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History is written large in Weymouth, which guards the narrow spit of land between Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland. This was where Sir Christopher Wren mined the stone for the grand civic buildings of London, and where King George III came to recuperate away from the hubbub of the capital. Less glamorously, the town was also the first place in England to be ravaged by the Black Death, carried here by sailors in 1348. Traditionally a resort for the landed gentry, modern Weymouth offers a more accessible English seaside experience - deck chairs, amusement arcades, donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows, fish and chip stands and huge crowds ...

History is written large in Weymouth, which guards the narrow spit of land between Chesil Beach and the Isle of Portland. This was where Sir Christopher Wren mined the stone for the grand civic buildings of London, and where King George III came to recuperate away from the hubbub of the capital. Less glamorously, the town was also the first place in England to be ravaged by the Black Death, carried here by sailors in 1348. Traditionally a resort for the landed gentry, modern Weymouth offers a more accessible English seaside experience - deck chairs, amusement arcades, donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows, fish and chip stands and huge crowds sprawling across one of the south coast’s best sandy beaches. The crowds get even bigger for the annual beach volleyball and beach motocross championships. Across the isthmus, Portland Bill attracts fossil hunters, bird-spotters, anglers and rock climbers, who test themselves against the soaring limestone sea-cliffs. Sailing will come to the forefront in 2012, when the city hosts the sailing events for the London Olympics.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April to October for the best weather; winter storms bring up fossils all along the Jurassic Coast.