Day Trip Diaries: Katrina @realgirlswobble

Katrina is a Marketing Manager in the tourism industry and has over 15 years of expertise in the field. She runs the multi-award-winning website Real Girls Wobble. The lifestyle blog looks to inspire readers with travel, food and drink, especially in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. You can also expect product reviews, business and marketing tips. She is a passionate cider drinker, a cook from scratch advocate, a Cardiff City FC season ticket holder and a Welsh rugby fan.  You can find her full blog here https://realgirlswobble.com

 

 

“Is it cliché to say that Clevedon is a hidden gem? I was utterly taken aback by how much I enjoyed exploring for the day. With breathtaking views, the seaside town is steeped in history and has a modern and vibrant feel. At times, you can forget that you are so close to the water as you wander through the green trees and fields.

The biggest fan of our day out was Ivan, my rescue dog.

 

 

Clevedon is perfect for four paws, and many of the establishments are pet friendly. Actually, it’s a dog’s paradise. Want to know what we got up to? Read our dog-friendly review of Clevedon…

Beep, beep! Let’s go!

 

The drive to Clevedon, North Somerset, took about 50 minutes from Cardiff in South Wales. We drove through a few different weather conditions in true British weather style – bouncing rain, a hail storm and howling wind – before arriving in blazing sunshine. There is plenty of free parking along the streets leading up to the beachfront and pay and display car parks. Make sure you have coins, as they currently don’t take card payments.

 

 

Things to do in Clevedon

 

If you are looking for places to visit with a dog, Clevedon should be top of your list. Children, solo travellers, couples and grandparents will be able to get around easily. There are some steep hills on some of the strolls. However, there is an abundance of benches to catch your breath on or simply take in the beautiful surroundings. Put on your trainers and get ready to do some miles!

 

Clevedon Beach

 

Our first sight was the seafront and bandstand. Hiding behind the promenade is a long pebble beach. Dogs are not allowed on here, but we spotted a few fishermen trying to get their catch of the day. In the distance, you can see the islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm and Cardiff Bay and the South Wales Valleys – including the peak of Pen Y Fan.

 

 

Clevedon Marine Lake

 

I was surprisingly shocked to see how many people were taking a dip. If you are worried the water is too cold, you can double-check the temperature before you go. It was 12.6°C the day I visited. The lake is filled with seawater and is free to use for swimmers, stand up paddleboards, canoes, inflatables and model boats. Dogs can’t go for a swim as they reduce the water quality. However, this is the last thing I mention that isn’t pooch-friendly.

 

 

Poets Walk

 

Ivan was in his element whilst we followed the woody paths of Poets Walk. There were other dogs to greet, lots of tantalising smells and things to search and jump on. The short walk was about a mile long, but with so much to see along the route.

Starting at the Marine Lake, I climbed some stone steps then turned right. The path led to a viewing point with a big stone circle. Next along the track was Sugar Lookout, named because a merchant used to watch ships arrive carrying the precious cargo.

 

 

Further up and through the woodland greenery is the grand structure of St Andrew’s Church. You couldn’t ask for a more peaceful resting place. Then on to the Hill Fort on top of Wain’s Hill, before passing the other side of the church and Salthouse Fields, a children’s play park opposite the Marine Lake.

 

Lunch break

 

Whilst walking around, I spotted so many Clevedon restaurants and pubs that allow dogs. My food pit stop was in The Salthouse Bar & Restaurant. You can’t beat a local pub, especially if it uses local, fresh ingredients. Even though we can now eat indoors again, we chose to sit outside in the sunshine. Ivan was happy to lay down in the aisle with a bowl of water and a stick to chew on.

 

 

After all of the sea air, both my boyfriend and I opted for burgers – needing the carbs. Michael had a beef burger with chorizo and sundried tomatoes. I chose the Korean BBQ chicken. Both were served with chunky chips and a side salad. They were so good, double thumbs up from us!

 

 

Clevedon Pier & Heritage Centre

 

After the leisurely lunch, it was a race down the prom to Clevedon Pier. The last entry was at 4pm, and we just made the cut-off. It is the only Grade I listed pier in the United Kingdom and is over 150 years old. The entry fee is £3.50 each, which includes Gift Aid.

 

 

It took me a while to get my sea legs; looking down through the gaps between the planks of wood makes me feel like I will fall. Ivan didn’t mind at all and was bouncing with joy. Dogs can go on the pier as long as they are kept on a lead.

The Pier Pagoda is a quirky building at the end of the promenade, where you can buy ice cream and hot and cold drinks. Along the windows are information plaques with the history of the pier and historical photographs. Including the piers collapse in October 1970, ironically whilst under stress testing.

 

 

Curzon Cinema and the Town Centre

 

Not wanting the day to end, the three of us continued our walk into the town centre. It took about 10-minutes from the beachfront. There are plenty of independent shops to rummage around in, from clothing, cosmetics to homeware and furniture.

 

 

The last stop before home was to see the Curzon Cinema, the oldest in the world. It opened 5 days after the Titanic disaster. Its first show raised money for the survivors and relatives of those killed. You can even see the bomb damage to the façade done in the Second World War.

 

 

I’ll be back!

 

All three of us enjoyed the day trip, especially Michal and Ivan, who slept in the car coming home. I will definitely be returning to Clevedon. There’s so much more to investigate. A little further up from the pier is Layde Bay, a beach where dogs can run around on. Walton Castle also looks like the perfect backdrop for Instagram pictures. Lastly, I would like to use my National Trust membership to explore Clevedon Court. There’s so much to do in Clevedon; who knew?!”