Even worse for Weston-super-Mare, its arch critic happens to be a social media ‘influencer’.
Tiktok ‘star’ Nick Alexander has around 120,000 followers and his comically critical appraisal of the North Somerset resort has generated more than three million likes and counting.
Mr Alexander - better known as ‘Mr Miami UK’ came to visit with his family and friends, but declared on social media that he didn’t have a very good day.
The American was less than impressed with the beach at the Bristol Channel town, which attracts tens of thousands of people from the Midlands every year.
Like generations of visitors from the Midlands who haven’t done their homework on the beach resort, Nick Alexander and his friends discovered just how far the sea is away from the prom at Weston, and just how muddy the ‘beach’ is in between.
The American student should have some affinity with Weston. His mother is from Wolverhampton and moved to Miami, where Nick is from.
Now Nick is back in the Black Country and has become something of a hit with quirky videos on Tiktok, sharing his experiences as an American getting accustomed to English culture, food and entertainment.
He even appeared in an episode of Come Dine With Me a couple of years ago, trying to convince two middle-aged couples of the delights of American cuisine.
This summer, like generations of people from the West Midlands before him, a trip to the ‘beach’ at Weston was in order, on a sunny day earlier this week – but like many a visitor who has come down the M5 before him expecting rolling surf lapping onto the sand, he was a bit disappointed to say the least.
In a series of clips on the video-sharing website, Nick showed exactly why he was not a happy American in Weston.
“Today I tried to go swimming in a British beach, and it didn’t work out so well,” he began one video, as he panned across the endless plains of mud. “It was just horrible. What the hell is this?” he asked.
In another video, he explained the context of their day, and how everything went a bit wrong for him.
“So yesterday we decided to go to the beach,” he explained.
“We made a quick stop at a reststop to use the bathroom... check out the gang in the back of the car, everybody was vibing.
“And then we were off to the beach, we thought it was going to be an easy walk, everybody was vibing. And then I pulled up on some goddam mud, the beach was like 20 miles away.
“Now, I don’t know who decided to call this place a beach, but where I come from beaches don’t look like this. It ended up being an absolutely ** day. I didn’t get to go swimming, I lost my wallet, the sun started to make people act funny, it just wasn’t for me,” he added.
And after trying to find the sea and only discovering Weston’s distinctive mud, Nick’s party ended up at least having something of a good time back on the prom, with a quick go on the rollercoaster.
But Mr Miami had lost his vibe, and complained about that too, in a third video.
“So I found a fair in Weston super Mare,” he began.
“The thing about these little rollercoasters is you feel like you’re going to die the entire time, because you might just fall off.
“I’m definitely going to go to Cornwall, or Devon to find me a better beach, because I need to go swimming this summer in the UK,” he added.
The student Tiktok influencer ended with a suggestion for all those who follow him to Weston’s infamous mud.
“They should build a little path all the way to the water for when the tide goes out, a little bridge type thing,” he said.
It’s super – and who needs the sea?
Just for the record, Weston-super-Mare has a sea. And you can swim in it if you can brave the chill.
The trouble is when it goes out it goes out a long way. The resort sits on the Bristol Channel, which happens to have the second biggest tidal range in the world, behind somewhere in Newfoundland. And that phenomenon also means that, if you venture too far from the shore you will end up in mud.
The resort’s RNLI has a hovercraft that can skip above the mud to rescue West Midlanders who have decided to go for a walk and have become trapped.
Locals know better of course. They stay closer to the shoreline and Weston’s Marine Lake does offer visitors a taste of the sea. It cleverly captures the high tide waters and leaves it there for people to enjoy when the surf disappears into the distance.
Weston has never been about riding the waves. You can travel further south to Cornwall for that.
The resort is, however, perfect for making memories and has served that purpose for people from the West Midlands ever since trains made it easy to visit a century ago. The Grand Pier, which was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2008, is alive with the sound of people having fun. The town has a great promenade to enjoy a bracing stroll or sit and people watch. It has donkey rides, and has some of the best chip shops in the country.
Don’t think, also, that Weston is just a mud-fest. It has a large expanse of golden sands that stretch into the distance, linking up with the likes of neighbouring Brean where land-surfers enjoy the freedom to race their crafts at speed.
Only the over-inquisitive get as far as the mud in Weston. Stick closer in and you’ll find more sand than you can shake a plastic spade at. To emphasise the point, the resort holds an annual sand sculpture festival and has occasionally moulded the beach into obstacles for world-class moto-cross.
Weston has always been a second home for people from the West Midlands. You are guaranteed a warm welcome from the locals. And you will come away with a smile.