“A great salt, sheening sea bending into the land like a bow, thousands of gentlepeople walking up and down, bands of music playing…and out of every ten folk you meet, nine of ‘em in love” enthused one of Thomas Hardy’s fictional characters*. Today the wonderful beach and promenade at Weymouth is still the greatest draw for thousands in the summer, whether or not they are in love! However, it is far from the only reason to head for the town, which is well worth visiting at any time of year. The historic Harbourside with its cafes and interesting small shops, plus the Brewers Quay complex with its Timewalk, craft workshops and shopping village, is a reason in itself to head for Weymouth. Amongst many other attractions for a day out are the fascinating Nothe Fort on its promontory with glorious views over the town and the Jurassic Coast, the atmospheric Isle of Portland which is linked to the mainland by the extraordinary Chesil Beach, the Sea Life Adventure Park, and two wonderful RSPB nature reserves – Lodmoor park and Radipole Lake. It is also a great shopping destination, with a good mix of “big name” stores and individual independent shops, and a lively market on Thursdays in the Swannery Car Park, close to the station. There is a huge range of places to eat, from traditional style ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops to historic pubs and great restaurants.
The Rodwell Trail follows the track of the old railway that used to transport Portland stone to the mainland, and is popular both for walking and cycling. Using Weymouth’s great range of bus services or hiring bikes for an adventure in or around Weymouth, Portland and the Jurassic Coast are other ideas for a great day out.
* Diggory Venn in “The Return of the Native”, 1878