Brean Down Fort + coastal walk

On Sunday we went to a beach for the first time in six months, since February! We did the Brean Down coastal walk and visited Brean Down Fort. Read on to learn more about Brean down and see our travel photos.

The last beach we went to was Barry Island just before Reuben’s fifth birthday as he asked to go to a beach. Then the coronavirus pandemic began and lockdown started two thirds into March, cancelling all our planned trips to beaches, mountains and more!

Everything was put on hold and it’s only now that we are starting to go out and explore natural places around a one hour drive from our home. It’s the first summer since my husband and I have been together that we haven’t gone away on any holidays or trips. We are definitely getting cabin fever now and have booked a short stay in Devon for the October half term. I can’t wait!

Anyway, on Sunday we went to Brean which is a one hour drive from our house. Weston Super Mare and Brean are the closest beaches to our home, but not that close as it’s a two hour round trip! So we can’t just pop to the beach.

How I’d love to live by the beach and just pop there every day! We are both keen to move to Cornwall one day and live rurally with more land, less people and a huge selection of beaches on our door step – apparently there are 200 ish beaches in Cornwall!

Weston Super Mare (or Weston Super Mud as we always called it) is our closest beach, but it’s very touristy and more of a novelty beach. It’s the typical British seaside beach with donkey rides, a pier with penny slots and a fairground. Personally I prefer beaches with a lot more natural scenery and less people!

Brean Down walk

Brean is a popular beach lined with holiday parks, so it’s not a quiet beach, but it’s a lot less built up. The part we like the best is Brean Down.

We went to Brean Down a year or so ago and walked along the natural pier, but not to the end. I actually had no idea there was a Victoria Fort right at the end which is managed by National Trust.

This time, we walked all the way to the end and the kids had a great time climbing and exploring the fort!

The Brean Down walk is a 3 mile circular walk across a 1.5 mile natural pier that juts out into the sea. It’s 315 feet above sea level and part of the Mendip Hills.

There are steep steps right up the cliff from the beach which we took last time we went, so this time we took the more winding path to the right hand side which is less steep.

Once at the top we walk up and down the rolling hill, battling against the wind!!

It is so windy up there so be prepared! It was sunny when we did our walk and the wind was a welcome refreshment!

The views are amazing across Brean, Weston and you can see Wales clearly in the distance.

Having not seen the fort before or even looked it up online I didn’t know what to expect, so it was a great surprise to see the fort as we got to the end of the natural pier.

National Trust Brean Victorian Fort

The Brean Fort is managed by National Trust, which is handy for us as we are National Trust members and could park in the car park as part of our membership. Otherwise it’s £5 for a car to park for the day.

If the National Trust car park is full then parking on the beach, when the tide is out, was £4 per day.

If you’re not a member of the National Trust then it’s worth checking out as you get free parking at their destinations and free entry. If you join National Trust via TopCashback then you can get some cashback on your membership too!

It’s in quite a crazy position, right at the end of the peninsula, but it makes sense when realising it was built to defend the country against a possible Napoleonic invasion. It was built in 1870 and decommissioned in 1901, but rearmed during World War II and used for experimental weapons testing.

Now it’s a ruin which has been renovated by National Trust. It’s definitely not the most picturesque building, but free to visit and fun for the kids to let their imaginations run wild!

The views from Brean Down are also amazing and the fresh sea air was much needed, especially after six months barely leaving our home county except for a recent trip to the four waterfall walk for my birthday!

It was this fresh sea air and taste for exploring that has reignited our travel bug and on returning we booked an Airbnb trip to Devon in October. I can’t wait to finally get away for a few nights and have a good change of scenery. We’ve never spent so much time at home before!

Brean Down Fort and coastal walk photos