A walk on a Victorian Seafront, part 1

This weekend has been a busy one, My wife has gone into hospital to have a hip replacement. So Saturday was spent there waiting for things to happen, followed by waiting for things to finish. A long day but it seems to have gone well. Visiting times are in the afternoons so, to distract myself I took a trip to Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town on the west coast of England. It is mostly Victorian in origin, although its history does stretch back to the Iron Age with the hill fort on top of Worlebury hill.

The vague remains of Worlebury Hill Fort
The vague remains of Worlebury Hill Fort

This is part of a group based on the low summits around Somerset.

I started out on the promenade, walking with the sea (or Bristol Channel to be correct) on one side and the Victorian mansions on the other. There have been many changes over the years, and these houses have withstood the elements for over one hundred years in many cases. The seafront area however has recently been renovated. Although many of the Victorian shelters are still standing.

Victorian Shelter
Victorian Shelter
Old and New, side by side.
Old and New, side by side.
Shelter, seaward side.
Shelter, seaward side.
The Tropicana
The Tropicana

The Tropicana, Weston’s seafront Lido has, unfortunately, been left to rot by successive councils who seem unable to make any sort of sensible decision about what to do with the old place. Such a fantastic piece of architecture, and all that seems to be done is to knock bits down because they have become unsafe. Such a shame for an interesting old building.

The rest of the seafront some two miles of sandy beach stretches away dotted with huts and interesting spots and dots.

Big Sky and Beach
Big Sky and Beach

Weston has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, and due to its position at the mouth of the River Severn, is well-known for the mud and sinking sand exposed at low tide.

The Promenade
The Promenade
Pier post and sand
Pier post and sand

As with any beach there are always things of interest, and places to go, come rain or shine. It is always a pleasure to stroll along, watching for the small details that we generally walk past without seeing. The patterns created by posts on the beach. The sea wall erosion that has made wonderful textured rocks that nobody can resist dragging a hand along as they walk. All part of the meeting of man and sea. The craftsmanship in the small details of the beach-front buildings is so clever, we would struggle to recreate it today.

Café and toilet detail.
Café and toilet detail.
Beach cabins
Beach cabins
Flood Barrier detail
Flood Barrier detail

But when we do attempt to produce our own interpretation of those details, craftsmen can come up with some special results. As on one of the main flood barriers on the front.

Promenade detail
Promenade detail
Sandy Beach
Sandy Beach
The Beach Arch
The Beach Arch

The Arch is designed to draw the eye out across the bay and onto Brean Down, the last landfall of the Mendip hills. It also frames the landward woods of Worlebury if you look back from the sea.

Promenade
Promenade
Promenade Studs, detail
Promenade Studs, detail

Even these studs put in to mark the pelican crossing add something to the scheme. A crossing of lines that draws the eye as the sunlight catches them at certain times of the day and like the sun drifting over the wet sands, marking out the patterns on the beach, it adds to the magic of the promenade.

Hazy winter sun on the beach.
Hazy winter sun on the beach.
Windswept Trees
Windswept Trees
Footprints and Reflections
Footprints and Reflections
The rocky end to the beach
The rocky end to the beach
Sea Wall, detail.
Sea Wall, detail.
Sea Wall Detail II
Sea Wall Detail II
Coast Rocks, detail.
Coast Rocks, detail.

Next post I will continue my walk around the coast and up into the woods overlooking Weston Bay and the land around. Before dropping down into the town itself.

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7 thoughts on “A walk on a Victorian Seafront, part 1

  1. I love the details you encountered on your stroll! You’ve got a great eye. The windswept tree was my favorite. So many lovely things to notice…thanks for taking me there!

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