Updated: Sep 25
At workshops or craft fairs I am often asked where the best places are for collecting sea glass. I have this great map I use for reference which hasn't let me down yet (thank you Karin Lambert who compiled it) and I'm slowly working my way around the 'red' beaches to see it they live up to the hype.
So after visiting Portishead and Clevedon on Easter Sunday, I thought I would give you the lowdown on this little gem of a location just an hour's drive from my home town in Worcestershire.
This is my review of the day which I hope you enjoy reading.
This area has been on my to do list for a while but for some bizarre reason, I hadn’t got around to ticking it off. The only reason I can think of for this is because I’ve always had in my head that Weston Super Mare has never been a place I’ve been particularly bothered about visiting and I think that because Portishead is near to Weston, it probably isn’t worth going there either. Well all I can say about that is… I was so wrong and it was NOTHING like I imagined. I don’t know what I really imagined, but this was nothing like lol!
A good friend of mine has been tons of times and loves it so we made a date, checked the tide times (well she did, I couldn’t organise a p*ss up in a brewery), packed our sandwiches, our collecting tubs and off we went. I must give a shout out at this point to Caroline Twyford who I met virtually via the Facebook group Sea Glass and Beach Finds for her really helpful advice about where to go. She was spot on and her advice tied in with my friend’s previous experiences so this saved us a lot of time and I’ll cover this when I go through the various locations we visited.
High Tide was 10am so we planned to go to Clevedon first for about this sort of time and have a stroll along the front before grabbing a coffee, some brunch and heading off to the beaches as the tide receded.
It took just over an hour to reach Clevedon from Pershore and we parked in one of the parking bays on Alexandra Road just off the main Beach Road along the front. It was fairly busy but we found spaces further up the road which were free on Easter Sunday.
Clevedon was heavenly. It’s super laid back and chilled and the walk along the water’s edge is really lovely on a nice day (which this was). There were a lot of people taking a dip in the cold water there which always fascinates me. It’s something I massively respect, I know it to be really beneficial to our health but I am no way going to try it any time soon as I am waaaaay too much of a wimp. There’s a really nice marine lake there which fills up as the tide comes in and then has the appearance of an infinity pool as the tide goes back out (albeit a little less blue than the ones you see in holiday brochures).
We watched more people swimming in here and using SUP boards which looked fun (but also cold!). I think there had been a literary festival recently and someone had written this wonderful poem by the lake which I loved.
We walked from here up to the Sugar Lookout which was really cool, the view from there over the lake and towards the pier was perfect as it was such a clear day.
After this we stopped at Scarlett’s for some coffee and cakes. It was busy and took a little while to get served but the refreshments were really nice once they arrived.
According to the sea glass map, Clevedon Beach is a great location for collecting sea glass but we didn't try it on this occasion, though I plan to return in the future.
Black Nore Lighthouse
From Clevedon we drove to Black Nore beach which only took 5 minutes or so. If you can park near to Glenwood Rise, there is a little footpath that takes you directly down to the lighthouse which is well signed and really easy to find. After taking a few pictures here, we got down to the business of picking. We both found plenty here on this small shingle beach. I don’t even think we were there for an hour and we had full tubs. The glass here is mostly green, white and brown and is nice, smooth and flat. It was really quiet here, just a few dog walkers and a family having a picnic. In my opinion, it's definitely worth a visit.
Our next and final stop of the day was Portishead, which again was only a 5 minute drive from Black Nore, and we parked easily at the leisure centre by the marina. We walked right along the edge of the marina, checking out all of the houseboats and yachts, until we reached the RNLI station at the end where we dropped down onto the beach, turned left and walked a short section until we got to a little area that was tucked away from everyone else (not that there were loads of people anyway).
Again, here we both filled another tub each with a mixture of sea glass and pottery pieces. I would say that the glass here was less smooth than at Black Nore but there were some nice colours.
Caroline finds some lovely blues and reds here but we only found a couple, lots of brown, green and white though. I was pretty selective here and didn’t take pieces that weren’t ‘done’ i.e. looked like a recently smashed Becks bottle!
I could have stayed here a lot longer but we wanted to make our way home at 3pm so we had slightly less than an hour again, but we really found a lot in that short space of time, I wasn’t disappointed at all with this peaceful and bountiful location.
In summary, what are the plus points?
If you live in Worcestershire, like me, then not only is this the nearest beach to home, but it also has the added bonus that it's a great location for collecting sea glass.
It’s also a really nice place to visit and there are plenty of things to see and do for all the family. I will definitely be returning and I'm sure it will be even more lovely in the summer when it’s a bit warmer.
There are lots of different beaches to try and all seemed fairly bountiful. In addition, there weren’t too many collectors, unlike other more popular locations, so you can take as much as you want.
There are plenty of nice places to eat and stay if you want to make a weekend of it.
So yes, it was a fab way to spend a bank holiday weekend - I had a feeling I would say this afterwards and I was right, "I just can't believe I haven't been here before!"
If you want to see what I do with the sea glass I collect, you can check out my shop.