About 20miles south west of Bristol, just a little further than the notorious Weston Super Mare sea front, lies Weston Woods. An area of importance since the Iron Age and now a 130-hectare nature reserve, this was the spot that Danielle, Ian and I decided to explore this weekend to escape from the chaos (and essay deadlines) of the city.
I’m writing this post right now tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and a cosy cup of lemon and ginger tea as while today’s little adventure has left me exhilarated and somewhat cleansed, I am also feeling soggy, cold and definitely soon to come down with something. This trip is not for the faint hearted, especially in our bracing October weather. If I had known what would be in store, perhaps I would have brought more appropriate footwear – my Nikes are pretty mucky right now.
Following the pathway (which is roughly 1 ½ miles) we had the chance to explore the beautiful woodland, climb the broadleaf trees and also check out the 2000 year old pits – apparently these were dug and used to store grain. We were also able to have a look at the Iron Age Hill Fort as the defensive ramparts can still be seen. (Archaeological side note from me – During excavations in 1850, they found around 100 human skeletons here, many of which showed signs of having been violently killed and things! I love gory archaeology goss!) Exploring the various bridleways and admiring the fungi and enormous trees, draped with ivy and splattered with bright orange lichen, was a welcome respite from the city. And the fresh, coastal air was a beautiful tonic to our hangovers and grogginess after a busy weekend of lots of drinking and very little sleeping.
We decided to walk back along the beach – which was glorious and exciting at first – but fairly soon pretty exhausting. We made hilariously/devastatingly slow progress clambering over the oddly shaped rocks, slipping on the spikey pebbles, and sinking into the scarily sticky sand. BUT, cold and soggy and muddy and tired, WE MADE IT. And we got to enjoy gorgeous views of the sunset, as well as of the derelict Victorian pier which has been abandoned for over a decade?! Definitely keep an eye out for this! Fantastically creepy – complete with rotting decking and broken windows, what’s left of Birnbeck Pier (constructed in 1867) is the perfect setting for a horror story and a great topic of conversation for the journey home.
- There are parking spaces around the edge of the road. Pop the postcode into googlemaps.
- It is also possible to get a bus from Weston-Super-Mare town centre – the number 83 – to Worlebury Hill Road.
- Bring with you: A warm coat + waterproof, Appropriate shoes, snacks, a flask of something warm for afterwards! (Unless you’re going in summer in which case – don’t worry so much!)
- Worlebury Hill Road,
- Weston Woods Level Access Path Walk
- The ‘Love Weston’ website
- The Local Nature Reserve Website
- More on the history of Birnbeck Pier