Brean Down, Somerset – 10 Things you may not have known

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.

  1. 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.
  2. . 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.
  3.  There is a sequence of bronze age settlements and Brean Down is one of the earliest sites with evidence of salt production in Europe.
  4.   Brean Down has been occupied almost continuously for thousands of years. Hillforts dating back to 300 BC on the top of the peninsula.
  5.   In the middle ages part of the down was used to raise rabbits, a rare and valuable meat at that time.
  6.  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.
  7. During the Victorian period(1837-1901) Weston super Mare and Brean Down were a major tourist destination.
  8. In the mid-19th Century a fort was built here to defend against the French.
  9. The fort at Brean Down was re-fortified in 1941 for troops to be stationed at during WWII
  10. 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 a 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 members.  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.