Coombes Cider Farm, Mark, Somerset
After our trip to Woodlands Grove Caravan and Camping site we moved on to Coombes Cider Farm in Mark, Somerset. Despite the name some may be disappointed to hear that there is no Cider on offer but what is there is a nice, friendly, community of campers and more than adequate facilities. We spent Saturday and Sunday here and fortunately the good weather continued. Our hosts greeted us at the electronic gated barrier where we checked in and were given a key fob to operate the gate.
The site can only accommodate caravans and campers due to the set up; the pitches are all hard-standing with a small bit of grass to the side for awnings. Fortunately now that we have the camper van this shouldn’t have been an issue but when we were given a small corner pitch it was clear that our awning just wouldn’t fit. Our host was great, quickly finding a pitch that had plenty of space a little further to the back (pitch 101 for those that need the extra grass space) and we quickly erected the awning. Most of the site is caravans, well, to be honest we were the only camper van there, and the small children playing just outside were intrigued by our tiny home for the weekend. They were all given a tour of the Bongo and were most impressed by the pop-top roof.
The site itself has nice, clean washrooms and toilet facilities and a communal room where people gather at night to drink, play bingo, and have a laugh. At the time an charity event was on so on the Sunday there was the possibility to have food, play games, and partake in the activities. BBQ/Fire pits are allowed but no open fires. There is no shop or bar so everything is bring-your-own which is great for saving the pennies. We were running out of food at this time, having used most of it on our previous campsite, so I must admit we did go out for a vegan curry one night but we did manage to create a meal or two in the Bongo. The site is reasonably small but is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas such as Weston Super Mare and Brean. We chose to spend our time in Brean this time.
Brean has great beaches where you can drive the van right onto the sand and set up shop for the day, we did this Sunday and Monday. The weather was again great so we drove along the beach to Brean Down, parked up, and set off up the many steps on the way to the top of the limestone cliffs. The views are spectacular and offer a full panoramic experience of Brean, Weston Super Mare, and the Bristol Channel. At the end of Brean Down is Brean Down Fort which was constructed in the 1860s and used during WW2 for experimental weapons testing although according to the information boards scattered around at the site the earliest recorded settlement there was from the Early Bronze Age. The fort itself has been renovated recently and it a great place to take the family for a picnic. The whole walk, from steps to fort and back is no more than 3 miles so a nice excursion if you have a few hours to spare exploring. At the bottom of the steps is a nice little cafe where a well-earned cup of tea can be had.
Along the main road of Brean front there are many arcades, pubs, shops, and eateries, plenty to keep the kids entertained but we chose to spend most of our time on the beach, digging, paddling, and playing frisbee. The beach itself is the second largest stretch of sand in Europe at 6 miles but one word of caution, when the tide is out it really is out, and the hard sand becomes soft and muddy towards the waters edge, best to keep away from that. Do check the tide times which are on a board at the entrance as you go in.
Brean is one of our favourite places to go and we will definitely be back soon but first, a weekend away in Osminton.