Salty swimming, sea glass hunting, sexy coastline and a side of Victorian English seaside charm – Clevedon is one of our favourite family trips from Bristol especially when the sun is shining. Just half an hour down the M5 and you can be in beautiful North Somerset for a blast of sea air and soul-nourishing ocean-gazing (the Bristol Channel counts in this category right?)
Here are our favourite things to do with kids in Clevedon, Somerset.
Work up an appetite with a walk
If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll need running around/wearing out early on! I have two favourite family strolls in Clevedon – one is Poet’s Walk and the other is a simply buggy-friendly amble along the seafront from the marine lake down to Clevedon Pier.
Pay for parking next to the Salthouse Bar & Restaurant (if you end up eating here, you can claim some of your fee back).
Poet’s Walk, Clevedon
So-named in reference to the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Alfred Tennyson who were inspired by their time in Clevedon, this circular clifftop stroll is about 2km and is a great one for kids as there’s a little castle, space to run free and it’s not too long.
Bearing left out of the Salthouse Pub car park (if you’re looking at the sea), you can pick up the walk at one end of Clevedon marine lake. Take the path towards the wooded area and you’ll quickly reach a viewpoint looking out over the sea towards the pier and lake below. Slightly further up there’s a small castle lookout (a.k.a Sugar Lookout, an Instagram fave), then keep following the path past a church and onto open green fields for far-reaching views over the channel.
Clevedon seafront walk
If you turn right out of the Salthouse Pub car park, you can follow the seafront promenade all the way past the marine lake, Salthouse fields with its miniature train and bouncy castle, mini golf, skate park, food kiosks and Victorian bandstand to Clevedon Pier. A flat, gentle stroll, it’s perfect for buggies, scooters and bikes, although it does get busy at weekends so bear that in mind! Pop into one of the cafes, hit pebbly Clevedon Beach or visit the Grade 1* listed pier before heading back to the car.
Pay just a few pounds (adult -£3.50, child aged 4-15 – £2.35, family £10) and you can sashay (or croon One Direction style – the band filmed on the pier a few years ago) down the UK’s only Grade 1* listed pier. Finished in 1869 as a landing point for paddle steamers transporting passengers along the Severn Estuary from Wales and Devon, Waverley cruises to Minehead, Ilfracombe, Penarth, Porth Cawl and Swansea still leave from here.
If you’d rather stay put, there are some cracking views across the Severn Estuary to Wales, plus a pagoda cafe at the far end serving coffee and cake.
This long pebbly beach right next to the pier is backed by a cluster of restaurants and has a slipway running into the sea. Kids love scouring the stones for sea glass here, picking up driftwood and climbing on the rocks. If it’s nice weather, pop over to the cafe across the road for some takeaway chips to eat on the beach.. An ice cream van is often parked up here too, if you want to indulge in the ultimate seaside treat.
Clevedon Marine Lake
Built in 1929 and recently refurbished, Clevedon Marine Lake is an enormous tidal infinity pool with a photogenic Bristol Channelbackdrop. You’ll need a thick skin or a wetsuit to brave a dip in the water (it’s about 13.5 degrees C in May), or you could always take a paddleboard or canoe. Even if you’re not venturing in, kids love walking around the edge and there’s crabs if you have the kit to fish them out.
Next to the Salthouse Pub car park, you can’t fail to spot (and if you do, your offspring will no doubt clock them) a whole host of kiddo entertainment. A large playground with sand pit, swings, slides and climbing frames, a miniature train (£1.50) runs circuits around Salthouse Fields and there’s normally a bouncy castle and a carousel here too. Excellent motivation as a treat for kids after a wander.
Located next to the start of Poet’s Walk and Clevedon Marine Lake, this lovely pub is definitely one you should keep in mind for al fresco dining on sunny days. If you can, get a table in the area overlooking the kids’ playground, so they can have a play while you’re waiting for your pub grub and drinks (the perfect pub parenting combo am I right?!) This spot also has the best views over the Bristol Channel, Clevedon pier and the marine lake.
For more ideas on things to do, places to eat out and lots more fun stuff taking place in Clevedon, check out www.discoverclevedon.co.uk