Monday, 7 March 2011

Weymouth, Dorset


Moving eastwards along the coast is the county of Dorset and the interesting and varied town of Weymouth which is a mix of seaport, beach and shops. This is a place I visited on numerous occasions from Bristol staying over in accommodation on four occasions at three different guest houses. Historically, I was told that people from Bristol like coming here and even though there is a direct railway line and on the two additional occasions that I used it, the journey seemed to take forever. As a side note, this particular post was one of the most difficult to edit down from 191 pictures in a two night break. I hope I have done the place justice.

As early as the 12th century, the town developed as a result of the natural harbour of the River Wey. The most significant events were the establishment of the harbour as a wool port in 1310 but it was so accessible to the French bandits that the business had to be transferred to nearby Poole in 1433. Another unfortunate incident was the arrival of the Black Death to Britain in 1348. Sir Christopher Wren was MP for the town in 1702, but was better known as a user of the nearby Portland stone and probable boat transportation to the construction site of London's St Paul's Cathedral. In more recent times, it was a major gathering point for the allied invasion of France during World War II.


These days amongst the fishing fleet, it is a more sedate place offering pleasure cruises around the bay to further afield...

Channel islands ferry

The town was originally known by two separate names divided by the River Wey and only merged after the construction of a bridge at the narrowest crossing point in the 18th century. This latest example was built in 1930 with a facility of opening in the middle to allow yachts through into the inner harbour.


George III first used Weymouth as a holiday resort in 1789 and had a house built for his vacation. It was said that he came here on 14 occasions.

Not quite the George III house !!

...  but it evident how a specific seafront style developed in the Georgian and mass Victorian tourist trade.

Closed for the Winter ... or a bit more
 Usually, including this occasion, I visited in November and it was difficult to gauge how the current market was doing as there seemed to be a lot of Tinsel and Turkey coach trips at the sea front hotels. It was very bizarre walking along the Esplanade to the Bed and Breakfast accommodation at night seeing people dressed in Christmas party hats in early November !!


In happier tourist times, a Jubilee clock was built to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign. The clock also depicts the crest of the town and it's historical past as a seaport....




In addition to the Tinsel and Turkey spectacle, the walk from the town centre to the accommodation included an underpass diversion next to the Jubilee clock with this amazing mural which reminds me of the towns future. Weymouth was chosen as the sailing and watersports venue for the 2012 Olympics. When this news was first announced, I did not believe it as my previous visits to the town by car from the Dorchester direction were a traffic nightmare thanks to the lights on the outskirts of the town near Upwey railway station. It was only on this occasion that I took in the full scale of a major road construction avoiding the suburban roads when descending from the Upwey hill....what a massive undertaking. However if any one wants to visit during the Olympic months, I only recommend the train from London Waterloo direction as parking is bad enough with restricted zones even in November.



Weymouth has an interest for the high street shopper on rainy and cold days and interestingly enough, these streets run parallel with the beach down to the bridge whereas picturesque lanes with seaside items run at right angles down to the sea front.


Further smaller specialist shops are available over the bridge in an old converted Brewery. Sorry, the above picture is the edited version of the uninteresting indoor architecture. However there were some interesting features just outside in the next street...


Lastly a quick guided tour of some of the usual holiday aspects.....


Tourism / Port mix

You'll be pleased to know that I didn't stay here... even though it's trip advisor rated !!!
Beach with view
Seat with a view... or not as the case may be

Rock shop... watch your teeth !
Amusements.... watch your money !
Criminal activities.... watch your fish !



21 comments:

  1. What a colorful place! Since I've discovered your blog, my top ten places to visit has been revised. I really like the night shot.

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  2. It all looks so festive and colorful. I really do like that clock.

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  3. Thanks for your nice comments on my posts. Sounds like another interesting place to visit. How hard does that have to be to pick a few pictures from so many!!! I think you did a great job with lots of variety and interesting things in your shots. Love the clock tower. Mickie

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  4. warm and colorful pictures. nice

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  5. This is a happy place. I want to be here. I want everything in this post esp that clock tower.

    Your other photos look like a painting.

    Very colorful photographs. It brightens my day.

    Thanks for sharing these awesome photos.

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  6. Very beautiful place! Hope I can visit Weymouth someday!
    The pictures are great with nice weather!

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  7. I've only heard of Brighton rocks, but seems that Weymouth has quite a lot of them too!
    I love the first photo - makes me miss seaports so much, and jubilee clock is terrific!

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  8. I, also, love that clock! Looks like a colorful place to visit. Enjoyed the tour.

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  9. A very colorful place, J_on_tour! I like all the photos here!

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  10. Living in Portland (Nr Weymouth) during part of my childhood- my early memories of Weymouth are:- Getting lost on the beach....Seeing my first Punch & Judy show and going to my first Pantomime at the end of the pier.....
    Thanks for the reminders......

    -Trevor

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  11. What a great place to visit! That first photo is spectacular. What beautiful colors! I think Weymouth isn't too far from the town Lyme which features in the Jane Austen story, 'Persuasion.' I love the pastels of the row houses (that's what they would be called here anyway.) Is the color painted on over the brick or is there a layer of stucco applied first? Beautiful! What are those trees? They look like my yucca plant gone wild!

    P.S. You need to visit the States before you talk about 'the journey seemed to take forever.' LOL One of our daughters lives a 22 hour drive from here and the other lives a 9 hour drive from our home.

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  12. Your pictures could compete with any high quality paintings: the colours and the shapes are fantastic.

    I would like to visit Weymouth, but not during the Olympics when it will probably be crowded and expensive.

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  13. That first photo would make a good post card.
    (all your photos would)
    I don't think I will be going anywhere near any place that's hosting the Olympics!
    We had one of them Torbay Palms, I say did have one the bad winter this year has killed it off, I will have to get the saw out! may be a blog post on that one
    Thanks for your visit, he is a poser at the best of times! which helps, but its sods law the minute I let go of the camera I miss the best shot!
    Jan

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  14. Superb. Vibrant colour a great night shots. Once again you have shown a side to a town that at best I considered mediocre.

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  15. I love the beautiful place, I adore your amazing pictures!

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  16. I love the beautiful place, I adore your amazing pictures!

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  17. Another really nice place to go.
    Love the Jubilee clock and the so colorful
    houses.
    You have chosen beautiful pictures for going
    with us on tour, J...
    Greetings!!

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  18. I love that colorful clocktower!Another great tour, J! Thanks!
    Have a fabulous day!
    Debbie's Travels

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  19. What a great place to vacation. Your shots are beautiful.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

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  20. It is really hot outside for these period!
    We have like 22 degrees! A suddenly spring!
    But nobody believe it! ha ha
    I came here because I know that something special is waiting for me!
    Beach, colors, sun and bombons!
    For few days I will be in Greece!
    I send you my best thoughts, J!

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  21. JoLynneLyon... Thanks, I am pleased that I have broadened your horizons. Although I sometimes visit the expected stereotypical places, It's good to see something a little unusual or quirky from alternative destinations.

    Farmchick... Thanks, I tried to involve the colours here. The clock for me is the symbol of the town.

    Mickie... Thanks for your comment. It seems to take me about 3 days to reduce the number of photos into something more managable. I try wherever possible to keep the final set varied.

    Pharaonx... Thanks for your nice comment.

    Rizalenio... Thanks, I used to like coming here, I miss it now.

    Raphael Lam... Thanks, I was fortunate with the weather even though it was November.

    Joo... Thanks, There is much more to this place than what I posted here. An image of the beach missed the final edit. I love the colours and style of the clock too.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, The clock for me is the focus of the town just slightly ahead of the boats.

    Traveling Hawk... Thanks for your visit and great comment.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, Hope they were great reminders for you.

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, Although I am no expert in horticulture, various parts of South West England are renowned due to the Atlantic Gulfstream for tropical plants. Torquay, Torbay or Cornish palms might help. It is not natural habitat for them but someone discovered that they grow well. Torquay is a famous place for them with the region of Paignton, Torquay and Brixham making up the name of Torbay. Similarly, the coloured painted houses are a south west thing found usually in the occasional fishing villages of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and even on Bristol Harbourside !! The most famous location however for this kind of thing is Tobermory on The Isle of Mull. Tropical trees also seem to grow on south facing shores of Western Britain. Places that immediately come to mind are Mumbles south of Swansea and Port Logan gardens (south western Scotland)

    DUTA... Thanks for your great comment. I don't think I'll be visiting the Olympics either. I was talking to the Guest House owner where i was staying and he said that he wasn't going to notice much difference in trade. He has bookings from year to year and would probably be full from non olympic people. Although the Olympics could be considered good for the town trade, it was going to be an inconvenience for him with the additional excess traffic.

    George The Lad... Thanks for your useful comments.

    Adrian... Thanks, Looking at the final edited set here, I think I needed a sharp eye to spot some of these. Pleased you liked them as I reckon it will be a long time before I manage to re-visit this place again.

    Phivos Nicolaides... Thanks for your visit and comments once again.

    Monika... Thanks, Pleased you liked this place. I always liked coming here when I had the chance.

    Debbie Smith... Thanks, The clock tower is great. I think the locals celebrate New Year around it.

    Darryl and Ruth... Thanks for your visit once again and your great comment.

    Wind... Thanks, hope my words are as colourful as my pictures. I hope you had a good time in Greece.

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