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Spotlight on Weston-Super-Mare

PUBLISHED: 10:03 25 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:03 25 April 2017

Weston-Super-Mare (c) P J Photography / Shutterstock

Weston-Super-Mare (c) P J Photography / Shutterstock

Archant

Clare Gladstone takes a look at some of the jewels in North Somerset’s crown – its coastal towns, starting with Weston-Super-Mare

As well as being the ideal place to make sandcastles and see the annual sand sculpture festival, which this year runs from April right through the summer, Weston-super-Mare’s beach is also famous for donkey rides and its 50 or so donkeys remain a popular site on the beach, bringing tourists back year after year.

The Grand Pier is Weston’s main landmark, stretching 1,300ft into the sea. As well as arcade machines and rides, the pier also offers Edwardian-style tearooms to offer visitors a welcome break. The pavilion is also used as a wedding venue and for conferencing facilities and the pier, open all year round except Christmas Day, also boasts a cinema and theatre with shows taking place over the summer.

The elegant ballroom at The Winter Gardens offers tea dances with views across the bay and bands still play at Weston’s 127-year-old Grade II listed bandstand in Grove Park.

The town’s former lido, the Tropicana, reopened in 2015 after 15 years of being derelict and now offers indoor and outdoor event space that hosts a range of events throughout the year, including, this year, the Weston-super-Food Festival in September and the Hazy Days Music Festival in July, which will feature Newton Faulkner, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Reef and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

While you’re there...

Visit The SeaQuarium, which, on its own pier on Weston seafront, has 10 different zones, including the Fantastic Phobias zone. Gasp at the sharks as they swim above you in the underwater ocean tunnel or marvel at the array of colours in the Tropical Reef Zone.

or...

spend an evening at...

The Playhouse Theatre or Blakehay Theatre. The Playhouse Theare, built in the 1940s but recently revamped, and The Blakehay Theatre, originally built in 1850 as a Baptist Church, both offer a wealth of shows including music, comedy, dance, children’s shows and tribute acts.

Did you know…?

The Tropicana hit the national headlines when it was chosen as the location for a pop-up show by graffiti artist Banksy in 2015. The Dismaland show also included the work of 50 fellow artists and the site was chosen because Banksy had fond memories of visiting the Tropicana as a child.

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