You’re not going to run out of exciting things to do and places to go in Dorset, but when...
The seaside community of Weymouth is a Dorset gem and is the perfect destination for enjoying a holiday by the sea.
Within easy driving distance of Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester, this nautical community is another one of the many great places to visit whilst on a cottage holiday in Dorset. With a number of Hideaways cottages nearby, we have brought together some great local places to help you enjoy your visit to Weymouth.
Being by the sea, Weymouth is best known for its maritime past and activities. It hosted the sailing competition for the London 2012 Olympics and is a destination of choice for many of the world’s best sailors. It is home to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and the Weymouth Sailing Club. Based in the shelter of the bay and with ideal sailing conditions, both sailing groups cater to both experienced and brand-new sailors.
If looking for sand and sun, Weymouth beach is popular during the summer months. It is a curving arc of great golden sand and is a short walk from the town centre. It offers shallow, safe waters for wading and swimming. During the summer holidays there are often donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows and other summertime activities.
For those looking to stay on dry ground, here are some other great Weymouth attractions:
Perfect for the family, the Sealife Adventure Park and Tower gives visitors the chance to enjoy a great undersea tunnel, plenty of rides and marine life. There are more than a thousand creatures at the adventure park, including green sea turtles, otters, seals and Humboldt penguins. Visitors can also gaze upon caimans and reef sharks.
A crowd favourite is the 53m tower, which gives great views of the surrounding harbour and all of Weymouth. At the park’s Adventure Island, there are child-friendly fun rides, a café, and picnic area to enjoy a bite to eat. There is even a water park with its own splash pool, slide and water jets to help you enjoy a warm summer day by the seaside.
For more information, ticket prices and a listing of special events, visit the park’s website.
Image credit: John Stephen
On the town’s Esplanade, Weymouth Pavilion provides the quintessential British seaside experience. Run by a non-profit organisation, the pavilion hosts concerts, comedy shows and theatre presentations. There are also children’s shows and weekly line-dancing tutorials.
The site includes the Ritz Café, offering a number of great snacks, cakes and drinks. With plenty of outdoor seating, it is the perfect place to watch the world go by.
Visit their website for their current line-up of events and shows.
Image credit: Chris JM Cole
For history buffs, Weymouth offers two great places to learn about the region’s maritime prominence. Built as a base to protect the Royal Navy, the Nothe Fort stands at the mouth of Weymouth Harbour. Today, the fort welcomes the public to view its network of underground passages. The site was used as a primary naval base for Allied forces during the Second World War. Visitors can now look forward to visiting the site’s World War II experience. There is war memorabilia including British and American military vehicles and weapons. Visit the Nothe Fort website for more information.
Even more history is waiting to be discovered at the Jordan Hill Temple and Fort. Operated by the folks at English Heritage, Jordan Hill Roman Temple is a Romano-Celtic temple overlooking the town. It was built by Roman invaders in the 4th Century AD. It was first excavated in the 1800s and shows the remains of Celtic rituals being held at the site as well. The temple and fort show a great blending of Roman and Celtic cultures, and is free to enter and explore.
Image credit: Michael Ely
One of the highest-rated local eateries, Restaurant 43 is known for its great food, portions and family-friendly atmosphere. For dinner, they cook up traditional favourites like roasted chicken, mixed grills, steaks and locally caught seafood selections. Visitors also love their hand-made chips. They are located on Maiden Street.
Family-owned and in the centre of town, Manbo’s offers a bistro-style menu with plenty of seafood, pastas, steaks and more. With an open-plan kitchen, a meal here is a true experience. Located on St Mary Road just off the Pavilion, they are open seven days a week with a lunch service Tuesday through to Saturday.
Locally sourced seafood awaits you at the appropriately named Crustacean. Near the marina, Head Chef Rikas Salmi brings Sri Lankan and French influences to your table with a number of innovative dishes. Diners can enjoy fresh oysters, crab cakes, prawns and a variety of catches of the day.
Everyone loves a good burger and The Dorset Burger Company makes some of the best. Offering a mixture of ground beef, pork and chicken, they chargrill them to perfection. They are also well-known for their seasoned chips, homemade coleslaw and unique sauces. Visit their website for more information.
The town offers not just one high street, but two more main shopping streets where you can enjoy some great shopping in Dorset. Both St Mary Street and St Thomas Street have some lovely shops and stores. Weymouth has many of the well-known high street chains – with plenty of clothes and sports shops to choose from. There are also plenty of independent shops in town.
The Brewers Quay Emporium has some unique items to browse. From arts and crafts stalls to antiques and curios, the emporium is the perfect place to spend the afternoon. In any seaside town, there are also plenty of places to get souvenirs of your cottage holiday in Weymouth. You can also find a number of shops to kit you out for your day at the beach.
Image credit: Richard Gillin