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The classic English seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare can be found along the Bristol Channel in Somerset. Weston Bay is the big attraction, with its incredibly long and wide sandy beach lined with fun seaside attractions and activities. This is a place to come and have fun, not to get engrossed in high culture or cutting-edge urban amenities. With a car, there are even more things to see and do around the lovely Somerset region.
Who to Book With
Several well-known international car hire chains, such as Enterprise and Thrifty, are located in Weston-super-Mare. Most of them have offices at the train and bus stations, as well as in the many business parks situated around town. Since Weston-super-Mare is almost purely a tourist town, it’s strongly advised to book you car rental online as early as possible, especially if you plan to travel during the peak summer holiday months.
Best Time to Go
Weston-super-Mare is generally milder and wetter than the rest of England. A mean temperature of 10°C ensures tolerably warm conditions even in winter. However, it also rains evenly all year, and the wet winter weather can be a bit unpleasant. The best time for a visit is in late spring, when it’s often dry and around 16°C, or in September, when the temperatures are still around 18°C and the weather fairly dry.
Need to Know Essentials
You need the following documents to pick up your vehicle:
- A valid UK or EU driving license or an International Driving Permit
- A second form of picture ID like a passport
- The credit card from the online booking
- A printed rental confirmation
Except during the very busy summer months, the traffic conditions around Weston-super-Mare aren’t too bad. There are certainly congested parts of the waterfront strip, but once you venture out of the town centre, the driving tends to be very enjoyable. The M5 motorway runs just to the east of Weston-super-Mare, with the A370 trunk road providing easy access to the town.
Parking is always an issue in Weston-super-Mare, especially in the summer. Seafront and beach parking is the hardest to find, but there are several car parks to handle the influx. Parking rates vary by season. The peak season runs from 2 March to 31 October, while the low season runs from 1 November to 1 March. All car parks are open between 08:00 and 22:00 daily, with rates from around £1 an hour to £6 a day. There are also Park and Ride lots on the edge of town with transport connecting these free parking facilities to downtown Weston Super Mare.
Most visitors simply walk from their hotel to the beach and the amenities around town. First Bus provides the local bus transport, backed up by a handful of taxi companies that do a brisk business during the summer holidays. It’s also very useful to have your own car in Weston-super-Mare, if only for the convenience of visiting Bristol, Bath and other towns along the coast.
Weston-super-Mare enjoys good rail access via Bristol, as the tracks run throughout southwest England. First Great Western and CrossCountry are the two rail operators at Weston’s train station, which is located within walking distance of the sea and the town centre. Direct trains run regularly to London’s Paddington Station, with plenty of regional services to Bristol, Cardiff Central and Taunton.
First Somerset & Avon and Webberbus are the two companies that run bus services in and around Weston-super-Mare. The main bus stops in town are at the Big Lamp Corner and Regent Street, although there are also several stops along the High Street. Long-distance coach travel is handled by National Express.
Taxis offer a convenient way to get between the seaside attractions and your hotel if you don’t feel like walking or driving. There are several companies to choose from, although they aren’t easy to spot cruising town looking for fares. Instead, keep a number for a company like Apple Central Taxis on hand and give them a call for a quick pick-up 24 hours a day.
There is some amazing driving to be enjoyed around Weston-super-Mare. Cruise along the coastline road to natural sites like Exmoor National Park, or head inland to historic highlights such as Bath and Glastonbury. The M4 bridge is on hand for a quick crossing into Wales and its vibrant capital city of Cardiff. All of these destinations are easily managed on daytrips from Weston-super-Mare.
Bath - A popular getaway, since the Romans first established it as a spa town, is today England’s oldest tourist destination and easily warrants its UNESCO status. Just an hour from Weston-super-Mare, Bath offers an ideal day trip away from beach and into British heritage.
Exmoor National Park - Provides an incredible dose of vintage English countryside just south of Weston-super-Mare. Take the very scenic coastal road and in an hour you can be strolling across the dramatic moors of this stunning national park. Even if you don’t want to walk, there are two rural roads cutting into the edges of the park that provide a great tour.
Cardiff - This is the liveliest city in Wales, easily accessible from Weston-super-Mare by crossing the Bristol Channel on the M4 motorway. Cardiff is one of the UK’s coolest cities and your best choice of a fun urban environment when based in Weston.