Weymouth & Portland
Explore with us and discover what makes Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset so special. There’s so much to explore, see and do in the area – you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Discover Weymouth, one of the true gems of the Dorset coastline ,and host venue of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.
Weymouth is situated on a sheltered bay at the mouth of the River Wey. The esplanade is composed of Georgian terraces, which overlook the long arc of fine golden sandy beach which has recently been awarded one of the best in Britain. The views from the bay are spectacular, stretching across the horizon and Jurassic Coastline. The harbour is home to a traditional fishing fleet, cross channel ferries as well as a large number of pleasure boats.
A stroll along the promenade is a must! Take in the beautiful surroundings and atmosphere that this town has to offer. You will find a wealth of restaurants, bars and shops along with various seasonal events by the sea front, including an original seaside Punch and Judy show! There is also a local market held on a Thursday.
Weymouth’s Sealife Centre is well worth a visit and has over 1000 incredible creatures from sharks and sea turtles to giant spider crabs and Octopus. The 14 acre park has plenty to do and see, with penguin feeds and talks taking place every day. You can even book VIP ray and turtle feeds for some real fishy fun! You can read all about what it feels like to work there in our blog about it here.
Sandworld is a must if you’re visiting Weymouth with the family. Incredible sand sculptures ranging from 2m to 5m high are all made from pure sand by competing World class International artists. Be inspired and have a go at sculpting yourself in their undercover sand pit. The festival is the first to open of it’s kind in the area, and one of few that takes place in the UK. The park is wheelchair and dog friendly, too! It is open April – November.
Nothe Fort is located at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour. The Fort is a labyrinth of underground passageways and outdoor areas with stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. You don’t have to be a military enthusiast to enjoy Nothe Fort, it’s a great day out for all the family with lots to see and explore. Enjoy interactive displays and exhibitions in the museum and learn about the rich history of the Fort – but beware- Some claim it’s haunted!
Abbotsbury Swannery is an absolutely stunning place to visit. Hosting the worlds only colony of nesting mute swans, you are able to walk right through the heart of them all. This popular attraction has people from far and wide coming to see their beauty, and the location has even been used in blockbuster hits such as Harry Potter! Parking is free, and there is a cafe and play area for the children to enjoy.
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens are another must if you’re visiting the area. Enjoy the calm and tranquillity of nature at it’s finest. Voted HHA Garden of the Year 2012, these gardens were established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. They have developed since then into a magnificent 30 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world. The gardens cater very well for children and often have events running throughout the year.
Jurassic Skyline – take in the sights of Weymouth from above in the brand new viewing tower. Rise up to 53m above the resort for unrivalled views of the Jurassic coastline. With floor to ceiling windows, and rotating capsules that give you a 360 degree view of Weymouth, Portland and beyond, you’re bound to be amazed by the stunning Jurassic Coast.
See Cottages in Weymouth for beautiful cottages, apartments and more as your base for exploring the wonderful area.
Cottages in Portland Cytringham Cottage
The Isle of Portland is a limestone tied island and is one of the largest man made harbours in the world. The harbour was made by the building of stone breakwaters between 1848 and 1905. From its inception it was a Royal Naval Base and played a prominent role in the first and second World Wars.
Portland is a central part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site on the Dorset and East Devon coast. Due to its isolated coastal location the isle of Portland has an extensive range of Flora and Fauna. The mild seas which almost surround the tied island produce a favourable temperate climate. The coastline and disused quarries are designated as sites of special scientific interest. The reliable wind is enjoyed by many for wind and kite surfing and the limestone cliffs and quarries are often used for rock climbing.
You will find a small selection of shops and restaurants on Portland and the town of Weymouth is just a short drive away.
Portland Castle – Overlooking Portland Harbour stands one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal forts, built in the early 1540s to protect against French and Spanish invasion. Enjoy stunning sea views from the gun platforms, and get close to the powerful cannons. Take a stroll in the Contemporary Heritage Garden before relaxing in the Captain’s Tearoom
Portland Bill Lighthouse
Experience a guided tour of the functional lighthouse which has stood for nearly 300 years on Portland Bill to guide vessels heading for Portland and Weymouth and acting as a waymark for vessels navigating in the English Channel. On a tour you can learn about the many ships which have met their demise in the strong currents of the surrounding sea.
A long stretch of beach between Portland and West Bay made up of 100 million ton bank of pebbles and shingle. Chesil beach stretches 28km and varies between 36 and 200 meters wide and 14 and 5 meters high. The bank of pebbles separates the sea from Britain’s largest tidal lagoon “The Fleet” an important wildlife habitat. The beach is extremely popular with anglers and family groups alike for mackerel fishing. There are stunning views across to Weymouth and Portland and to the East the beautiful sight of the Golden Cap. Dogs are accepted at this beach all year around