My 20-year-old daughter has come to live with us, so we decided a castle or monument may be too much of a culture shock for her first weekend visit. Given that the weather forecast was for beautiful sunshine and warm spring temperatures, we decided a trip to the seaside was in order.
Dorset extends down as far as the coast and has a multitude of delightful bays, beaches and sea-side villages to keep you entertained. Renowned for its Jurassic Coastline and UNESCO world heritage status, there is something to keep every visitor coming back.
Having grown up at the seaside in a small town on the North West coast, the tang of sea air is where I feel most home, so I am never one to say no to a trip to a beach. Weymouth has both a harbour and long sandy beaches a plethora of pubs, eateries, places to stay and entertainment. For me it is reminiscent of Blackpool except with palm trees and a little more of an old seaside feel, no ‘kiss me quick’ hats here, just donkey rides and fairgrounds.
We parked in one of the many pay and display car parks, paid £5 for 5 hours parking and set off in earnest. We stayed by the harbour for the first part of the afternoon, heading to Nothe Gardens, which is a garden walk taking you to the coastal walk. Unfortunately, and this is an issue we keep getting faced with at the moment, Nothe Fort was closed until the first of April, much to my daughters relief I’m sure. So we took a walk through the gardens, past the fort and down to the sea. It was a brisk day and despite the sunshine a little cooler due to the wind, however this kept the kite surfers happy as they skimmed across the water at break neck speeds. Nothe Gardens is the perfect place for watching the sea and seems to be a popular viewing platform for following the journey of the many sailing boats which set off from the quay here.
After a few photos we wandered back to the quayside our tummies rumbling, and what could be more natural than a large portion of fish and chips each, with bread and butter and a mug of tea? (coffee for the American). So we stopped off at the Seagull Cafe, boasting status as Weymouths Oldest Fish & Chip Shop, for a (not so light) lunch. The portions, despite only ordering a medium fish, were astronomical and none of us finished our lunch, but the food was fabulous and just what was required.
Leaving the cafe we made our way across the bridge to the town and the sandy beach. The town in Weymouth is much the same as any British town, a mixture of high street brands and pubs, a few independents and some sad closed up shops. It isn’t the prettiest high street to be honest and we didn’t stay there very long, choosing to take a quick right hand turn down a narrow street which took us straight to the beach and the penny arcade. We happily spent half an hour feeding machines with two pence pieces and in return receiving tickets which we fed into the ticket counters for a receipt. Armed with 268 points my daughter and I exchanged them for two pots of bubbles and made our way to the beach, releasing bubbles as we went. The long stretch of sandy beach was clean and well-kept with a number of dog walkers and families enjoying the day. The views along the coastline are far-reaching and in the height of summer I can imagine it is a very popular way to spend a sunny day. I know that Weymouth Beach has been announced as the number 1 beach in the UK in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for 2017, and you can see why.
After a windy walk along the sand we decided it was time to head back to the car, taking a quick detour into the home made fudge shop for a delightful sweet treat. The crowds were out in force at the quayside pubs on our walk back, basking in the long forgotten sunshine, lots of excited chatter and laughter, presumably fuelled by a few beers. We would have stopped ourselves but there were another couple of stops we wanted to make before heading home so we left them to their fun and headed off.