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History and Culture: Exploring Weymouth’s Rich Heritage and Landmarks

One of the earliest modern resorts in England was the lovely port town of Weymouth.

King George III visited it 14 times between 1789 and 1805 and made it his summer vacation destination. Weymouth, which is bordered by an esplanade with a long terrace of Georgian townhouses, has one of the sunniest climates in the nation as well as one of its greatest beaches.

The harbour’s painted homes, gaslights, and busy quays are additional delightful features.

The sombre white-grey limestone used for several notable landmarks across the world, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and the United Nations Building, comes from the nearby Isle of Portland.

Let’s investigate the top Weymouth things to do:

Weymouth Harbour, first

If you squinted at Weymouth Harbour’s colourful homes and restaurant terraces in the sunshine, you could mistakenly believe you were somewhere else.

But it’s clear that these flat-fronted structures with bay windows are Georgian.

You may stroll along at your own pace while browsing the little stores and watching the boats go past on the bustling river.

The competition for your business includes cafés, bars, tea rooms, fish and chip businesses, and cafes.

Additionally, there are stores that offer crabbing lines and bait. During the summer, you may even attempt catching your own from the quays.

The Weymouth Town Bridge cranks open every two hours, 363 days a year, to allow passage for marine traffic.

Weymouth Beach 2

Weymouth Beach is a three-mile-long expanse of excellent, golden sand that is bordered by the Esplanade and its attractive Georgian terraces.

The beach, one of the nicest in England, consistently wins the Blue Flag award.

That’s mostly due to the gentle surf and breathtaking vistas of the White Nothe cliffs and Durdle Door farther east along the Jurassic Coast.

Sand, however, also has a special quality that makes it perfectly bondable, allowing kids to construct sandcastles that are only limited by their creativity.

There are trampolines and kid-friendly fairground attractions here in addition to all the usual beachside amusements found in England, such as donkey rides and “Punch and Judy” puppet shows.

Nothe Fort 3

In order to defend Weymouth Harbour, which had just become a naval station, a “Royal Commission Fort” was constructed starting in the 1860s.

One of the best-preserved defences built along the southern shore in preparation for a Second French Empire onslaught is Nothe Fort.

Weymouth had a crucial military role in the Second World War when the Royal and American Navy established bases there. This is one reason why it has lasted so well.

This D-shaped structure has a lot to offer, including the breathtaking view from the parapet and ramparts, the casemates, and the winding underground corridors that connect the magazines and weapons.

Exhibitions in the several chambers provide information on Weymouth’s history as well as Second World War-era uniforms, weapons, gear, and vehicles.

Chesil Beach No. 4

There is a massive barrier beach west of Weymouth. 18 miles of shingle-covered Chesil Beach extend all the way down to connect Portland to Dorset’s peninsula.

The Fleet, Europe’s biggest tidal lagoon, borders the shoreline from Portland to the settlement of Abbotsbury.

The flint, chert, and quartzite stones on the beach are stacked high, making it difficult to walk on even though it can be up to 100 metres wide in some areas.

Chesil Beach, in contrast to the sheltered Weymouth Beach, is open to the weather and features pounding waves that are unsafe for swimming, yet it provides a captivating setting for a walk in any season.

Greenhill Gardens No. 5

A beautiful series of gardens with winding walks, floral borders, carefully kept lawns, and recreational amenities line the seafront in the northeast neighbourhood of Greenhill.

Prior to being given to the town in 1902, the Greenhill Gardens, which have won the renowned Green Flag designation, belonged to the Wilton Estate. There are two cafes—the Pebbles Cafe and the Greenhill Beach Cafe—as well as a wishing well, a clock made of flowers, and other creative flower arrangements throughout the summer.

The 18-hole putting green is available for use, or you can simply park yourself on a seat with a cup of tea and observe the bay.

Jurassic Skyline, no. 6

An observation tower that takes you to a height of 53 metres is located at the northernmost point of Weymouth Pier.

Weather permitting, the circular gondola at the 2012-opened Jurassic Skyline offers 360-degree views of the town, English Channel, harbour, beach, and out along the Jurassic Coast to famous sites including Portland, Lulworth Cove, and Durdle Door.

Portland Castle, no. 7

In order to defend England’s south coast from an assault by France or the Holy Roman Empire, Henry VIII ordered the construction of Portland Castle, a coastal artillery fort, around the turn of the 1540s.

You will have an audioguide with you on your tour that will explain the function of each chamber in the fort as well as the climate during the time it was built.

You’ll learn about a four-month siege that took place during the English Civil War, the attempts made to thwart pirates in the 18th century, and the fort’s use as a weapons storage facility during the Second World War.

The parapet offers an unmatched view of Weymouth Harbour, and the battery is still equipped with cannons.

Oregon Plateau 8

On their 630-mile trek from Minehead, Somerset, to Poole Harbour, not far from Weymouth, walkers on the South West Coast Path pass through Weymouth.

You may take on a section of Portland’s trail, which is a particularly intriguing location to wander.

The trail winds through a steep man-made environment of gullies, terraces, and hillocks that were formerly used to mine the island’s famed limestone but are now covered with grass due to decades of inactivity.

The Tout Quarry Nature Reserve and Sculpture Park, the King Quarry Nature Reserve, and the gun emplacements of the 19th-century Verne High Angle Battery are also accessible through side trips.

9. Lighthouse on Portland Bill

The southernmost point of the island, Portland Bill, which projects into the English Channel, has historically served as a shipping landmark.

Here, a pair of lighthouses that date back to 1716 were replaced with a single lighthouse in 1906. The tower is 41 metres tall, has a 25 nautical mile range, and has a 635,000 candela intensity.

In the recently renovated visitor centre located in the former keeper’s quarters at the base, you may learn more about the history of the structure and see a previous lens.

A beautiful view of the Channel and the modern catadioptric Fresnel lens may be seen by climbing the 153 steps to the lantern chamber.

Sandsfoot Castle, no. 10

On the cliff facing Portland, there is a fascinating ruin.

Sandsfoot Castle, the ruins of a “blockhouse” from the 16th century, is a member of the same Tudor network of coastal forts as Portland Castle.

It was put out of service in 1665, and when its Portland stone was taken for other structures and the cliffs below gave way, it started to fall apart.

The site was made safe for tourists at the beginning of the 2010s with an elevated wooden boardwalk, allowing you to examine its ashlar masonry, window apertures, and entrances as well as take in the view of the Weymouth Bay anchorage.

Beyond the earthworks, there is a beautiful Tudor garden with views of Portland, the sea, and the castle that was established in 1951.

11. Radipole Lake Reserve of the RSPB

There aren’t many towns with an RSPB nature reserve in the middle of them, but the River Wey has one before it enters the port.

The family-friendly exploration centre at Radipole Lake will inform you what birds you could view from the wooden walks across the marshes. It is housed in a thatched hut.

The facility also offers nature-spotting treks during the spring and summer and will provide you with binoculars. Common wildlife includes bearded tits, kingfishers, Cetti’s warblers, marsh harriers, kestrels, shags, and tiny egrets.

Abbotsbury Swannery (12.

The only controlled colony of breeding mute swans in the world is located in the village of Abbotsbury, a few kilometres along Chesil Beach.

This may be located in the Fleet Lagoon at a location that, at the very least, dates to 1393.

The swannery is believed to have been founded by Benedictine monks as early as the 1000s.

More than 600 swans are present, all of which have chosen to lay their eggs at the swannery.

You may witness cute cygnets from May to August, and there are lots of activities for kids to enjoy, like the Giant Swan Maze, the willow eggs and tunnel, a playground, pedal go-karts, and more.

Additionally, you may explore Abbotsbury’s Subtropical Gardens and Children’s Farm in addition to the Swannery.

14. Finding Fossils

Weymouth is located in the centre of the Jurassic Coast, and although Lyme Regis and Charmouth are the best places to look for fossils, there are a few more places where you may look for 185 million-year-old marine life.

Finding your own fossils may be quite satisfying. You might find an ammonite, a shark tooth from the Jurassic period, or perhaps a fragment of an Ichthyosaurus on the beaches in Weymouth or Portland.

On Portland, go to the Freshwater Bay quarry and beachfront or the historic Kingbarrow Quarry.

The cliffs at Langton Herring, which lie behind Chesil Beach, are much better since they are home to corals, worm tubes, brachiopods, oysters, and echiniods.

The greatest location is Redcliff Point, which is located at the top of Weymouth Bay and boasts an abundance of ammonites and enormous oyster shells.

Sandworld Sculpture Park, 14.

Weymouth Beach offers the kind of fine, soft sand that may be used to create beautiful sculptures.

And that is exactly what Sandworld, which is located in a pavilion on the esplanade next to the Sea Life Adventure Park and is owned by local businessmen Mark Anderson and David Hicks, has done.

The attraction debuted in 2011, and each year a fresh theme is introduced.

This year’s theme was TV and Film, and the sculpture park has popular figures from Marvel, Star Wars, The Jungle Book, and Game of Thrones.