The Somerset Coast has something for everyone. There is miles of sandy beaches for family seaside fun from Weston-super-Mare to Burnham-on-Sea. There are family holiday parks with Pontins and Brean Sands at Brean and Butlins on the Exmoor coast at Minehead. For quieter seaside holidays there are genteel Victorian resorts like Clevedon, Brean Down and Berrow Sand Dunes. Traditional seafaring towns are dotted along the coast like Watchet at the north of the Quantock Hills.
All the Somerset Coast looks out onto Bridgwater Bay - excellent for birdwatching with waders and waterfowl coming here to feed over winter or breed in the Spring.
Clevedon retains its Victorian elegance with its stunning pier stretching out into the sea and the many Victorian buildings that stem from its heyday as a seaside resort. You can still take a stroll along the pier or take the Poets Walk as poets such as Coleridge and Tennyson are thought to have for inspiration from the views out over the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel.
Clevedon is a pleasant, friendly place to while away some time along the prom or shop in the town itself. There are lots of cafes, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained as well as a good range of recreational spaces down near the seafront. Clevedon is also home to the oldest continuously running cinema in the country - the community run Curzon Cinema that shows up-to-date film releases as well as art house films and special events.
Weston-super-Mare is the archetypical English seaside resort. It became popular in the Victorian era and many of its grander buildings date from that time. It's still a popular family holiday resort with miles of sandy beach and plenty of arcades, cafes and restaurants. The town centre also has a good range of shops. Being so popular there are plenty of hotel and bed and breakfast choices in Weston-super-Mare itself and there is a whole host of camping and caravan parks all the way around the town particularly towards Brean.
The Grand Pier is the focal point of the seafront, Marine Parade. The Pier's been updated over the years but still retains its original character. Weston is made for entertainment and fun so you'll find all manner of seaside fun, theatres, cinemas and attractions nearby.
Just outside Weston-super-Mare is The Helicopter Museum, the largest of its kind in the country. This makes a great day out for all aviation enthusiasts whatever age.
Once you set out around Weston-super-Mare you start to enter the Mendips countryside. There are several walks like the long distance West Mendip Way or shorter walks to some of the special wildlife reserves such as at Purn Hill from Bleadon.
The coast from Brean Down to Berrow is the centre for family fun packed holidays at seaside locations. Here you can camp by the beach in a tent, your own or static caravan. Find loads of family activities and rides at Pontins, Brean Leisure Park, animal farms, boat trips and attractions nearby or further afield.
Being on the coast it's an ideal location for taking leisurely coastal walks on Brean Down or along Berrow sand dunes. There's a multitude of wildlife in the dunes or birdlife on the beaches. For golf Burnham and Berrow Golf Club offer golfing opportunities on a natural links course and a 9 hole course and Brean Golf Club offer short games and lessons for the novice.
Burnham on Sea is excellent for a beachy family holiday. It has seven miles of sandy beach joining the sand dunes up to Brean Down to the north. Burnham on Sea overlooks Bridgewater Bay and out to the Bristol Channel. It is also at the mouth of the River Parrett. There is a good choice of family holiday parks in and around Burnham-on-Sea as well as B&B and hotel accommodation.
It's your traditional English holiday resort with a long promenade looking across Bridgwater Bay, amusements, beaches with donkey rides and its own mini-pier. The beaches are excellent for kite flying, sand yachting or just relaxing and making sandcastles. Burnham is also renowned for its lighthouses that are dotted around the town.
Watchet is a small traditional harbour town on the coast north of Taunton in West Somerset. It's a great base from which to explore Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and the surrounding countryside.
Watchet itself is steeped in history and literary connections particularly with the poet Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The coast is varied and interesting around Watchet itself with strange looking rocks which contain fossils of prehistoric animals.
Around Watchet are some excellent family attractions that cater for all ages. The West Somerset Railway is a scenic route from Taunton along the coast to Minehead stopping at Watchet. What a better leisurely way to see the Somerset countryside than on a traditional steam train.
Tropiquaria is both an indoor and outdoor attraction based in an old radio station. Here you can see exotic animals in the heated indoor Tropiquaria or other more hardy furry friends outdoors. There are pirate ships and play areas for all ages. Watchet also puts on a summer carnival with a music festival weekend during the summer.
Minehead is one of the main holiday centres in West Somerset. It is an unusual mix of seaside family holiday and a stepping off point for outdoor activities - the South West Coast Path and Exmoor National Park both start here. Minehead is the end point for the West Somerset Railway that provides a scenic journey from Taunton through the Quantock and Exmoor countryside.
Minehead is most famous for being home to a Butlins holiday camp. This is still going strong today and has received millions of pounds worth of investment to modernise it. It continues to be popular today for both holidays and days out.
Minehead clusters around the Bay and spreads out up to the foot of the Exmoor Hills. It is a centre for hotel, guest house, B&B accommodation as well as camping and caravanning on its outskirts. Minehead has seen investment over the years to modernise the seafront and you can now easily walk along the wide promenade dotted with ice cream kiosks and modern toilets. There are some lovely views of Minehead and North Hill, the start of Exmoor, from the beach which is still popular on sunny days. It is said that these wooded hills feature as the Hermit's abode "in that wood which slopes down to the sea" in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Alternatively you can use Minehead as a stepping off point for the South West Coast Path or for exploring Exmoor National Park.