Weymouth in Dorset is somewhere that holds significance in my life. It was where my Mum and Dad met and married, and most importantly it’s where I was born. Although moving to Wales at a very young age, and undoubtedly Wales will always be home, I do have fond memories of the southern seaside town. Unfortunately, my time spent there is only ever a few days at a time, but over the years that has built up. So here’s a little insight into a weekend in Weymouth and the great photo opportunities to be had! 🙂
Number 1: The Seaside
Of course, the seaside! We all have great memories from our childhood of building sand castles, going out to sea in a rubber dingy, chasing waves and eating ice-cream. Weymouth beach ticks all those boxes and the atmosphere on a summer’s day is the stuff to build wonderful memories of a British holiday. The buildings lining Weymouth Bay and the colourful beach stalls make great photographic subjects, and it’s also a great place to capture candid family portraits, as the hours fly by on the yellow sand. And it’s not just sandy beaches to be found in Weymouth, there’s plenty of pebble beaches too.
Number 2: Weymouth Sandman and the Sandworld Festival
Following on from the subject of Weymouth Beach, something that has become iconic to the Dorset town for locals and tourists, is the amazing and fascinating sand sculptures. The creators of these, what can only be called, masterpieces have so much talent to be working with what I imagine can be quite a frustrating material. From my childhood I rennet the sculptures bring in the middle of the beach, now there’s a designated hut just off the promenade which has a regularly changing sculpture to be admired by walkers by. In addition to this, following the success and joy that the sand sculptures brought a festival called Sandworld was set up in 2011. Since then every year between mid July and early September people can visit a designated venue to admire the artists work. This is something I have loved since I was little and over the years I have seen pieces depicting things from Shrek to The Last Supper. If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth checking out and if you’re just curious here’s their website: http://www.sandworld.co.uk.
Number 3: The Harbour
If you love boats this is the place for you! I can’t say that I’m much of a boat enthusiast but I couldn’t help snapping pictures of the gigantic navy ships and bright lifeboats. It’s also a great place to be at sunset as the boats become shadows against the pink skies. If you’re a fan of watersports and the Olympics, it’s a great opportunity to watch the Great Britain athletes train as Weymouth was the host to the 2012 Olympic Sailing competition. The Harbour is also a great place to go crabbing, with many families sat on the edge seeing what they can catch. Further down you’ll find the pier where fishermen spend their weekends, along with a fantastic view looking back onto Weymouth beach without needing to be in a boat.
Number 4: The History
Home to the jurassic coast, much of Weymouth and the surrounding areas coastline is a landscape photographers dream. Named following the discovery of a wealth of dinosaur fossils and bones it really is a superb landscape. Along with dinosaurs, Weymouth has a rich military history, and on this particular trip it was the Nothe Fort that we visited. Built in the victorian times to protect Portland Harbour, Nothe Fort is a 3 level structure, filled with underground passageways, on the entrance to Weymouth Harbour. In it’s early days it housed gun powder and shells, 12 muzzle loaded canons and accommodation for the soldiers manning the fort. When Portland Harbour became the Base for the channel fleets the canons were replaced with 3×6 guns, however, it was World War 2 that made the fort to really come into its own, as specialist guns to protect the air were installed. Nothe Fort is now a museum for all visitors to explore.
Number 5: The Bustling Town
The arrival of summer brings the arrival of tourists and Weymouth town has something for everyone, from bars to restaurants, trinket shops to tourist memorabilia, independent clothing stores to high street brands. In fact, the well loved high street store New Look can trace it’s humble beginnings back to a small shop in Weymouth, and still has its Head Office there. The town is also host to multiple festivals and events. The weekend that I was there was the seafood festival with stalls lining the harbour and the bar/restaurant’s outdoor seats. It’s the busiest I’ve ever seen Weymouth but there was a great atmosphere with everyone enjoying themselves.
So there’s a little insight into Weymouth and my recent weekend away there. There are so many other great things to see that I’ve not included as I didn’t manage to visit them this time. In terms of photography, there’s so many beaches I’d have loved to go to and Portland lighthouse, but I’m sure I’ll be heading back there soon. If you have any UK seaside destinations that hold special memories for you, comment them below I’d love to check them out 🙂
Amy Williams-Weeks (AWW)