Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

The Beach and Seafront

Weymouth Beach

England's Bay of Naples

Weymouth Bay has long been called "England's Bay of Naples". Its beautiful scenery of coastline, cliffs and rolling hills in the distance, as well as its soft golden sands and safe bathing waters, make it difficult to find anywhere else quite like it. Surrounded by some outstanding countryside and without too much commercialism, it remains a largely unspoilt haven. Weymouth doesn't have all the concrete jungle built up areas around it like Bournemouth does, and with the sheltered Bay of Weymouth with its natural, soft, golden sands, it cannot really be compared.

 

Climate

Weymouth is renowned for having the best sunshine record in England, even in winter. In January 2003 it still held the record for the sunniest January since records began. The climate during winter is generally mild with few frosts and even rarer, snow. While a few miles inland Dorchester can be covered in snow, Weymouth rarely sees it. While most people think of Bournemouth as having a good record for high temperatures in summer, Weymouth often beats it.

 

Royally Acclaimed

King George III made Weymouth into a fashionable holiday resort by his regular visits. He delighted in the sweep of the sandy bay, the peacefulness and of course bathing in Weymouth's (usually) calm and tranquil waters. He enjoyed his visits to Weymouth so much that he purchased Gloucester Lodge on the seafront to be his holiday home. Gloucester Lodge had been built by the Duke of Gloucester, brother of the King.

 

Sand Sculpture

Visitors to Weymouth beach should not miss Mark Anderson's Sculptures in Sand. Mark learned the art of sand sculpture from his grandfather Fred Darrington who was deemed the best in the world. Fred had begun his famed sand sculptures on Weymouth beach in the 1920s and continued up until a few years ago. Fred's and now Mark's sculptures have had visitors awe-struck at the sheer wonder of the creations. They are made using just Weymouth sand and water. The simplicity of natural materials is transformed into true works of art. Mark has his own website with pictures of many of the sculptures, both his and his grandfather's. Well worth a visit to get some idea of the wonderful creations of the past. Sculptures in Sand

 

 

 

Sculptures in Sand - The Sphinx

Sphinx 2002

 

Beach Donkeys

The donkeys on Weymouth Beach are another Weymouth tradition. Bringing pleasure to children, often their first experience of riding on an animal, their delighted faces say it all. In 2000, when the proprietor of the donkeys retired, it was to be a sad day, the tradition was no more. Happily, a few years later, donkeys returned to Weymouth Beach under the care of Maggie and today children can enjoy rides once more. You can find out all about Maggie's Donkeys on the Beach Donkeys website.

 

 

Maggie's Beach Donkeys

Beach Donkeys

Eventful Times

Many events are held on the beach and seafront, or out in the bay, throughout the year. The International Beach Kite Festival is held in early May. Veteran vehicle and motorcycle rallies, military parades, handball, volleyball and sailing championships are all held during the summer months. Carnival Day in August is a major event as Weymouth has the biggest of its kind in the area. There are events throughout the day, a visit by the Red Arrows display team, the procession from Lodmoor to the Alexandra Gardens and back again in the early evening, an international fireworks display on the beach and a draw where the first prize is a car. The beach MotorCross Championships are held in October.

Red Arrows

Red Arrows over the King's Statue

 

Beach, Weymouth, Dorset. June 2004

Weymouth Beach - Early morning haze, June 2004

 

King George III in Weymouth

Tall Ships Race 1994

Shipwrecks

Smuggling

Main Harbour

Emigrant Ships leaving Weymouth

The Abigail and John Endicott Memorial

Weymouth Marina

 

Bowleaze Cove

Broadwey

Osmington, Osmington Mills,

Ringstead

Portland

Poxwell

Preston

Radipole

Sandsfoot Castle

Sutton Poyntz

Upwey

Wyke Regis

 

Local Attractions and Places to Visit

 

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All photographs on this page are my own, with the exception of the image at the top of the page,* and the Sand Sculpture image.** I therefore hold the copyright. Please respect this and if you wish to copy any of them or use them elsewhere, please ask permission first.

*Copyright of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Tourism and Corporate Services Department. Used with permission.

**used with permission of Mark Anderson - Sand Sculptures