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A study which confirms that we do love to live beside the seaside has come as no surprise to the team which runs the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare.

The Pier has welcomed results of research by the University of Exeter that revealed that people who live close to the sea are happier and have better mental health than those living inland.

They used survey data from nearly 26,000 respondents and concluded that those who live less than a kilometre from the coast are around 22 per cent less likely to have symptoms of a mental health disorder than those who live 50km or more away.

Those from low income households less than 1km from the coast are around 40 per cent less likely to have symptoms, compared to those earning the same amount but living more than 50km away.

The study suggests that easy access to blue spaces – particularly coastal environments – might improve mental health and wellbeing.

Michelle Michael, Director of the Grand Pier, said: “The results of this study confirms something we have known for a very long time; we do love to be beside the seaside, and we are all just a little better off because of it.

“It adds to a growing body of evidence that says just waking up in a coastal environment and seeing the sea provides a more positive sense of well-being.

“It’s a reminder of that feeling when you travel to the seaside for family holidays, and the way you felt when you got your first glimpse of the water.

“On a clear summer day, the sunshine naturally brightens people’s moods, and they can enjoy wonderful views of the calm waters across the channel.

“But even in windy and wintery weather, there’s something quite rejuvenating and refreshing about a bracing sea breeze. Watching windswept waves, from the comfort of our tearoom or covered boardwalk, can be both mesmerising and therapeutic.

“We are extremely fortunate that we work a quarter of a mile out to sea, and I always like to take just a little time each day to enjoy our superb location.

“Most of our attractions are undercover, so we are fortunate that we get to see so many smiles every day, whatever the weather, which is why the results of the survey don’t surprise us, as we see every day the positive effects of just being close to the coast can have on people.

“If you are living in Bristol or somewhere else inland, and are suffering from the autumnal blues, take a trip to Weston and experience for yourself that natural feel-good factor.

“The University of Exeter says this research into ‘blue health’ is vital to convincing governments to protect, create and encourage the use of coastal spaces, something we whole-heartedly support.”

For full details of the wide range of events, activities and attractions available at the Grand Pier all year round, visit


Mike Davies
Author: Mike Davies