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Discover the secrets of the Somerset coast as you walk the Coast Paths. Spanning much of the length of the Bristol Channel, the Somerset coast offers everything from seaside resorts on golden-sand beaches to soaring cliffs and serene wetlands. Somerset’s coast sits just minutes from many of the County’s prominent towns, making it the ideal getaway for visitors and locals alike.
Take it all in as you walk beach- skirting routes such as the stunning West Somerset Coast Path or England Coast Path. For some visitors, unfamiliar with our geography, it is a surprise to learn the County - known for its Levels, moors and meadows – has a coast at all. To overlook it is to miss some real treats.
North of Weston-super-Mare is a natural vantage point, Sand Point, owned by the National Trust and overlooking the locals’ secret, Sand Bay. As at nearby Brean Down, it is possible here to tick off quite a few species on the Nature i-spy list from sea birds to skylarks and butterflies to wild flowers. If Burnham-On-Sea has the shortest pier and Weston the grandest, then, according to the poet John Betjeman, Clevedon has the most beautiful in Britain. More recent fans were the members of the band, One Direction, who made a video there. Formed from discarded wrought iron lines from Brunel’s railway, the 48 foot high pier has been lovingly restored as centrepiece to Clevedon’s elegant Victorian sea front. Portishead gave its name to a rock band from nearby Bristol. A happy blend of old and new, this former fishing port has a Victorian High Street and a modern marina complemented by glorious planting.
The variety of coastal landscape in Somerset is truly remarkable, from rock pavements to sand dunes and from wooded cliffs to mudflats. There are geological and wildlife wonders for the scientifically minded, seaside resorts for those seeking entertainment, fishing and sailing for the sports fans, coasteering for the adventurous and long-distance trails for the energetic. This coast has something for everyone, even the four-legged members of the family as it has numerous dog-friendly beaches. It has all you’d expect from a sea-side: lighthouses, rock pools, fossils, ice cream parlours, piers and even a ship-wreck and then it has more in the form of the rare plants and birds that thrive in this environment.
What adds to the fascination of this coast for many is that it has the second highest tidal range in the world which means that you can visit a resort one day when the water is lapping the shore and come back the next when you can hardly see the sea.