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Bradshaw’s Guide

Weston-super-Mare

General view, Weston-super-Mare, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress

Weston-super-Mare has the advantage of being very accessible from Bristol, Bath, Exeter, and other towns on the line of the Great Western Railway. It has none of the picturesqueness arising from old streets and buildings, but, situated on the margin of Uphill Bay, near the Bristol Channel, it possesses the usual attractions of a neat watering place, having within the last ten years become considerably enlarged and frequented. The receding of the tide leaves a disfiguring bank of mud along the beach, which is a great drawback to the enjoyment of bathing; but a good market, numerous shops, and a delightful neighbourhood for rambling, present some counterbalancing advantages. Worle Hill is one of the pleasantest spots that a tourist could desire to meet with. In traversing the northern or sea side of the hill, the path lies, most of the way, through a copse of young fir trees, presenting occasional openings of the Channel and the rocky coast beyond. Towards the eastern end of the hill beautiful prospects are unfolded over a large and richly cultivated plain, extending to Woodspring Priory and Clevedon, with two or three churches standing up amid the elms and ashes. The nearest of these is Kewstoke Church, situated on the slope of Worle Hill itself. It derives its name from St. Kew, who once formed his cell on the bleak hill top. From the church a craggy track, called the Pass of St. Kew, consisting of a hundred natural and artificial steps, leads over the hill to the village of Milton on the opposite side, and these are said to have been worn by the feet of the pious recluse, as lie. daily went to perform his devotions at the church, which then occupied the same spot as it does at present. The ruins of the Priory at Woodspring arc of considerable extent, and very picturesque, situated in a very solitary position at the farther end of a wide marshy but cultivated flat; they are divided from the sea by a narrow ridge of rocks, called Swallow Cliffs, quite out of the way of any frequented road. Crossing the broad mossy top of Worle Hill we can descend upon the village of Worle, which is prettily situated on the southern slope of the hill, and commands a delightful view over the richly cultivated flat to the range of the Mendip Hills. In short, the inducements to prolong a visit to Weston will be found principally to arise from the charming localities by which it is surrounded. The climate is bracing, and the air is very salubrious.

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