In and around Weymouth

There are many attractions for the visitor in Weymouth itself.  Although not an exhaustive list, the following will give you a flavour of what is on offer alongside all of the festivals and specialist events that are regularly put on in the town.


Weymouth Sealife Centre

This marine centre is an enjoyable day out whatever the weather.  With displays housed inside a number of walkthrough display huts, the park can still be visited in inclement weather.  With a number of children’s rides, as well as a large splash pool with fountains and slides etc, a visit on a warm summer day can certainly prove good value.  As well as a and the breeding of seahorses.  Visit for further information, opening time and tariffs etc.  

The Timewalk and Brewer’s Quay

Housed in the old Devenish and John Groves Brewery buildings in Hope Square, Brewer’s Quay is a collection of boutique style shops and services. Free from your run of the mill high street stores, you can buy anything from locally produced fare to Andean jumpers.  
It is also home to Weymouth Museum which houses a great collection of local artefacts and maritime history.  It also has a feature exhibition which is generally changed twice a year.  Recent years have featured a collection of old, local photos and also an exhibition featuring a seaside theme.  For details on the museum’s collections and exhibitions, visit .
Also housed in the building is a micro-brewery, the Dorset Brewing Company which in 1996, restored an 800 year old tradition back to the town brewing a host of Dorset Ales and Pilsners.

The Nothe Fort and Gardens

Located at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour the Nothe Fort is a labyrinth of underground passageways and outdoor areas.  Built in 1872 from Portland stone, its enviable location affords it stunning views of the Jurassic Coast.  Constructed over three easily accessible levels, the Fort is filled with displays, mammoth guns and cinema areas that chart the history of this large and magnificent Victorian structure.  The Nothe Fort was built as coastal defence however it was its anti aircraft guns that were called in to operation during the Second World War.  After the war, the Navy used the building as a munitions store before it was finally sold to the council and after years of neglect, converted in to the visitor attraction that it is today.  Visit for admission times, prices and a whole host of other excellent information.
The Nothe Gardens is a green area of peace and tranquillity.  With an abundance of trees and grass areas, there are dozens of different types of birds, squirrels and other wildlife to spend your last afternoons watching.  Up on the hill behind the harbour, there are spectacular views across Portland Harbour to Chesil Beach and Portland itself to the south and across Weymouth Harbour and Weymouth Bay in the north.  There are open areas for ball games; you can play in the rock pools at low tide or just lie in the sun.  The following sites: and gives information and the latter, a number of photos.


An indoor play area for children, there are slides and ball pools coming out of your ears.  With soft play for the little ones and a licensed café for the adults, there is something for everyone.  Visit for opening times and admission prices.

Portland Harbour tours

Departing from the steps of the harbour alongside the Pavilion Theatre, restyled fishing boats now take visitors in to and around Portland harbour.  Lasting approximately one hour, there is plenty to see on these cruises.  There is the new National Sailing Academy in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, the forts on the breakwater, the target ships that the Special Boat Forces play war with as well as the visiting ships, the remains of the old naval dockyard and parts of Mulbury harbour, as used in the D-day landings.  The trips are very reasonably priced, c£6 per adult depending on season.  The trips run daily (weather and conditions permitting) in the summer and most weekends outside the peak of the season.

Sandsfoot Castle and Gardens

Situated just off of the Rodwell Trail, Sandsfoot gardens are a haven of tranquillity overlooking Portland Harbour.  With the ruins of King Henry VIII’s harbour guarding castle as a backdrop, it is a lovely spot to relax with a cup a tea and a good book.  
The castle was built in tandem with Portland Castle to control the shipping lanes in Portland harbour and also with a view to warding off any possible French attack.  It changed hands several times during the Civil War and ultimately fell in to ruin in the 1700s.
There is a great little café serving hot and cold drinks and snacks and a visit is a must if you are using the Rodwell Trail or Sandsfoot Cove beach.  
See and for further information.

Chesil Beach and the Fleet lagoon

The Saxon word for pebble was ‘chesil’.  With over 180 billion pebbles, Chesil Beach is aptly named and is also the longest tombolo in the UK.  Its 18 miles of shingle connect West Bay in the North to Portland in the south.  Chesil is an amazing beach in that it grades itself; the stones at Chiswell, Portland are the size of your fist or a small potato whereas at its other extremity the pea sized shingle is the size of your small finger nail.  It is a popular tale that smugglers coming ashore on Chesil Beach could judge their position by picking up a handful of shingle, thus enabling them to return to the site of their stashed goods without leaving markers.  See for information regarding the geology of the pebbles as well as a great photo displaying the cross section of different sizes.  For the visitor, there is the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre situated in the car park of the causeway linking Weymouth and Portland.  It hosts a number of cameras so that you can view the wildlife of the Fleet lagoon and also the area surrounding hut.  It also has lots of information on walks, the wildlife, fauna and geology, as well as suggestions for things to see and do.  Walking on the beach is hard, but a few hours skimming stones, beachcombing and taking a few photos is time well spent.  
For the watersports enthusiast, Chesil Beach, Hamm Beach (the Portland Harbour side of Chesil Beach) is the perfect place for windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing.  Click here to see activities (link to activities section).  For detailed information on Chesil Beach, see which has excellent sections on both geology and activities available.
The Fleet is another phenomenon of the area.  Being over eight miles long, it is completely saline as it enters Portland Harbour at Ferrybridge, but its salinity is less than half at the other end of the lagoon at Abbotsbury.  Similarly, dangerously tidal at Ferrybridge, there is very little movement as you get further in to the lagoon.  The water temperature varies too; it’s normally warmer than the sea in the summer and colder in the winter, sometimes varying by up to 4˚C.  
Over 900 metres wide at Littlesea, its widest part, it slims down to a gap of just 65 metres at The Narrows.  
The Fleet is an important area for wildlife and has been granted Special Area of Conservation status ( ), Special Protection Area status ( ), is a designated area of Special Scientific Interest ( ) and is a Ramsar site (  ).  In particular, it is a great place for bird watching.  It is home to migratory geese and swans in the winter and is also home to the World famous Abbotsbury Swannery.  Turns are another important visitor to the area and for a full listing of birds, plants and other wildlife, please click here .  The site has an excellent selection of photographs to help you plan your walk or just to see what the Fleet looks like.
Aside from its obvious importance to wildlife, The Fleet also played an important part in the Second World War as it proved to be the practice ground for Barnes Wallis and his famous bouncing bombs.
The Esplanade, Weymouth Seafront Slideshow: Rob’s trip to Weymouth was created with TripAdvisor TripWow!