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Outdoor Adventures: Hiking, Biking, and Watersports in Weymouth

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Weymouth, England’s beautiful port town, was one of the country’s first modern resorts.

King George III made it his summer vacation spot, visiting 14 times between 1789 and 1805. Weymouth offers one of the sunniest climates in the country and one of the greatest beaches, which are linked by an esplanade lined with Georgian mansions.

The harbour’s painted homes, gaslights, and bustling quays are other highlights.

The nearby Isle of Portland is the source of the sombre white-grey limestone utilised for a slew of world-famous structures, from St Paul’s Cathedral to the United Nations Building.

Let’s look at some of the top things to do in Weymouth:

  1. Harbour of Weymouth

Squinting at the painted buildings and restaurant terraces of Weymouth Harbour in the sunshine, you could be mistaken for believing you’re in another country.

These flat-fronted structures with bay windows, on the other hand, are unmistakably Georgian.

You may stroll around at your leisure, admiring the passing boats on the bustling river and browsing the little stores.

There are several cafés, bars, tea rooms, fish and chip restaurants, and cafes competing for your patronage.

In the summer, there are stores offering crabbing lines and bait, and you may try catching your own from the quays.

The Weymouth Town Bridge opens every two hours, 363 days a year, to let water traffic across.

Weymouth Beach No. 2

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

The beach is a Blue Flag winner every year and is regarded as one of the greatest in England.

The mild surf and the enchanting vistas east down the Jurassic Coast as far as the White Nothe cliffs and Durdle Door have a lot to do with it.

But there’s something about the sand that bonds wonderfully, allowing youngsters to construct sand castles as large as their imaginations.

Donkey rides, “Punch and Judy” puppet performances, and trampolines and fairground attractions for youngsters are among the classic amusements of an English beach.

  1. Fort Nothe

This coastal barrier was a “Royal Commission Fort” constructed in the 1860s to safeguard Weymouth Harbour, which had just become a naval post.

Nothe Fort is one of the finest maintained of a line of defences built on the south coast in preparation of a Second French Empire onslaught.

One reason it has lasted so well is that Weymouth played an important military role during WWII, when both the Royal and American fleets maintained a facility in the harbour.

There’s a lot to see at this D-shaped structure, including the breathtaking view from the parapet and ramparts, casemates, and the tortuous underground corridors between the magazines and cannons.

The several rooms house displays on Weymouth’s history, as well as uniforms, firearms, equipment, and vehicles from World War II.

Chesil Beach is number four.

West of Weymouth, there is a massive barrier beach: Chesil Beach is 18 miles long and stretches all the way down to connect Portland to Dorset’s peninsula.

The beach is bounded by The Fleet, Europe’s biggest tidal lagoon, from Portland to the settlement of Abbotsbury.

The beach is up to 100 metres broad in spots, and the flint, chert, and quartzite stones are piled high, making walking difficult.

Chesil Beach, in contrast to the sheltered Weymouth Beach, is exposed to the elements and features pounding waves that aren’t suitable for swimming but provide a stimulating setting for a walk in any season.

Greenhill Gardens is number five.

Greenhill’s beachfront includes a beautiful line of gardens with winding walks, florid borders, carefully manicured lawns, and recreational amenities.

The outstanding Green Flag award-winning Greenhill Gardens belonged to the Wilton Estate until being handed to the municipality in 1902. In the summer, there are two cafés, Pebbles Cafe and Greenhill Beach Cafe, as well as a wishing well, a floral clock, and several innovative flower arrangements.

You may play a game of golf on the 18-hole putting green or simply sit on a bench with a cup of tea and gaze out at the water.

Sixth. Jurassic Skyline

An observation tower at the northern end of Weymouth Pier takes you to a height of 53 metres.

The Jurassic Skyline, which opened in 2012, is a circular gondola that rotates twice to provide 360° views of the town, English Channel, harbour, beach, and out along the Jurassic Coast to sights such as Portland, Lulworth Cove, and Durdle Door, weather permitting.

Portland Castle No. 7

Portland Castle, a coastal artillery fort, was built at the turn of the 1540s by Henry VIII as part of his King’s Device scheme to secure England’s south coast against an assault by France or the Holy Roman Empire.

During your tour, you will be given an audioguide that will teach you about the climate during the time the fort was built and explain the function of each of its rooms.

You’ll learn about a four-month siege during the English Civil War, 18th-century efforts to deter pirates, and how the fort resorted to storing armaments during WWII.

The battery is still mounted with canons, and the parapet provides an unrivalled view of Weymouth Harbour.

Plateau of Portland

Walkers on the South West Coast Path pass through Weymouth on their way from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour, which is located just east of Weymouth.

You may walk a section of the path in Portland, which is a really interesting spot to wander.

The trail follows ancient quarry paths and enters a steep man-made terrain of gullies, terraces, and hillocks, all of which were created by quarrying for the island’s famed limestone but are now covered in grass after decades of neglect.

Detours into 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 available.

Portland Bill Lighthouse No. 9

Portland Bill, which protrudes into the English Channel near the southern extremity of the island, has long been a maritime landmark.

The most recent lighthouse here was built in 1906, replacing a pair that had stood since 1716. The tower is 41 metres tall, with a range of 25 nautical miles, and an intensity of 635,000 candela.

The tourist centre in the old keeper’s quarters at the base has recently been restored, providing information about the building’s history and displaying a previous lens.

You may also climb the 153 steps to the lantern chamber for a stunning view over the Channel and a look at the contemporary catadioptric Fresnel lens.

Sandsfoot Castle is number ten.

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

Sandsfoot Castle is the only surviving “Blockhouse” from the 16th century, and it is part of the same Tudor system of coastal forts as Portland Castle.

It was deactivated in 1665 and began to deteriorate as its Portland stone was utilised for other structures and the cliffs beneath shifted.

The site was made safe for tourists in the early 2010s with an elevated wooden walkway that allows you to view its ashlar masonry, window apertures, and entrances, as well as look out at the Weymouth Bay anchorage.

Beyond the earthworks is a formal Tudor garden, which was established in 1951 and has views of Portland, the harbour, and the castle.

Radipole Lake Reserve, RSPB

There aren’t many towns with an RSPB nature reserve in the heart of them, but that’s exactly what you’ll discover on the River Wey before it reaches the port.

Radipole Lake offers a family-friendly learning centre in a thatched hut that tells you what birds you could encounter while walking through the wetlands on the wooden walks.

Bearded tits, kingfishers, Cetti’s warblers, marsh harriers, kestrels, shags, and small egrets are common, and the centre conducts nature walks with binoculars throughout the spring and summer.

Abbotsbury Swannery No. 12

Abbotsbury, a few miles down Chesil Beach, is home to the world’s only controlled colony of breeding mute swans.

This may be located on the Fleet Lagoon, at a location that goes back to at least 1393.

The Swannery is supposed to have been founded by Benedictine monks in the 1000s.

There are almost 600 swans here, all of which have chosen to nest at the Swannery.

From May to August, you may witness fluffy cygnets, and there’s lots for kids to do, including the Giant Swan Maze, willow eggs and tunnel, a playground, pedal go-karts, and more.

A visit to the Swannery can also be combined with a visit to Abbotsbury’s Subtropical Gardens and Children’s Farm.

  1. Fossil Exploration

Weymouth is located in the heart of the Jurassic Coast, and while Lyme Regis and Charmouth are the most lucrative fossil hunting areas, there are a few nice places to look for 185-million-year-old marine animals.

There’s a certain thrill in discovering your own fossil, and around the beaches of Weymouth and Portland, you could stumble upon an ammonite, a Jurassic shark tooth, or a bit of an Ichthyosaurus.

On Portland, visit the historic Kingbarrow Quarry or the Freshwater Bay quarry and shoreline.

The cliffs at Langton Herring beyond Chesil Beach are even better, giving corals, worm tubes, brachiopods, oysters, and echiniods.

Redcliff Point at the top of Weymouth Bay is the ideal site for ammonites and enormous oyster shells.

Sandworld Sculpture Park is number fourteen.

Weymouth Beach has the kind of smooth powdery sand that lends itself to fantastic creations.

And that is exactly what local businesses Mark Anderson and David Hicks have done with Sandworld, which is located adjacent to the Sea Life Adventure Park in a pavilion on the esplanade.

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 characters from Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Jungle Book, and Marvel films.

Click here for more Weymouth things to do.