Eighteen miles southwest of Bristol is Weston-super-Mare. This popular beach resort in North Somerset has been around since the 19th century and started life as a small village. Now, with an award-winning beach – one of the longest in the UK – high tidal range and World famous Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare attracts vast numbers of tourists. And it’s not just for the golden sands.
Watersports, and SUP in particular, play a major role in the resort’s popularity. Weston Paddleboard Academy offers tuition from 10 years upwards, provided an accompanying adult is a willing class-mate. Learning groups are small and short introductory sessions are a great way to find your feet and keep your balance. If required, longer one-on-one tuition is available, as well as higher level and refresher courses. Wetsuits are provided and all instruction begins on dry land. Fully BSUPA accredited, they request all bookings in advance. For more details call 07816-652720.
Hotels in Weston-super-Mare offer wide choices of quality accommodation. Among many is the Sandringham. It couldn’t be better positioned for the Grand Pier or the seafront. If you enjoy a traditional restaurant with live entertainment, this is for you. All rooms have private bathrooms, and a full English breakfast will keep you going till lunchtime. For more details, call 01934-624891.
The charming little harbour town of Watchet is the base for Active Adventure Southwest. A few miles east of Minehead on Bridgwater Bay, Watchet, with its busy marina, is ideally placed for this ever-growing sport. Active Adventure’s instructors are BSUPA qualified and lessons start with the basic introductions to equipment as well as necessary board handling skills. Safety is paramount and there are no restrictions on ability. Tuition is readily available from age 11 to over 45’s and non-swimmers are welcome: www.activeadventuresw.co.uk has more information.
If you’re ready for an activity break in the region, the Old Stables Bed & Breakfast in Minehead could be the solution. They have joined forces with Active Adventure Southwest for paddleboarding tuition off Minehead Beach. The beach is minutes from the Old Stables, which is conveniently close to Exmoor National Park. As a gentle alternative, paddleboard tuition is offered at Wimbleball Lake with transport available at an extra cost.
The historic Old Stables dates back to 1901. It offers light and airy accommodation with en-suite facilities. As an added extra, you could have a professional photo-shoot during your stay. With free WiFi and its own off-road parking, the Old Stables couldn’t be better placed for exploring the region. For more details, call 07435-964-882.
SUP has experienced a sharp increase in popularity in North Somerset, largely thanks to funding from the Local Access Rural Community. The sport is even expanding its boundaries to include pilates and yoga. It’s an activity accessible to everyone, no matter their age or skill level. It gives you a fresh perspective and is great exercise into the bargain. You just have to add water.