Weston-super-Mare, in Somerset, is my home town, and I often ramble on about the great heights of the tides along this coast, which are second in the world only to those in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Watching the local news this morning, my thoughts are again pushed in this direction.  This week, 13.5 metre (44.2 foot) tides have quite literally come ashore in Weston, spilling over the sea wall onto the seafront but not causing extensive damage.  Low lying parts of Bristol, around the harbour, have also been flooded.

I have no pictures of these floods, but the one above gives some idea of what Weston routinely faces at certain times of year.  Its early October, and I’m up on the hill to the north of the town, looking south across Weston Bay towards the high peninsula of Brean Down.  This is high tide, and the bay is filled with rollers being driven towards the sea defences by a westerly gale.

Am I proud of these great tides, proud of they’re being second highest in the world?  I wouldn’t say proud, but this is where I’m from and, to some extent, this is a part of my background, this is a part of me.

(Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended )


  1. Tides are fascinating, and I think there’s something about living with them that lends a kind of empathy with nature to people. After years of watching the back and forth, the regularity of it but also the variety, something inside resonates. It’s very hard to articualte it. Maybe you can descibe what I’m getting at.


  2. Your post really resonates with me. I grew up by the sea (in France) and now live in Bristol. I’ve lived in Nottingham for some years and I never quite got used to the absence of the sea. Even if you don’t see the sea each day, you feel the tides and the wind coming with them. Without it, I feel lost.


    • Karine, I’m so glad to hear that my thoughts resonate with you. I grew up in Weston, the sea was always there (tho at low tide its far away and very hard to see! 🙂 ) , the sea was always a physical border to my young life. And I went to university by the sea – because it was by the sea – in Swansea.

      But my first job was far away from the sea, in Milton Keynes and, like you in Nottingham, I never quite got used to the sea’s absence – in particular, I was struck by the absence of seagulls, which had always been a part of my life, and which I still love/value now, here in Bristol. I don’t see the sea a lot these days, I often go south down to the Somerset Levels, for spiritual rejuvenation and photography too – but I’m continually reassured by the sea’s close proximity. Adrian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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