Local voices: Clevedon - a North Somerset seaside town with a rich Victorian heritage

Sarah Ball is flying the flag for Clevedon, one of Somerset's most beautiful coastal towns

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Sarah MacCuaig

Sarah MacCuaig is a freelance writer and social creative who works between Clevedon and Bristol. She runs a blog and Instagram page @bristolcoffeeshops for all things caffeinated and writes about sustainable, vintage and thrifted fashion on her personal Instagram @sarahmaccuaig.

September 25th, 2019

You're a proud inhabitant of Clevedon, how do you help promote the area?

I'm the social media and website content manager for Discover Clevedon. I work with independent local businesses as well as tourism publications and websites to ensure visitors to the town are kept up to date with where to shop, what to see, where to eat and what they can find in Clevedon, that you wouldn’t experience anywhere else!

Clevedon Pier Courtesy of Clevedon Pier
Clevedon Pier

What do you think makes Clevedon so special?

Along the North Somerset coastline there are many notable towns, but nowhere can quite compare to the unique heritage of the pier, the culture and history of The Curzon cinema or the independent shopping on offer in the town. 

The seafront is a pebble beach, which means we don’t have the 'sand between your toes' draw of most seaside towns, but that’s what makes Clevedon a little different. Visitors enjoy views across to Cardiff and incredible tidal heights that fill our marine lake - the world's largest sea water infinity pool, and a piece of aquatic history. It’s also a place where people of any age or ability can try out crabbing or water sports like paddleboarding and canoeing throughout the year. 

The restaurants and cafes in Clevedon are award-winning, nationally-recognised and a big draw for tourists. From fish and chips, paleo coffee shops to fine dining, we are known to like good food!

Curzon Cinema Clevedon Courtesy of Curzon Clevedon
Curzon Cinema Clevedon

What are the must-do activities for first-time visitors to Clevedon?

You absolutely have to walk along the pier. Rain or shine, the views looking back towards the seafront and across the water to Cardiff are just stunning. Used for wedding shoots, TV productions and One Direction music videos, the design of the structure is magnificent. 

As well as making a visit to the many independent restaurants, bars, boutiques and cafes on Alexandra Road and Hill Road by the sea, I’d recommend a trip into the Community Bookshop as they are ever so welcoming, well-read and happy to help you browse the shelves. There’s even a children's reading corner! 

It’s well worth a trip into the centre of town too for gift shops and of course, The Curzon cinema. Since opening its doors in 1912, The Curzon cinema has hosted mainstream and art house films, live comedy and music performances and generally become a centre for creativity and the community. Now known as one of the oldest continually-running purpose-built cinemas in the world, a trip to see the most recent sequel to the latest blockbuster franchise is a cultural affair.

Clevedon Pier Photo by Sarah Ball
Clevedon Pier

Can you describe Clevedon in three words?

Struggled here! Unique, independent, Instagrammable?! 

What is Clevedon famous for?

I think alongside the history Clevedon holds, the town is most recently known for our showbiz pedigree having featured in a One Direction music video and TV productions such as Broadchurch and Sanditon. Locals have become somewhat accustomed to seeing film crews and actors in and around the town!

Can you tell us Clevedon's best kept secret?

For anyone looking for a bit of fresh sea air without too many people about, a jaunt up to Poet’s Walk will bring you to a stunning viewpoint looking out across the water. It's a 10-minute uphill walk to the left of the marine lake and you can sit on the top of the Iron Age hill fort to enjoy 360 degree views across the pier, the town and the Severn Estuary. This hill holds a lot of history - poets such as Alfred Tennyson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are known to have been inspired by this particular area of Clevedon. A great place for plenty of reasons and not known by many! 

Clevedon Marine lake Photo by Sarah Ball
Clevedon Marine lake
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