Weymouth in Dorset is the jewel in England’s crown. Weymouth is located at the heart of Dorset’s Jurassic Coastline, England’s first natural World Heritage Site which covers 95 miles of truly stunning coastline with rocks recording 185 million years of the Earth’s history.
Dorset is one of the most rural counties of England and is situated on the south coast between Devon and Hampshire. Bournemouth and its surrounding area is by far the most populous area and it is also the primary holiday destination in Dorset. Close to Bournemouth is the cosmopolitan town of Poole, with its bustling Quay, some of the best beaches in England and a stunning natural harbour. Dorchester, the county town, is packed full of history and heritage, from Roman relics to the Bloody Assize, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and Thomas Hardy. In the green valleys and wooded hills of the north of the county lies Sherborne, with its famous schools, two castles and magnificent abbey church. To the west is Lyme Regis, the setting for the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and one of the best locations for fossil hunting. In the heart of rural Dorset is the beautiful Georgian market town of Blandford Forum, which boasts some outstanding architecture, a selection of fascinating museums, shops and galleries, and which is home to the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair.
Weymouth was made popular as a seaside resort by King George III. The King made regular visits to the town in the late 1700s/early 1800s to bathe in the sea water, as he was told by physicians that the salty water would be beneficial to his health. Before long, rich and famous visitors were flocking to Weymouth and other towns along the Dorset coast. One of Weymouth’s most famous residents was the acclaimed author Thomas Hardy. Although Hardy is primarily associated with Dorchester, his love of Weymouth is clearly evident in his writing. Weymouth in Dorset is still an attractive holiday destination and the town bustles with life, especially in the summer months.
The Isle of Portland is joined to Weymouth by the world famous Chesil Beach and a public road. Portland is an isolated, rugged landscape and its spectacular coastal scenery contrasts dramatically with the vibrant fishing port of Weymouth. Although the lighthouse at Portland Bill is probably the Isle’s most famous visitor attraction, there are actually three lighthouses, two castles, breathtaking coastal walks, excellent sporting facilities and wildlife in abundance.