As many of you know I love heading off to Brean Down for my days out from here in Glastonbury. Every time I visit I find out something new about the wonderful place that is just a short drive away. Here is a list of the 10 Things you may not have known about Brean Down.
- The strip of beach from Brean Down to Burnham is 7 miles long which makes it one of the longest stretches of golden sand in Europe. The majority of the beach is dog and horse friendly.
- . Brean Down contains sands that have accumulated since the last Ice Age. These Sands of Time reveal clues about the way the climate has changed over millennia.
- There is a sequence of bronze age settlements and Brean Down is one of the earliest sites with evidence of salt production in Europe.
- Brean Down has been occupied almost continuously for thousands of years. Hillforts dating back to 300 BC on the top of the peninsula.
- In the middle ages, part of the down was used to raise rabbits, a rare and valuable meat at that time.
- In 1861 a harbour was started at Brean Down. It was thought to be a better port for crossing the Atlantic with an advantage over Liverpool. The project was beset with difficulties and was abandoned 4 years later.
- During the Victorian period(1837-1901) Weston super Mare and Brean Down were major tourist destinations.
- In the mid-19th Century, a fort was built here to defend against the French.
- The fort at Brean Down was re-fortified in 1941 for troops to be stationed at during WWII
- Gugielmo Marconi (credited with inventing the first telephone), made his first radio transmission from the top of Brean Down.
From us here in Glastonbury, it is 21 miles, a nice long bike ride, or a 50-minute drive across the Levels to get there. There is a pay-and-display car park at Brean Down, it is free for National Trust members or £4.50 for the day if you are not a member. The National Trust Cafe is open 7 days a week and does very good food. You can walk from the cafe up to the top of Brean Downs or take a walk along the beach.
If you want to make a day trip out of this make sure and stop off at Rich’s Cider Restaurant and Farm Shop. Great food and cider. They do a very good roast on the weekend for £8.50 per person. Or head to the pretty little village of Wedmore where you will find delightful gift shops, pubs, and cafes. The Swan at Wedmore makes a very nice stop for a group. Or the George Inn is a bit more relaxed with a great fire to sit and relax by.