Weymouth is right in the middle of the Jurassic Coast, a Unesco world heritage site with 185 million years of history.
Weymouth Bay has often been described as England’s Bay of Naples. It has something to offer everyone with golden sands, safe bathing and beautiful coastline scenery. It is ideally situated for exploring much of the lovely surrounding countryside and is largely unspoilt by tourism. The donkeys on Weymouth Beach are a great attraction for families visiting the resort.
The beach hosts many events including the International Beach Kite Festival each May. There are also vintage vehicle and motorcycle rallies, the Ironman triathlon, sailing championships, handball and volleyball events throughout the summer. The main event of the year is Carnival Day in August, which is a full day of family entertainment.
The town was originally a fishing village but, in the 17th century, it began to be developed as a tourist destination. King George III visited Weymouth regularly, and this resulted in the town becoming a fashionable holiday resort. He bought Gloucester Lodge on the seafront as his holiday home. Gloucester Lodge had been built by his brother, the Duke of Gloucester. Many buildings date from that period and there is a fine Georgian Esplanade overlooking Weymouth Bay.
There are plenty of facilities for the tourist – hotels, restaurants and cafés abound and there are plenty of opportunities for leisure activities such as boating and other water sports.
The main town of Weymouth today was originally Melcombe Regis. The original town of Weymouth is on the opposite side of the harbour. Maiden Street, on the Melcombe Regis side of Weymouth, boasts a house with a cannonball lodged high up in the wall. It is believed to have been fired from the Weymouth side of the harbour during the English Civil War in the 17th century. Around the corner in St. Edmund Street is the Guildhall, now the local registry office. This building was opened in 1838 on the site of the original Melcombe Regis Town Hall.