Oh we do love to be beside the seaside………I promise you, our reviewing is much better than our singing, and on that note, lets get on with the show.
The seaside, we love it, the salty sea air, the fish and chips, the donkeys, the slot machines, the sand between your toes, and in other places that you will be finding for weeks after, absolutely love it! Part of the whole Great British seaside experience is a pier, and they have a nasty habit of burning down in recent years, and the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare is no different.
Originally opened in 1904, the Grand Pier originally hosted a 2,000 seat theatre, and was so successful it was extended in 1907 to be used as a docking point for boats, which never really worked out due to fast currents.
In 1930, the Grand Pier suffered its first fire with the theatre being destroyed, and it took 3 years to rebuild, this time with a funfair at the end of the pier.
Becoming listed in 1974, the Pier looked unstoppable, that was up until 2008, when the new owners were carrying out a huge refurbishment, and fire once again struck, and again destroying the entire end of the pier. Indeed, I remember the morning, waking up and seeing the images on the news, it was a horrible site, and on a little tour of the area that year, we stopped by and the devastation was immense, and from what we saw, the town was suffering as a result.
Happily, in 2010, the Grand Pier re-opened, in a complete refresh, the pier looked modern with its sweeping curves, it was when we next visited a few years later, simply stunning.
Recently we had the chance to pop by again, and I say this, the Grand Pier does not disappoint. Walking under the arch announcing your arrival, I get the feeling I could jump to any time in the last hundred-odd years and it would just be as busy, just as lively and just as welcoming.
The walk to the end of the pier is getting on for a thousand feet, and takes a good 10 minutes or so with the family, but get to the main building and the assault on your eyes begins. Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to look, with so much crammed into the building, and everything making noises, the combined noise just becomes some sort of mash of fun fair and amusement arcade.
The rides inside can now get pricey, and we took a walk around first to take it all in. F1 simulators, Go Karts and Robo Coasters are all there to choose from, and have prices worthy of a top theme park, however, there were a few we looked at, the Robo Coaster for example is like strapping yourself into a seat, attached to one of those robots which build cars, which is surprisingly quite accurate as they are both built by the same company.
Do not approach Weston Super Mare’s Grand Pier for a low cost day out, the prices, especially for multiple rides with children in tow, can get quite high, however, they have acknowledged this and sometimes offer unlimited ride wristbands, however, go in the peak season in high summer and be prepared for your wallet to be emptied.
Recently, for whatever reason, the Grand Pier is no longer free to enter, instead, it now costs £1 each to enter, before you get to the rides.
We loved our visit, and will return one day, however, we will have to save up beforehand first to enable us to fully enjoy the day without penny watching.