My partner (D) and I happened to have some time to ourselves at the weekend. My eldest son was with his Dad, preparing to go on what I hope is an amazing holiday – a cruise around the Canaries. The youngest was away at camp.
D had asked for another ‘date day’ as we had enjoyed such a thing a few weeks ago. We decided to make the most of not having the boys and go away somewhere. Because of having to drop off the little dude on Friday and pick him up on Sunday, we didn’t want to go too far but we had previously talked about going for a weekend away together at the seaside.
Our nearest seaside resort is Skegness but we don’t like that very much. Our next nearest (also easier to get to) is Weston-Super-Mare. We decided on that destination and that we would travel Saturday morning (8th July 2017) and return Sunday (9th July 2017). D had never been there and didn’t think there was anything there. I had been a few times but I didn’t remember much about it nor do I recall doing anything other than going to the beach and the pier. So I was as surprised as D to find there was actually quite a bit to see and do.
We were also both surprised at how easy it was to drive around, how quiet it was compared to other seaside towns, and how clean and friendly and pretty everything is around there. We visited a few places but I didn’t want to write a separate review so I will put them all here.
It did take longer to get there than we had hoped. Firstly, D had felt ill in the morning so we didn’t start out until an hour after I had intended. He was then sick on the way (I don’t think we were even half way there) and, after he’d thrown up out of the car window (thankfully not inside the car), we stopped at services or a rest. Once we were back on our journey, he was feeling much better. The traffic wasn’t too bad but there were four times when it slowed down so that we were travelling an average of 20 miles an hour on motorways! I got a little stressed as I wanted to get there earlier so we could have lots of time to do things.
Well, we did get there eventually. Just before 1pm, I think. Our first task was to find a car park. There was one which we had seen on a Google search but that seemed to only be a short stay. So we continued to a long stay. It was a grand total of £3 for 24 hours parking. We left the car there and wandered to the hotel.
We had requested a ground floor room. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one available. I think we may actually have booked the last available room. There was, however, a lift. It must have been the smallest lift ever seen but I know D was grateful of it as he would have struggled with the stairs.
As we entered the building (which has disabled access), we were greeted by a lovely lady who checked us in and had a chat with us. The room was not very big but big enough for our needs. It had an en-suite shower room. The door to that didn’t shut. Otherwise, the room was quaint and comfortable. We had a really good sleep. Basics are provided – soap, toilet roll, towels, kettle and tea/coffee. There is also a TV.
For somewhere cheap, quiet, homely, and comfortable near the seafront, this is a lovely place. We’ve already said we will stay again.
We had planned to pop into a pub for a drink on our wander up the promenade but we couldn’t seem to find one which wasn’t also a restaurant. So our first stop was the SeaQuarium. I particularly wanted to go there and it was closer than we thought.
It cost £19 for the two of us. We spent about half an hour. The entry cost includes as many return visits as you like throughout the day. We didn’t come back again, though. We did enjoy looking at the sea creatures and reading more about them.
D already knows a lot about such things. Anyway, the SeaQuarium was pretty much the same as other sea life places. As I said to D, though, I know it’s a ‘seen one, seen them all’ situation but it’s one of those things I just like to do. He doesn’t mind as he is happy to do anything and usually enjoys the same things as I do.
Cabot Court Hotel and Nick’s Bar
On the way back to the hotel, D wanted to stop off for a beer. There were lots of eateries but there didn’t seem to be many places which were just bars or just a simple pub. We came across the Cabot Court Hotel. This was a Wetherspoon’s. Not everyone’s favourite thing but it does have a pleasant familiarity. Well, you wouldn’t have known it was a Wetherspoon’s. It was so lovely. It is a Grade II listed building, spacious on the inside and plenty of outdoor seating. We sat on a shady bit of a sun deck where we had a sea view.
I do have a few pictures from here but D is on all of them and I don’t think he would want me to share (if he lets me, I will add them later).
This time of year just happens to be cider festival time so we had cider (we probably would have had cider anyway). We were surprised to find the prices were cheaper than some of our locals in the Midlands. We just had one drink each here and then we wandered a little further up the road to Nick’s Bar.
I didn’t take any pictures from Nick’s Bar. I think I was already a bit tipsy on one drink! We had a couple at Nick’s Bar. Again, the drinks were cheap. The seating was mostly outside here as well. It was a nice place. It was busy but not crowded. Saying that, I could describe most of the town the same way. We sat and chatted for a while. D said it seemed the time went slowly but not in a bad way. We enjoyed a chat and a drink in the sun before we headed back to the hotel.
We got back to the hotel about 5pm and we’d booked a table for dinner at another pub for 6pm. So we got changed and ready then wandered back out.
The Old Thatched Cottage
The Old Thatched Cottage is only a few doors away from the Welbeck so it was a very short wander. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t take any pictures of it but I’m sure we will go again.
Another Grade II listed building, the Cottage dates back to 1774. It’s a beautiful building. When we walked in, we were the only people there although it did start to get busier not long after. The waiting staff were very pleasant.
D had a homemade pate starter and a gammon for his main course. I had crayfish tails (only recently have I discovered that I really like crayfish) and then hake braised in white wine and lemon. I also had a glass of Port and a soft drink. D didn’t have anything to drink because he’s odd like that.
The meal was delicious. We both really enjoyed what we had. However, at almost £50 or the two of us, it was one of our more expensive meals. It was worth it but we might try somewhere cheaper next time.
Once we had finished our meal, we headed back to the hotel again. I’d asked D if he wanted to wander a little more as he’d mentioned Birnbeck pier. As it happens, I discovered that it’s disused and unsafe to actually visit. Anyway, we got back to the hotel and both promptly fell asleep (it wasn’t even 7pm). Just after 9pm, we woke up for a bit. I would have liked to walk along the sea as it’s something I’ve not done but we were both still tired so went back to sleep.
Speaking of things we haven’t done, this was, in fact, the first time I’ve been away with just a partner. Not counting nights away with my sisters, I think it’s also the first time I’ve been away without children. D seemed both surprised that I had never had a holiday with a boyfriend and happy that the first (hopefully of many) time away as a couple was with him.
I was wide awake at about 4am. Again, a little wander would have been nice but I didn’t want to go by myself and I knew D needed more sleep before we headed home.
We got up at 8am and started out by 9. We took a walk up to where we had parked the car and had a look around. D had been intrigued by something he thought looked like a castle. I don’t think it did look like a castle but, when we saw it up close, I could see why he thought that. It turned out to be Knightstone Island (which isn’t an island, it’s part of Weston-Super-Mare seafront). There are a couple of tea rooms there. One, Dr. Fox’s Tea Room, looked nice. We were going to go in but they weren’t quite open. So we decided that we’d head home and stop on the way for something to eat and drink.
When we got home, D suggested that next time we should start out a little later and go to Dr. Fox’s so we could have breakfast looking out to see. I must agree that it would have been preferable to the service station sandwiches. Not that they were bad but a sea view with a nice breakfast is always going to beat a service station sandwich.
Our journey home wasn’t quite as long as the journey there. I think it was the best part of 4 hours to get there whereas it was 3 and a half coming back. Not much difference but we did have a longer stop and the traffic was better.
Once we were home, we relaxed for a while before I had a little bit more of a drive to pick up my little man from camp. He said he enjoyed it. Now I need to know when the next one is so I can plan another child-free weekend! D said he would like to go back to Weston-Super-Mare. He’d never considered it. He spent 10 years living in Hastings (which is another seaside town and where his daughters still live) but he says he likes Weston better. It is fairly quiet for a seaside resort but it has beautiful scenery, and a few things to do. On our next visit, we might stay a little longer if we get chance and go on a ferry to Flat Holm island, visit the helicopter museum, and maybe go to Wookey Hole or Cheddar Gorge which aren’t too far away.
Whatever we plan, I’ve really enjoyed this weekend and very much look forward to some more of the same.