Clevedon is a small seaside resort on the Bristol Channel about 15 miles west of Bristol. One of its most famous landmarks is a tree crippled by years of wind erosion, which now leans precariously. However, the town has more hidden delights. The Pier Clevedon?s pier is now, once again, open for business. Several years ago the pier was being load tested for safety when, ironically, it collapsed under the strain. For years, due to lack of funds the pier remained unusable and off limits to its citizens. Much activity took place to raise money for its restoration. Now, as you walk along the pier, you will see plaques with people?s names on them or small inscriptions or commemorations, which have been put there to thank those who gave donations. For a small fee you can walk along the pier and it is also worth going upstairs in the pier?s shop, where there is always a display of local art. From the end of the pier you can take boat trips aboard the Balmoral or the Waverley ships. These excursions will take you to the Scilly Isles, along the coast to Cornwall or for a round trip around the islands of Flat Holm and Steep Holm, a bird sanctuary, both of which can be seen from Clevedon?s shores. Ladye Bay One of the most interesting areas of Clevedon is Ladye Bay, which lies just quarter of a mile north of the pier. It is easily accessible by a short scramble down the steps to the pebbly beach beneath. This is an ideal place for rock clambering, or for the more energetic there is the start of the coastal path leading all the way to Portishead, with views across the Channel to Wales. There is a spring, which comes out in the Bay, which is said to be haunted by the Grey Lady or Dark Lady who has been sighted walking the nights between Ladye Bay and the 19th century church in Walton in Gordano one mile away. Also to be discovered at Lady Bay are some caves, which ca n be reached from t
he coastal path. In one of these is a Celtic face carved into the rock, which has been there many centuries. Its origin is unknown, although it is also possible that it is a depiction of ?the Green Man?, which is found throughout English folklore. The cave is also known as ?Baby Face Cave? due to its carving. Clevedon Court This 14th century manor house can be found on the B3130 road leading out of Clevedon to Nailsea and Bristol. The house also has other buildings and towers in evidence from as early as the 12th century and contains a collection of Nailsea glass. The house is owned by the National Trust and so entry for members is free. For non members entry is £4.50 for adults and £2.00 for children. However, the house is open only infrequently, as it is also still used as a residence. It is open from April to Sept on Wednesdays, Thursday and Sundays from 2 ? 5 pm. Tel: 01275 872257. Lesser Known Facts Just to whet your appetite further, here is some more food for thought about the town. The British film ?Preaching to the Perverted? was filmed in Clevedon and there was an uproar from some local residents at the suggestions of wife swapping and the such like taking place in their town. The Curzon cinema, although only possessing one screen, sometimes hosts premieres, recently including a showing of a film, which was Paul Merton?s directorial debut. He, naturally, attended the showing and was given a tour of the cinema and, knowing the hospitality of the Clevedon folk, probably a cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit. There is more to Clevedon than meets the eye. Any town, city or village has much to offer if you just know where to look. Everywhere is worth exploring and on investigation many hidden treasures can be found. Upate I have now moved to Clevedon since first writing this opinion. I have been living here for four months and have found that it is a town with
a wonderful community spirit. There are two free local papers which arrive weekly filled with news and upcoming events. In the past few weeks I have already attended three flower shows, a free jazz morning in the central square and I have a ploughing competition booked in for next weekend! Now I can state that not only is Clevedon a wonderful place to visit and explore but it makes a lovely home!