Weymouth is a coastal town in south Dorset and with its sandy beach, many seafood restaurants and nearby Jurassic Coast makes a popular holiday destination for British families. While adults may enjoy pleasant walks along the coast and history behind Weymouth’s landmarks, there are plentiful options for children. Although Weymouth is located in south-west England, it may get pretty cold all year around (the highest average temperature is 20 degrees in August) so think of Weymouth more as a nice spring break than a place to get your summer tan.
We went to Weymouth during the Easter weekend (the second half of April) and although the temperature rarely went over 15 degrees, when it was sunny it felt really nice to just hang around town and enjoy beauty of Dorset’s outdoors.
What to do in Weymouth
#1 Greenhill Gardens
Small gardens on edge of town centre and overlooking the seafront offer a quiet place for contemplation. Don’t forget to see also a wishing well and wish something!
#2 Nothe Fort & Nothe Gardens
The fort played an important role in WWII and now serves as a museum. It’s also one of the most preserved forts of its kind in England. While visiting the fort might be interesting for those after history, adjacent gardens overlooking the bay are great for a picnic on a sunny day. For me, these gardens were my most favourite part of Weymouth and I could easily imagine returning there every spring for an annual picnic 🙂
#3 Take a ferry from Nothe Fort
Ferry (barge would be a more appropriate name) from Nothe Fort is a funny way how to get to the city centre without having to walk to the nearest bridge across the water. Ferry costs only 1 pound (50p for children) and for a couple of moments (it’s a really short distance) you can get a view of city’s waterside from a new perspective.
#4 Have a walk on the Esplanade
Esplanade has nice views of Georgian architecture and Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Clock, which was erected in 1887 to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria’s reign. If you’re around on New Year’s Eve, this is the place where you should be welcoming the New Year together with locals.
#5 Chesil Beach
Photo credit: Jim Linwood
If you’re a fan of Ian McEwan as I am, Chesil Beach is a must. It’s the place where the famous author was looking for inspiration for his novel On Chesil Beach in 2007. A funny story – when McEwan was roaming through the beach, he had taken various pebbles from there but as removing pebbles is perceived as an offence, the local council threatened to fine him £2000. As a result, Ian McEwan returned pebbles apologetically where they belong.
Also, Chesil Beach is the part of Jurassic Coast (and UNESCO World Heritage Site).
A few suggestions for children and families
Sea Life Park & Sea Life Tower
Photo credit: Jim Linwood
Tickets may be pricey, but children will appreciate plenty of attractions and views from rotating Tower, which is included in the ticket. If you’re not lucky with the weather and visit Sea Life Park on a rainy day during the high season, they will give you another visit for free.
Portland Bill Lighthouse & Castle
Photo credit: Richard Fisher
If you have a spare day in the area, walk to the isle of Portland which is interesting for a number of reasons – views, a lighthouse and a castle which is utilised as a wedding venue during weekends, to name a few.
Daytrips from Weymouth
Photo credit: Etrusia
Wool is a great place for a daytrip, either as a starting point to Lulworth Cove & Durdle Door or to Monkey World in Wareham. A historic market town Dorchester is another good choice, only 13 kilometres from Weymouth and connected by a convenient railway operated by South West Trains.