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|
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 !|