Are you ready to meet SEE MONSTER? This former North Sea oil rig turned immersive arts experience is opening to visitors on Weston-super-Mare’s seafront this summer (check back for exact dates soon).

An unmissable attraction for 2022, the Monster will showcase pioneering green ideas, themed around the great British weather and sure to make an impression on everyone who ventures inside and admires it from afar.

Get prepared to explore SEE MONSTER and the surrounding area with our guide to making the most of your visit.

SEE MONSTER

Image - SEE MONSTER, credit NEWSUBSTANCE

Visiting SEE MONSTER: What to expect

SEE MONSTER has found a home in the Tropicana, Weston-super-Mare’s 1930s’ lido – the same space Banksy transformed into Dismaland in 2015. It will be the town’s largest outdoor installation ever.

Climb up and inside the Monster for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that ties in with weather, climate change and green technologies. Journey through a 12-metre waterfall, shimmering scales, a wild garden, showers of rainfall, a collection of clouds and more immersive environments spread over the platform. The entire beast is powered by renewable energy and you’ll encounter new approaches to a more sustainable future along the way.

SEE MONSTER sunset

Image - SEE MONSTER, credit NEWSUBSTANCE

As well as sparking awe and wonder, SEE MONSTER will get your brain buzzing with ideas about the creative possibilities of reusing inherited structures, as the world’s first and only repurposed offshore platform.  

Everyone is welcome to explore the Monster, which is designed with accessibility in mind from top to toe.  

Things to do near SEE MONSTER

You can’t visit Weston-super-Mare without some good old fashioned seaside fun. So once you’ve taken in SEE MONSTER, wander over to The Grand Pier and have your fill of rides, arcade games, soft play, fish and chips and donuts. From 22 to 31 July, look out for large-scale murals springing up around the town as part of #WestonWallz, a collaboration between street art festival Upfest and 20 artists. 

Aerial view of The Grand PIer

Image - The Grand Pier

If more sea air is what you’re after, there’s plenty of coastline to explore just beyond Weston too. Make stops at fellow coastal towns Clevedon and Portishead or take a stroll along some of the scenic countryside and beaches in between. Or head for the Mendip Hills, where you can be wowed by the iconic Cheddar Gorge, have an adventurous day out at Mendip Activity Centre and explore below ground at Wookey Hole Caves.  

In Bristol, which is just a 30-minute train ride away, other top family attractions to tick off include Aerospace Bristol for wannabe pilots, Brunel’s SS Great Britain for a peek into Bristol’s maritime past and Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project for animal enthusiasts. It's the last chance to visit the Zoo before the Clifton site closes on 3 September – look out for special events taking place over summer. 

SS Great Britain on Bristol harbour

Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain

Both the award-winning Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, home of over 100 animal species, and National Trust's Victorian Gothic revival estate Tyntesfield are just a short drive away too. 

For another inspiring arts experience, step into the world of Van Gogh through the digital exhibition that’s taken over Propyard – another exciting example of reusing old structures, as a former torpedo hangar turned events venue. The Immersive Experience features spectacular 360 projections, virtual reality and a drawing studio.

Projection room at Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Image - Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Where to eat

As well as Tiffany’s Restaurant on the Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare has an excellent variety of food and drink with family-friendly pubs, cafes, independent restaurants and chains dotted around town. And of course, you’re never far from a good chip shop! Clevedon is great for a culinary pitstop, as is Portishead with restaurants like Aqua around the marina.

Dishes from Aqua

Image - Aqua

If Bristol is your base, there’s an endless choice of cracking food and drink, whether you’re looking for crowd-pleasing family dishes, Michelin-starred fine dining or top-notch street food. With summer in swing, it will be the perfect time to hit the city’s al fresco restaurants and pub gardens.

Where to stay

Make hopping on a train to Weston-super-Mare as easy as possible by checking in at a Bristol hotel within walking distance of Temple Meads Station, such as Leonardo Hotel Bristol Glassfields. It's newly built to top environmental standards, in keeping with the Monster’s green credentials. Or bed down closer to the city centre at places like Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, where the historic Grade II-listed building has been given a modern twist with touches of street art. 

Double bedroom at Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel

Image - Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, credit Jose Coello

Around 30 minutes on the M5 from Weston-super-Mare, Mollie’s Motel & Diner is ideal for families with a 1950s American vibe, while Berwick Lodge offers a luxurious and sustainable boutique experience.

You can also book seafront hotels, cosy B&Bs and friendly campsites over in Weston-super-Mare, if you like the idea of waking up to SEE MONSTER pretty much on the doorstep.

How to get to SEE MONSTER

Travelling direct to Weston-super-Mare? Make the most of the excellent public transport links and have a greener journey with GWR, which runs direct trains from London Paddington, Birmingham New Street and Cardiff Central. If you’re travelling from Bristol, it’s only a 30-minute journey from Temple Meads Station. 

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