Just 50 minutes from Yeovil
Ah, lovely, covey Weymouth with its gorgeous sands and traditional holiday atmosphere. Tucked away where a fold of Dorset landscape meets the sea, miles from anywhere, Weymouth offers powerful, concentrated seaside charm. There’s more to it than that, of course, so find cheap train tickets and get down there immediately. Regenerated since its part in the 2012 Olympics, Weymouth has also become home to the festival-style family camping phenomenon typified by Eweleaze Farm. And then there’s the Isle of Portland, connected to Weymouth by the stunning Chesil Beach. You’re also in the heart of the Jurassic Coast here – fossil heaven awaits! A day may not be enough.
When you buy your train ticket to Weymouth, add PlusBus for unlimited bus travel for the day. The Jurassic Coaster is in fact a series of buses operated by FirstBus that you can catch from the King’s Statue, just 150 metres along the esplanade from the station, and will whisk you to Exeter in one direction or Poole in the other, with many beachy stops in between. You can order taxis from local firm Weyline. There are 48 car parking spaces and 42 bicycle spaces at the station.
It’s all about the beach in Weymouth. Glorious sands stretch all the way along Weymouth’s Georgian seafront, and on a hot summer’s day there’s no better way to pass the time. There are also lots of beach events to come for throughout the year, including the Annual Beach Kite Festival, international volleyball tournaments and some great firework displays. It can get pretty busy in high season, mind, which is when the locals tend to catch a bus to Chesil Beach (for shingle lovers only), or small and friendly Bowleaze Cove in the other direction.
The Sea Life Adventure Park is an absorbing aquarium and adventure playground, with 14 acres of attractions and interactive activities for families to enjoy – book online for the best prices, and take advantage of the fantastic 2-for-1 offer when you buy your train ticket. Tickets include admission to the Jurassic Skyline tower (also available separately), which offers great 360 degree views across Weymouth and out into the English Channel. The viewing capsule climbs to 165ft, before slowly doing two full rotations.
It’s not always appreciated that there’s a flourishing independent music scene in Weymouth, with many musicians living in the surrounding area and descending on the city after dark to ply their trade. Keep your eyes open for posters for one of the many pubs that has live music, or try The Boot Inn, to catch some local melody makers.
The rugged coastline that once made Weymouth a haven for smugglers and wreckers can be explored along the majestic South West Coast Path. It offers walking as fine as anywhere in the country, with wildlife galore and many a bird-watching opportunity. For dedicated twitchers, the RSPB’s Radipole Lake is a glorious bird sanctuary in the heart of the town, a short walk from Weymouth station. For the more adventurous, there’s a 13-mile round Portland walk that is delightful. Fans of hit ITV drama Broadchurch may fancy a visit to the place it’s made – West Bay is a 45-minute bus ride along the coast westwards.