Weymouth and Portland Bill Weekend

My impressions of Weymouth, in Dorset, have been changed by the weekend visit.

I confess to being a bit snobby about Weymouth.  I’ve only ever been to the seafront and it struck me as a cheesey “Kiss-me-Kwik” hat type of place, all candy-floss and arcades.  However Angeline and her friend Sue were attending a “Seaweed Foraging” course, on the beach at Portland Bill, about 5 miles south or Weymouth, so we decided to make a weekend of it.

We arrived, after a bloody awful Friday rush-hour drive, at Blagdon Fruit Farm, a perfectly adequate Caravan Club “Certified Site” some 3 miles north of Weymouth itself.  Since the site is very rural we ate in Humberto and decided to head into Weymouth on Saturday morning.  The owner very kindly drove the three of us (me, Angeline and Sue, staying in her dome tent) into Weymouth but dropped us off at the Harbour rather than the seafront as I was expecting.

(Click for larger images)

A very unusual sunset over Humberto on Friday evening. Blagdon Fruit farm.

Until this point I wasn’t really aware that Weymouth was a harbour town.  It would be like finding out that Blackpool was a harbour town but there you have it, a traditional, and lovely old harbour, complete with bars, restaurants, working fishing boats and a historic Fort.  I’m really not sure how I missed all this.  I’ve been to Weymouth more than once before.

Weymouth harbour. Who Knew? (Probably everyone except me)

We had lunch, walked the lanes, which have many independent shops, and then a coffee and cake at a seafront cafe, in the “cheesey” part of town I knew well.  All in all it’s a place I’d now like to revisit.  Apologies to Weymouth for any detrimental comments I’ve made in the past.  I’ll definitely be returning. 

After a short taxi ride back to the site we had G&Ts outside, wearing fleeces, dodging showers and generally doing what the Brits do best, being bloody-minded about sitting out despite the weather.  It’s summer so we’ll damn well have a BBQ, even if it is raining and we’re all cold.

Sunday was “Seaweed Day” for Angeline and Sue so we decided to get to Portland Bill car park at 9am, to avoid the predictable Sunday tourists.  We parked at the back of the car park, bought 2 day tickets (The sign was adamant about paying for any spaces you used or partially used) and had a a full-english fry-up there.

Angeline and Sue headed off to meet the teacher, and students, and I headed off along the coast to see what Portland Bill was all about.  I soon learned that it’s a stunningly dramatic coast.  Obviously (maybe) Portland stone comes from Portland and the coastline consists of huge slabs of stone and colossal “Pebbles” (if you can have such a thing).  It feels like being in Land of the Giants.

The weather wasn’t ideal, changing rapidly from bright sun to overcast and dull all day, every few seconds.  I did however grab some pleasing photos but I really want to return when it’s off-season and a bit wilder.  I can imagine it would be amazing down there with the waves breaking over the huge stone slabs.

Worryingly, considering the high winds, people were walking about on “Pulpit Rock”

Pulpit Rock is actually a remnant of quarrying and the huge slab, leaning against it, was put there deliberately to resemble a Bible against a Pulpit (or so Wikipedia leads me to believe).

Pulpit Rock from further along the cliffs
Later that evening it all started to get more dramatic but we had to leave 9I was desperate to wait for sunset. Another time maybe)


Portland Bill lighthouse, between a brief gap in the clouds.

That’s our last trip for a couple of weeks now.  Humberto gets an MOT next monday (Have we really had him for a year already??) and we’re off to London to see an Off-Broadway show (3,000 miles off Broadway).  Actually our son works in a Theatre and it’s Angeline’s birthday..so we get to see a show and combine it with seeing our son, always nice.

I expect we’ll be desperate to get away in a couple of weeks.  Now fingers crossed for the MOT .

Lee at Go Humberto!


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