Weymouth and Portland Coast Guide
Weymouth lies to the west of the region and is not far from the border of Devon and Dorset. The main route into the town is along the A354 which leaves the A35 at Dorchester. Weymouth is a major holiday destination on the south coast that attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is also a working port with ferries running to France and the Channel Islands and a small fleet of fishing boats. Weymouth is also the gateway to the rocky peninsular known as Portland Bill that juts out 6 miles into the English channel.
The resort of Weymouth is an attractive town that is spread along the coast overlooking a beach of golden sand. Much of the town was built in the reign of George III when the town played host to the monarch on many occasions. There are still numerous Georgian style buildings within the town. The inner harbour is home to the local fishing fleet and is an interesting area to visit. The coast at Weymouth is protected by the Bill of Portland and this makes it ideal for many water sports including sailing, windsurfing and swimming. There are facilities for sailing, diving, windsurfing in the immediate area.
For details of Weymouth Hotels and Holidays, Guest Houses, Cottages and to visit Attractions. Go to Weymouth Hotels Guest Houses and Cottages
Weymouth was the base for many sailing events in the 2012 Olympics. Many new facility and infrastructure projects have been built including a new access road which has helped with traffic congestion. The Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy has recently been completed and was be the venue for the sailing events in the 2012 Olympics. See below
Weymouth harbour Weymouth beach National Sailing Academy
Isle of Portland
The Isle of Portland projects some five miles into the English Channel and is almost an island - only connected to the mainland by the huge pebble ridge of Chesil Beach. The Bill of Portland or Portland Bill - is not an old, local fisherman - but refers to the very tip of the island where the lighthouse is situated. Portland is a large rocky peninsular and is the source of the famous pale stone of the same name that was used to build Buckingham Palace and St Paul's Cathedral.
There has been a lighthouse at Portland Bill since 1716, the current one was constructed in 1789 by William Johns a local builder. The light is designed to warn ships of the rock outcrop and the Shambles sandbank some three miles to the southeast which causes a very strong tidal race around the Bill.
There is also a stone obelisk close to the sea, this was constructed in 1844 to warn ships of the stone ledge which extends 30 meters into the sea. There is a large car park at Portland Bill and several cafes. A great location for fish and chips with a stunning view. There are several walks along the coast but care is needed in places as the ground is very rocky and the path runs close to the cliff edge.
Pulpit Rock Portland Bill Portland lighthouse
Chesil Beach - is one of the longest in the country stretching 16 miles to the north west of Portland. However it is a pebble ridge and is quiet steep in some places and it is not recommended for swimming. Recent winter storms have deposited a lot of flotsam and jetsam on to the beach - so if you fancy some beachcombing this could be the place for you!
Places to visit in Weymouth
Deep Sea Adventure - Animated displays and videos about underwater exploration. - 9 Custom House Quay, Weymouth, DT4 8BG. Phone: 0871 2225760
Discovery Science Centre - Science for all ages. - Brewers Quay, Hope Square, Weymouth, DT4 8TR. Phone: 01305 789007
Sea Life Park and Tower - See Turtles, Penguins, Seahorses and Seals - Lodmoor Country Park Weymouth DT4 7SX Phone: 01305 788255 Website: Sea Life Weymouth
Brewers Quay - Cafes, bars, shops and bistros.
Sharky's - Kids adventure play area- 9 Custom House Quay, Old Harbour north, Weymouth Dorset DT4 8BG Phone: 0871 222 5760
Portland Castle - Built for Henry VIII now managed by English Heritage Portland Phone 01305 820539
Portland Bill - Great views and lighthouse visitor centre.
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. - Venue for sailing events at 2012 London Olympics
Dorchester - county town of Dorset
Map of Weymouth area
View Larger Map
Other sections of the guide you might also enjoy - see below.
Whether your idea of an ideal activity is sunbathing or you prefer something more strenuous, the chances are that you will be able to pursue this at the coast. There is a wide selection of activities that can be found on our coastline - these range from a gentle stroll to the next bay, to swimming and snorkelling, to more energetic activities such as sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kite sailing. See Activities section.
Attractions - see listings pages
A huge selection of attractions are available within the coastal area and this section will have details of many of them. From piers and harbours to fun fairs and roller coasters, the listings will have details of what's available in your chosen area. For details of attractions look in the resort pages.
The National Lobster Hatchery - Padstow
Pubs, restaurants and shopping guide
The listings section will also have details of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and shops available in the locality. Restaurants and shops coming soon.....
The Beach Pub - Exmouth
We will bring you feature articles about the coastline and news items about life in the coastal area. contributions to this section are welcome.