Weston-super-Mare's rather grand-sounding name simply means Weston-on-Sea. It's technically the Bristol Channel, but that doesn't matter – this is the kind of seaside town where day-trippers and holidaymakers can forget their worries for a while, let their hair down and have some good old fashioned fun. At Weston, there's nothing else for it than to grab your bucket and spade and get stuck in.
Trains to Weston-super-Mare bring you to within half a mile of the beach. It's a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the station, heading down Regent Street through the main shopping area. Pop into the Sovereign Shopping Centre if you're looking for high street names, or venture closer to the seafront for more traditional fare, from fish and chips and candyfloss to amusement arcades.
You'll also find some quite fancy bistros and hotel restaurants. As soon as you get to the front, you really get to see what all the fuss is about. The beach goes on for miles – sometimes miles and miles depending on what time of day it is – and the vast expanse of sand is used for all sorts of events, including motorbike and quad racing.
The tidal range here is the second highest in the world, which is why Weston's famous piers were built in the town's Victorian heyday. The Grand Pier is still very much in action, and bills itself as 'the ultimate 21st-century indoor theme park'.
Further south down Marine Parade is the Seaquarium, which occupies a pier of its own and is home to freshwater, marine and tropical species from all over the world.