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Weymouth - Dorset

Weymouth

Weymouth Bay has often been described as England’s Bay of Naples. It has something to offer everyone with golden sands, safe bathing and beautiful coastline scenery. It is ideally situated for exploring much of the lovely surrounding countryside and is largely unspoilt by tourism. The donkeys on Weymouth Beach are a great attraction for families visiting the resort.

The beach hosts many events including the International Beach Kite Festival each May. There are also Veteran vehicle and motorcycle rallies, sailing championships, handball and volleyball events throughout the summer. The main event of the year is Carnival Day in August, which is a full day of family entertainment.

The town was originally a fishing village but, in the 17th century it began to be developed as a tourist destination. George III visited Weymouth regularly, and this resulted in the town becoming a fashionable resort.

There are plenty of facilities for the tourist – hotels, restaurants and cafés abound and there are plenty of opportunities for leisure activities such as boating and other water sports. There is a market in town every Thursday. The harbour has ferry connections to the Channel Islands and France and there is a Tourist Information Centre there. Weymouth’s harbour has two main parts in addition to the ferry terminal.

Custom House Quay is on the Melcombe Regis side of the river estuary and the Old Harbour is on the Weymouth side. The two harbours were often opposed over trading rights until they were officially united by Royal charter in the reign of Elizabeth I. The Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis was formed in 1571. An original bridge, linking the ports of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, was built in 1597 but the present bridge dates from 1930. It is a drawbridge which opens every two hours intervals to allow ships to pass through.

The main town of Weymouth today was originally Melcombe Regis. The original town of Weymouth is on the opposite side of the harbour. Maiden Street, on the Melcombe Regis side of Weymouth, boasts a house with a cannon ball lodged high up in the wall. It is believed to have been fired from the Weymouth side of the harbour during the English Civil War in the 17th century. Around the corner in St. Edmund Street is the Guildhall, now the local registry office. This building was opened in 1838 on the site of the original Melcombe Regis Town Hall.

Over on the old Weymouth side of the harbour is Holy Trinity Church, built in 1836. Before this church was built, parishioners had to travel over a mile to All Saints Church at Wyke Regis. Trinity Road used to be part of Weymouth’s old high street which ran from North Quay. An attractive combination of buildings from various eras line the edge of harbour along Trinity Road. The Kings Arms was built during the 16th century but now has a Georgian frontage.

A 250 berth marina was built during the 1990s and new properties have appeared alongside it. However, the new developments are in a style in keeping with the general area.

The Radipole Lake reserve is in the centre of Weymouth and offers panoramic views of the reserve from the visitor centre. There is easy access to the rest of the reserve along well-maintained paths suitable for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. The large reed beds, open water and flood meadows attract many different species of birds throughout the year.

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Click on Tourism for information on the area, Attractions for what to do and where to go, Food and Drink on what to eat when you get there, Leisure... well relax and think about that one and the Town Centre to shop till you drop!

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