experience take a walk along The Grand Pier that stretches 366m into the Bristol Channel giving you a different perspective on the town and bay.

Don’t forget to bring your small change for the arcade machines inside the pavilion and maybe a portion of chips, ice cream or donut to enjoy while you admire the view.

Upgrade your visit with a wrist band to get unlimited rides on the Pavilion’s 11 attractions that include go karts, dodgems, a helterskelter and Britain’s smallest rollercoaster.

Arcade machines in the Pavilion in The Grand Pier

All this makes the Pier a great place to head on a rainy day with a covered walkway to the Pavilion entrance and loads to do indoors.

The Grand Pier is open every day except Christmas Day. Standard entry to the Pier costs £1 per person.

Find out more about The Grand Pier.

Weston fact: Did you know that The Grand Pier was not Weston’s first? That honour goes to Birnbeck just along the bay.

It’s the only pier in the country that links the mainland to an island and is earmarked for a restoration project so it can reopen as a historic attraction. Watch this space!

2. Pirate Adventureland 

Just back from the promenade at the junction with Oxford Street is Pirate Adventureland – a combination of adventure golf and a high ropes course.

There’s 18 swashbuckling holes to conquer and 16 knuckle-biting obstacles to climb, swing and zip around. Tickets for each activity can be bought separately.

Find out more about Pirate Adventureland.

3. Boat trips to Steep Holm Island

The Island of Steep Holm
Steep Holm

Stand anywhere on the seafront at Weston and you’ll spy Steep Holm Island off in the distance. It’s home to rare plants, passing sea birds andVictorian and Second World War fortifications.

Can you visit? Yes, but only by boat trips organised by Bay Island Voyages.

They are the experts in landing at this island six miles off shore in the Bristol Channel. Trips must be booked in advance between the Spring and Autumn and leave from Knightstone Harbour slipway.

Find out more about boat trips to Steep Holm Island.

4. PJs Ice Cream Parlour

If you’re looking for Weston-super-Mare’s best ice cream shop then PJ’s comes highly recommended on TripAdvisor.

It sells whipped and scoop ice cream cones as well as sundaes and milkshakes – the prefect treat for a day at the seaside!

Find PJ’s Ice Cream Parlour on Royal Parade opposite The Grand Pier.

Free things to do in Weston-super-Mare

Save your pennies with these free and super cheap things to do in Weston:

5. Weston-super-Mare Beach

Horses and carts on Weston Super Mare beach - beaches in Somerset

This two-mile long sandy beach overlooks the island of Steep Holm and is the perfect place to get out a bucket and spade. 

It is possible to swim at high tide but with one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, Weston’s sandy shore more often meets the mud flats of the Bristol Channel than lapping waves. Steer clear of the mud and relax on the sand instead.

Dogs are allowed on the main beach from October to April and all year round between The Grand Pier and Knightstone Island to the north, and between Royal Sands and Uphill beach to the south.

6. Walk or scoot along the promenade

The promenade along the length of Weston sea front is flat and wide, so is a safe place to let kids toddle, walk and scoot.

Keep an eye out for poetry dotted along the seafront. The Letters for the Sea, Letters for the Land art project is a collection of poignant phrases gathered from the community that consider the wider world, and our place within it, together.  

Find out more about this community art project.

7. Swimming at Marine Lake 

If you’re a fan of alfresco dips like me, head to the Marine Lake at the north end of the bay where you can try cold water swimming in what’s thought to be the world’s largest infinity lake.

It has an enclosed beach where kids can paddle and swim safely all year round. It’s free to use the Marine Lake. Dogs are not allowed.

Find out more about swimming at Marine Lake.

8. Weston Wallz street art trail

Street art at Dolphin Square in Weston-super-Mare
Dolphin Square

Something free and fun to do with kids is to go in search of Weston’s street art.

There’s at least 31 murals designed by local and international artists around town.

Here’s a map of where to find the Weston Wallz.

9. Weston Museum

This free to visit museum on Burlington Street shares there story of Weston’s people and natural history as well as hosting touring exhibitions.

If you’re visiting with young children or children with SEN make sure you borrow a museum backpack to help them explore the galleries with fun objects and resources.

Find out more about visiting Weston Museum.

10. Birdwatching at Bleadon Levels Nature Reserve 

Just to the south of Weston there’s Bleadon Levels Nature Reserve which is a habitat for otters and migrating birds.

You can explore the nature reserve on marked footpaths and spot wildlife from to bird hides. 

Find out more about the nature reserve.

Things to do in Weston-super-Mare in the rain

Sadly my visit to Weston coincided with a wet day. If you have the same luck don’t let the weather put a dampener on your fun.

Here’s some places to go if it rains while you’re in Weston-super-Mare:

11. The Helicopter Museum

Weston is home to the world’s largest collection of helicopters all housed in a huge hanger making this museum a good shout for wet day fun.

See the Mi8 helicopter used in the Marvel movie ‘Black Widow’ among more than 100 military and civilian aircrafts on display. Keep an eye on the museum’s website for open cockpit days and other special family events.

The Helicopter Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday all year round excluding Christmas Eve to Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Find out more about visiting the Helicopter Museum

12. Cinemas in Weston-super-Mare

Happy family watching movie in cinema theatre

Catch the latest 2D and 3D flicks at one of Weston’s two cinemas: Cineworld in the Dolphin Square complex or the Odeon in The Centre in town.

13. Clip ‘n Climb 

Scale the South West’s highest climbing wall and whiz down the UK’s tallest drop slide at the Dolphin Square Clip n Climb.

Find out more and book.

14. Allstars Sports Bowl

Challenge your family to bowling, pool and even karaoke at this game venue in the heart of Weston-super-Mare.

Take a look at all the activities available at Allstars Sports Bowl.

Things to do in Weston-super-Mare with toddlers

If you’re looking for toddler-friendly fun in Weston, here’s some places they’ll love:

15. Make a splash in the Italian Gardens

The gardens feature a large open space set back from the seafront where there’s seating, lawns and a water jets kids can play in. 

The Italian Gardens also host events throughout the year so are a great place to hang out and watch the world go by.

Here’s where to find the gardens:

16. Court Farm Country Park

This working farm is a reasonably priced day out for families with young children. You can meet and feed animals see a milking show and go for a ride on a tractor trailer. There’s also lots of indoor and outdoor play areas.

The farm is open all year round but closed on Mondays from the beginning of November to the end of March.

Find out more about days out at Court Farm Country Park.

17. Water Adventure Play Park

There’s a great splash pad in this park beside Melrose car park in town. The water fountains and sprays are on between April and September beach year.

The park also features wooden play equipment with a toddler area.

There’s a charge of £2.50 per child when the splash pad is operating.

Find out more about the Water Adventure Play Park.

Unusual things to do in Weston-super-Mare

Looking for a unique experiences? Here’s some things you can only find in Weston:

18. Browse the indy shops of Orchard Meadows

Bags of chocolates in Christopher's chocolate shop on Orchard Meadow in Weston-super-Mare
Christopher’s chocolate shop on Orchard Meadow

You’ll find everything from gaming shops to vintage clothing and Weston’s own chocolatier, Christopher’s House of Chocolates, in the Orchard Meadows shopping area. 

19. Marvel at Silica

Silica art work and bus stop in Weston-super-Mare

This fantastical work of art (come bus shelter) is a sight to behold in the centre of Weston-super-Mare’s Regents Street.

Silica pays homage to Weston’s location by the sea by embodying the ideas of sand, water and light. Looping around its 30m tall spire are 6,000 cast glass prisms containing LEDs.

These can be programmed to create different patterns of light and colour making it a fun sight to visit with children after dark.

20. Dine with panoramic sea views

Weston is full of eateries that serve fresh, local produce. But if you’re looking for somewhere to keep the kids entertained too why not chose one of these restaurants with panoramic views of the sea:

21. Whirligig arts festival

Each September the heart of Weston is taken over by a festival of outdoor arts  by international and local performers.

This event is free to attend and offers a full weekend programme of parades and performances set around the Italian Gardens.

Find out more about the end Whirligig festival.

22. Weston-super-Mare Beach Race

Visit in October and you might find the beach transformed into a race track for the UK’s biggest off road motorsport event.

The race attracts more than 50,000 spectators each year to see competitors zip around a challenging six mile circuit. In 2023, the race marks its 40th anniversary.

Find out more about the race.

Things to do near Weston-super-Mare

Here’s some family-friendly things to do not far from Weston-super-Mare:

23. Puxton Park

This family theme park has a range of rides and activities including accessible experiences for wheelchair users.

Meet farm animals, have a go at high ropes, ride a tractor trailer and go for a spin on the miniature railway. There’s also soft play and water rides, making this a fun place to go whatever the weather.

Find out more about visiting Puxton Park.

24. Brean Theme Park

There’s more than 40 fairground style rides at this attraction where you can pay as you go, buy credits or unlimited ride wrist bands.

Rode go karts, indoor and outdoor rollercoasters, dodgems and the wild water log flume.

The park is open from Easter to the end of September.

Find out more about Brean Theme Park.

25. Brean Splash

This indoor and outdoor pool complex comes with flumes, slides and water features suitable for all ages.

Find out more about Brean Splash.

If you have longer to spend in the South west of England you may also like to take a look at my recommended things to do in Bath and Bristol, and my guide to things to do in North Devon on the Devon with Kids website.

Getting to Weston-super-Mare

Weston’s location, just off the M5, makes it an easy beach destination from the South West’s largest city, Bristol, which is half an hour away by car or train. 

Hop on the train from London Paddington and you’ll be there in two and a half hours.

Where to stay in Weston-super-Mare

Find accommodation in Weston to suit your budget, search for hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options or check out these campsites and holiday parks.

Are you a North Somerset fan? I’d love to hear about your favourite things to do in Weston-super-Mare.

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