Weymouth is on my doorstep (I live in the Dorset countryside), but I blush to admit I have previously only visited the town once in the past decade.
More fool me, as it turns out Weymouth is buzzing with things to do, delicious food to eat, and friendly locals. What’s more, despite a day of blazing June sunshine, the beaches were quiet and serene.
Weymouth is a fairly small seaside town with just over 50,000 inhabitants and forms part of the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast. The town is connected to the Isle of Portland (of lighthouse fame) by a long, straight causeway.
I was pleased to discover that Weymouth has not fallen victim to the melancholic “days gone by” atmosphere of some seaside resorts and instead felt like an inviting place for young wanting a bit of fun and frolic.
Here are my recommendations of what to do during a stay in Weymouth.
Walk around Portland Bill Lighthouse
The picturesque drive to Portland Bill Lighthouse, past Chesil Beach and along a hilly, winding road, is worth the journey alone. As we arrived at the lighthouse, the stormy clouds and dramatic clifftop background added to the drama.
The lighthouse itself, which stands at an impressive 41m (135ft) high, has been safeguarding the marina for over five centuries. Learn about the building’s history and lighthouse keepers at the visitor centre, and climb the 153 steps to the lantern room for some fabulous views of the Jurassic Coast.
Make sure you leave time to explore the lighthouse’s rocky surroundings, marvel at the crashing waves and smell that salty sea air.
Discover Weymouth’s ruins
On your way back from Portland Lighthouse, make a detour to Church Ope Cove, a bathing cove close to the village of Wakeham. The path to the cove takes you under the arch bridge of the ruins of Rufus, which date to the 15th century. The cobbled path that takes you from the cove back to the main road is so pretty, with crumbling archways and pink wildflowers concealing ancient gravestones.
Cycle the Rodwell trail
The Rodwell Trail is a 2-mile railway that follows a disused railway line and is suitable for walkers, scooters, bicycles, and mobility scooters. The picturesque path is fully surfaced and takes in some lovely views of Portland Harbour and Sandsfoot. This is a popular spot for birdwatching, and you may even see a great spotted woodpecker.
The railway leads on to the causeway that connects Weymouth to Portland, and it is possible to extend your cycle on the Portland Legacy Trail.