Cheese and Donkeys

6 Jun

Thursday

 We’re now in Cheddar, home of the cheese and the Gorge. It’s a lovely campsite with the Gorge in easy walking distance through the village. That is if you want to go to there in the first place. I can see why it has become popular but therein lays the problem.

 All these people visiting the caves need somewhere to park and, of course, there’s money to be made out of them. The result is every inch of space through the gorge is either road, car park or some building to make the tourists part with their cash. The Nation Trust has bought one side of the surrounding hills but it feels like something of a losing battle as plans are drawn up to build a cable car ride on the other side.

 So after an aborted attempt to walk in the hills we headed for nearby Weston-Super-Mare and the sea. In many ways Weston is your typical British seaside town: sweeping bay, wide golden sands, donkeys on the beach, rock and candy floss, buckets and spades, fish and chips. On a sunny day in June it was understandably busy.

 The beach seemed quite empty, though, and the donkeys weren’t getting many takers. The kids were all in the numerous amusement arcades. I suppose the British climate dictates that a seaside town needs to have more than a beach if it is to survive and Weston has the problem that its beach turns into mud flats when the tide goes out.

 Visitors were making the most of the sun in other ways, though. The bars and restaurants had put tables outside achieving a flavour of the resorts in Spain and Greece if not the cafe culture. Pensioners were promenading and eating ice cream on the pier and the Wurzels are booked to play at the Winter Gardens during the upcoming cider festival. A quintessential British essence remains. Neil did describe it as “a downmarket Benidorm” but I think that is a bit harsh. I much prefer Benidorm. Image

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