Sunday, 14 September 2014

2014 - Day Out 06: Weston-Super-Mare

Date: Saturday 23 August 2014

It has been over ten years since we last did it, so Mr UKBuses and myself decide to go nostalgic and contact Whittle to book a coach trip, there was no Brendan today though and our driver was Ben.

I don't have to walk far to get to the pick up point, a three minute walk to Wollaston, so I make my way up to the village arriving at 07.50am with Mr UKBuses arriving at the same time after getting a lift from his dad. We have time to go to Spar to get a drink for the journey ahead, after making our purchase we make our way to the bus stop situated by The Princess and as we arrive, the Whittle's coach comes into view and we are greeted by Ben our driver and shown our seats, which are the front row, so we have a good view on the journey to and from Weston-Super Mare. As the coach has arrived a few minutes early we do have a few minutes to spare to wait for a few more passengers, so I take the opportunity to get some "fresh air" before they board. With everyone aboard at this pick up point we make our way to pick up the rest of the passengers who have booked today.

Mr UKBuses supplies the travel news!
We leave Wollaston and go via Stourton to get to the rest of the pick up points, those being Franche, Kidderminster and then a scenic view through Bewdley and finally Stourport at 9.00am before Ben gets to go full throttle to Weston-Super-Mare and onto the M5 motorway. We are on the coach for over an hour before Ben pulls into the motorway services and luckily for Mr UKBuses, we get to visit the Michael Wood Services, which is located twenty-two miles away from Bristol, I wonder if the owner of these services is related to Mr UKBuses. We have about twenty minutes here, so Mr UKBuses has a bite to eat at Burger King and after his food has been cooked, we make our way outside enabling him to eat his food and me to get some "fresh air", break over, we make a little visit before re-boarding the coach, and also Mr UKBuses himself warns of an upcoming traffic problem, see picture right. With everyone on board, we make our way out of the services and onto Weston-Super-Mare, a couple of minutes down the motorway, disaster strikes and we get caught in a traffic jam near Bristol. Our driver Ben looks at his Sat-Nav and informs us that there is about 16 miles of tailbacks and we slowly make our way down the motorway and it seems as the Sat-Nav is right and after we pass Bristol, the traffic jam starts to disappear and we soon gather speed for the final leg of the journey. We arrive at Weston-Super-Mare at 12.30pm, an hour and a half later than planned.

The Cabot Court Hotel
We alight on the sea front near the new pier and after a few photographs are taken and some "fresh air" had, we carry on along the sea front and our first port of call is for food and we soon find the J D Wetherspoons, "The Cabot Court Hotel" where we first order a pint, whilst I am stood at the busy bar waiting to be served, Mr UKBuses conveniently dodges the round to find a table. I eventually get served and find Mr UKBuses and peruse the menu. With Mr UKBuses going for his usual of BBQ Chicken Melt without the Melt, I do indeed opt for the usual Beer and Burger, but instead of the traditional chicken burger, I opt for the pulled pork burger (with onion rings!) and after waiting nearly another ten minutes to order and then a further fifteen minutes for the food to arrive, it was well worth the wait and will be having that option on future outings. With the food quickly consumed, we wait a few minutes for it to go down and for us to finish off our drinks, before trying to find the way back out onto the sea front, Mr UKBuses makes a visit first though so I get some "fresh air" whilst I wait looking out to sea.

Cheers from The Dragon Inn!
We make our way along the sea front and spot an old Bristol VRT bus operated by Crosville on a tour around the town, we do board, but we find out that we cannot buy a day ticket on this bus, so we have a walk around the town to where the main bus stops are and after a few photographs are taken we board First Buses of Somerset's service 3 which will take us to our first destination, and after going through a big estate we arrive close to an out-of-town shopping centre, but we get off one stop before, which is located handily right outside the First Bus Depot, so a few photographs are taken before we walk down the road to another local operator, Coombs, where more photographs are taken. We are both needing a bladder break and luckily a big Asda store is around the corner, so we head inside and use the facilities before making our way back outside and to the nearest bus stop where just as we arrive, service 3 pulls up and we board to make our way back into the main Weston-Super-Mare town centre.

The hair does not move!
As we arrive back in the town and alight our bus, we spot that the next bus we was going to catch was just departing so Mr UKBuses said that we should go to the second J D Wetherspoons in the town but he wasn't sure where it was, luckily I spotted it just across the road from where we were standing, so we take a few steps and arrive at "The Dragon Inn", see picture above right. Drinks are ordered and paid for this time by Mr UKBuses, but his pint doesn't look to good, but we find a seat and sup our drinks and just before 3.30pm we make our way to the bus stop and board Crosville's service 100, which we take a seat on the open top with Mr UKBuses hair staying still, see picture left, and make our way to Sand Bay taking in the seafront and Kewstoke before arriving at the terminus at Sand Bay. We have a few minutes to spare so I have some "fresh air" whilst Mr UKBuses takes a few photographs before re-boarding and going back along the sea front to Weston-Super-Mare where we alight and decide to have one last pint in Yates, with me this time mistaking a beer pump and getting some traditional somerset cider. Drinks supped, we have one final walk along the front and have a quick look on the pier where I buy a stick of rock and nearly faint when I find that this has cost me £1.25, no wonder Mr UKBuses did not make his way into the shop. Off the pier and a few photographs taken before Ben brings the coach to the sea front to pick us up promptly and on time at 5pm.

With everybody back on board, we depart sunny Weston-Super-Mare on time and make our way back to the West Midlands. Luckily as we head onto the M5 Motorway, there is no sign of any jams, so we head north and as we pass Bristol, we near Michael Woods Services again and Ben decides to pull in and let us stretch our legs for a bit. On the return leg, I decide to join Mr UKBuses for a Burger King, so with the food ordered, we wait and wait and after a couple of people who ordered the same food after us and are getting their food first, a girl behind the till asks if I am OK, when I respond that I have been waiting ages and want a refund, my food suddenly appears, a bit strange that. With the food finally cooked, I devour my burger and make a quick visit outside to get some "fresh air" before joining up with Mr UKBuses and making our way back onto the coach. The coach departs the services and we make our way back along the motorway, dropping off passengers at Stourport, Bewdley, Kidderminster and Franche before we alight and thank Ben at Wollaston. Mr UKBuses is just in time to catch the National Express West Midlands service 276 back to Norton whilst I have a nightcap at Graham's Place before heading back home after a delightful day out.

Despite arriving late, a good day was had and it was nice to go on a coach trip again, so good, that one is planned in late September with Whittles again to Blackpool. Here are the bald spot pictures:

Bald Spot 1

Bald Spot 1: The bald spot is seen having a break at the Michael Wood Services.

Bald Spot 2

Bald Spot 2: The bald spot has arrived and is seen walking along the sea front at Weston-Super-Mare.

Bald Spot 3

Bald Spot 3: The bald spot is feeling sad as it is seen again on the Weston-Super-Mare sea front just before boarding the coach back to the West Midlands.

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