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50 Unique Things to do in Weymouth and Portland

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Looking across Weymouth Harbour at sunset with a row of colourful fishing boats moored along the far bank in front of a long row of terraced narrow houses all painted in different colours with the sky orange and purple overhead.  50 Unique Things to do in Weymouth

Looking for all the very best things to do in Weymouth, Portland, and the nearby area? You need to ask a local!

Lucky for you, I was born and bred in Dorset’s sunny seaside town and I have got you covered!

This is a bumper post featuring all my favourite things to do in the area. From famous tourist sites to hidden gems and from quirky festivals to fab foodie tips… this is everything you need to plan the perfect trip to Weymouth.

This post is completely honest, and not affiliated with anyone. I gathered up all the very best recommendations from friends and family I trust, as well as every single thing I’ve ever discovered in my local area. I’ve also included a handy colour-coded map at the bottom of the page to help you plan your trip, and lots of helpful tips.

These are the 50 best things you need to see, eat, and do in and around Weymouth. Time to start planning the PERFECT seaside holiday!

LAST UPDATE: Jan 2024 with latest dates and info. 

44 Unique Things to do in Weymouth

Just before we get started, I feel like I should confess that I’ve probably been a bit loose with the term “unique” on some of these.

For example, Weymouth isn’t the only place in the world with a seafood festival! But it is the only festival for locally-caught Dorset seafood.

looking down towards a wide sandy beach full of people on a sunny day, with the esplanade visible behind lined by terraced georgian townhouses. 50 Unique Things to do in Weymouth
Image Credit: VisitEngland / Weymouth and Portland Borough Council / John Snelling

But while these ideas may not technically be unique, these really are all of the best things to do in Weymouth (and nearby) – including plenty of hidden gems that you might not otherwise discover.

The list is in no particular order, as the idea is to inspire. Simply scroll through and see what jumps out at you! You’ll also find a handy, colour-coded map at the bottom of the page.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Dorset England

1. Hit the Sands at Weymouth Beach

Wooden swingboats on a sandy beach painted in cream and red with multicoloured diamonds, there is a woman and a young girl in a yellow boat swinging up to the left
Credit: VisitEngland / Visit Dorset

Did you know Weymouth was one of the first trendy holiday towns in the UK? When King George III’s doctors recommended he try sea-bathing for his health, Weymouth was the town he picked, putting our little fishing town firmly on the map as England’s royal holiday destination.

Today, the beach is a cute retro affair skirted by a beautiful Georgian terrace. Think swingboats, ice cream shops, and donkey rides – all the best things about the vintage British seaside.

2. Try a Rossi’s Ice Cream (or Six)

hand holding an ice cream cone with a single scoop of plain white ice cream with a chocolate flake in front of an out of focus ice cream parlour facade

Welcome to the best ice cream in Weymouth! I don’t know a single local who’ll tell you otherwise. This tiny little parlour doesn’t look like much, but it is a much-loved institution in Weymouth and genuinely serves up the town’s best ice cream. Rossi’s Ices is the best – don’t miss it.

3. Walk the River Wey

At just five and a half miles, the River Wey is the shortest major river in the UK. A lot of people don’t even know it exists, but this is the river that gives Weymouth its name. 

Starting in the pretty village of Upwey, you can follow the chalk stream down through some lovely countryside and into the marshlands of the Radipole Lake RSPB Nature Reserve, before finally reaching the mouth of the river – Weymouth Harbour. Download a map here

4. Stay in an Old Smuggler’s Inn

wooden gate with a lantern hanging from it with a paved path leading down towards three terraced cottages, the left hand one has grey stone walls and a thatched roof, the middle one is painted pink with a grey tiled roof and the cottage on the right is painted blue and has a red tiled roof. There are grassy hills behind and a alrge pub garden in front. Smuggler's Inn at Osmington Mills in Weymouth.
Image Credit: The Smuggler’s Inn

Dorset might look idyllic, but its history is full of intrigue, scandal, and smugglers! Centuries ago, the Smuggler’s Inn at Osmington Mills was a hangout for some of Dorset’s most infamous smuggling gangs. Notorious types with names like French Peter drank at the pub, and the inn was once owned by the leader of the “Charles Gang”.

Today, it’s a cosy pub at the end of one of the best cliff walks in Weymouth. Start at Bowleaze Cove and follow the cliff path to Osmington Mills, where the Smuggler’s Inn will be waiting for you with great local beers, tasty pub grub, and sublime views.

This is also one of the best places to stay in Dorset – especially if you want to be a little out of town. The inn is lovely, with pretty bedrooms and a real sense of history. I’ve stayed here once and eaten here many times, and it’s one of my favourite pubs in the area!

5. Ghost Hunting at Nothe Fort

Row of men dressed in historic soldiers uniforms with red jackets, white houses and tall black hats holding rifles and facing forwards.
©VisitEngland/Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Voted one of the spookiest places in Britain, the Nothe Fort is a Victorian fort overlooking Weymouth Harbour. It was built in 1872 and played a role in WWII. Today, it’s a lovely museum full of dimly lit underground passageways and rumours of haunting.

The best-known ghost is the “Whistling Gunner”, a restless spirit who haunts the passageways of the fort with his eerie whistling. My dad loved to scare us silly with that old ghost story – and I still can’t walk through the narrow corridors of the Nothe Fort without feeling nervous!

But even if you’re not interested in ghosts, this is a great, volunteer-run museum that’s steeped in local history. Do NOT miss it!

6. Spot the Cannonball in the Wall

blue flag in front of a grey stone wall where there is a metal canonball lodged into a deep dent

On the corner of Maiden Street and St Edmunds Street in Weymouth town is a public loo with a pretty fascinating history. Look up and you can spot a black ball lodged in the wall. This is a cannonball dating from the 1640s!

During the English Civil War, Weymouth was occupied by Parliamentarian troops, and in February 1645 the Royalists led a siege against them. The cannonball is a leftover from that time, most likely shot from the Chapel Fort which was captured by the Royalists. Get the full history here if you want to learn more!

7. Stroll Around Weymouth Harbour

seagull on a wooden wall in front of Weymouth Harbour with blue green water and a white fishing boat moored. There is a row of narrow terraced three storey houses on the far side all painted in different colours.

Weymouth grew up around its harbour, and it’s a pretty historic spot. Fun fact – the Black Plague entered the UK through the ports of Melcombe Regis in 1348! Ships sailed from here to fight in the Spanish Armada, and the harbour was also the centre of much of the civil war fighting in the 17th century.

Today, it’s a picturesque spot lined with colourfully painted buildings, great pubs, and some quirky independent shops. If you want to take to the waves, there are a few boat tours and ferry services to choose from.

Or, for £1 you can take the rowboat ferry service across the harbour – a very cute way to hit the water! The harbour is also one of the best places in Weymouth to try your hand at crabbing. Grab a line and some bait from one of the nearby shops and see what you catch!

8. Eat the Best Fish and Chips in Weymouth

hand holding a white paper box filled with thick cut chips and a small breaded fishcake in front of a habrour with a row of narrow terraced houses painted in different colours, taken on a grey cloudy day.

This was a pretty big topic of debate between me and my family and friends while I was putting this post together! In the end, I HAD to go back to eat at both of the top two contenders and choose the winner once and for all.

Personally, I think the best fish and chips in Weymouth can be found at Fish ‘n’ Fritz – which is about a block away from the harbour.

The fish is fresh and locally sourced, the batter (a secret recipe) is superb, and the chips are chunky, soft-but-crispy perfection. And they genuinely have the best service I’ve ever received from a chip shop. Other very strong contenders are The Marlboro and Bennett’s, both near the harbour.

9. Visit a Pirate Graveyard

When I was a kid, the smuggling and pirate connections in Weymouth’s history fascinated me. So the ruined graveyard at the now-destroyed St Andrews Church on Portland was one of my favourite places to explore.

It’s known locally as the Pirate’s Graveyard, as several of the graves are marked with skull-and-crossbones symbols. You’ll find the graveyard next to Rufus Castle, above Church Ope Cove.

While researching for this post, I heard rumours that these markings probably don’t have anything to do with pirates after all. But it’s a popular local legend – and one I’m choosing to believe!

10. Paddleboard in the World’s 3rd largest Man-made Harbour

a man and woman standing up on red paddleboards on the sea, the woman is wearing a black rash vest and black shorts and the man has a dark beard and is wearing blue shirts and an orange t shirt.
Image Credit: Weymouth Watersports

When it was built in 1872, Portland Harbour was the largest man-made harbour in the world. Today, it’s thought to be the fourth-largest (although the harbour authority claims it’s the second-largest). Either way, at 520-hectares it’s pretty massive!

Naturally protected by Portland to the south, Chesil Beach to the west and mainland Dorset to the north, the waters in Portland Harbour are generally calm all year round. Which makes this a fantastic spot for paddleboarding! Rent a board or sign up for a lesson with Weymouth Watersports, and hit the water to get a different perspective on the coastline.

11. Spend the Night in a Lighthouse

small white lighthouse in between two one-storeywhitewashed cottages with grey tiled roods, with a small garden infront filled with flowers
Image Credit – Old Higher Lighthouse

If you’re looking for unique accommodation near Weymouth, why not consider renting your very own lighthouse? The Old Higher Lighthouse on the Isle of Portland features two cottages: one on the grounds and one attached to the lighthouse tower itself.

Built in the 18th century, Old Higher Lighthouse is full of history. This would definitely be a very unique place to stay in Weymouth! Click here to check prices.

12. Grab lunch on Portland Marina

Did you know, the 2009 movie The Boat That Rocked was mostly filmed on location in sunny Portland?!

There used to be a great restaurant on Chesil Beach inspired by the name of the movie which has sadly closed. In its place, The Kitchen at Portland Marina is a great alternative: great food, a lovely outside eating area, and fabulous views of the marina.

13. Meet the Rescue Turtles in Weymouth Sea Life Centre’s Turtle Sanctuary

close up of a sea turtle in a dimly lit tank with a damaged shell that has a large lump on the top
Josie the Turtle at Weymouth SeaLife

One of the top tourist attractions in Weymouth is the Sea Life Centre, a huge aquarium with outdoor and indoor exhibits featuring local and exotic marine life.

Here, you can get close-up views of everything from the hermit crabs you can spot in Weymouth harbour – to endangered Humboldt penguins hailing from South America.

It makes a great day out and is genuinely one of my favourite things to do in Weymouth. They also do lots of important rescue and rehabilitation work around the world – as well as running breeding programmes and championing education about environmental issues. CLICK HERE to check ticket prices and book.

For me, the highlight is the Turtle Tunnel, which is home to several rescue turtles from Florida. Accidents with boats off the coast of Florida left them with deformed shells that mean the turtles can’t swim properly, but the SeaLife Centre have re-homed them and fitted their shells with weights and/or floats to help them keep their balance. Without it, these beautiful creatures probably wouldn’t have survived.

14. Discover the Smuggling Secrets of The Fleet

Fans of the swashbuckling smuggler novel Moonfleet can’t miss a trip to The Fleet. It’s a brackish water lagoon between Chesil Beach and the mainland. Scattered along the coast, the village of Fleet is where J. Meade Faulkner’s novel was set, and you’ll spot a brass memorial to him in the now-ruined church. His story was a work of fiction, but this section of Weymouth’s coast abounds with real-life stories of smugglers.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, smugglers would land on Chesil Beach on moonless nights, judging their location by the size of the shingle, then store their contraband in the calm waters of The Fleet to collect later. The whole area is wrapped in intrigue – and it’s also a beautiful place for a walk.

15. Catch a Punch and Judy Show

Ah, that classic children’s tale of wife-beating and murder. Ok, these days the story has been updated slightly to make it less brutal than the original version – which is probably a good thing if you consider the actual story of Punch and Judy!

Either way, it’s a British seaside institution and Weymouth has one of the last beach-based Punch and Judy theatres in the country. Definitely worth a watch.

16. Visit Abbotsbury Swannery

swan in a nest with 7 grey signet chicks in front and a woodland out of focus behind at Abbotsbury Swannery
Credit: VisitEngland/Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Just along the coast, the pretty village of Abbotsbury makes a great day out from Weymouth. Along with beautiful old buildings and the remains of the 11th-century abbey which gives the village its name, Abbotsbury is home to the world’s only managed colony of nesting swans. The swannery is home to over 600 mute swans, and visitors can walk among them. Visit between mid-May and the end of June to see cygnets hatching!

17. Stay in a Georgian B&B in Weymouth

row of narrow terraced three-storey georgian houses painted cream covered in strings of flags and bunting with a union jack flying from the central house
Image credit: VisitEngland / Weymouth and Portland Borough Council / John Snelling

Many of the hotels along the Esplanade in Weymouth date from the Georgian period, when King George III began holidaying here and tourism took off in our lovely little seaside town. Until that time, most of the buildings on the seafront faced inland, their backs to the water. After tourism and sea-bathing became more fashionable, the buildings began to make an about-turn to face the ocean.

A Georgian-era B&B on Weymouth’s seafront is the perfect accommodation choice if you want to be close to the beach. My recommendation is B+B Weymouth: I’ve stayed there before and it was clean, comfy, and quiet – and directly opposite the beach. Perfect!

18. Check the Time on the Jubilee Clock

Red clock tower with a golden roof on a wide esplanade next to a sandy beach in Weymouth with a red sports car driving past
Credit: VisitEngland / Weymouth and Portland Borough Council / John Snelling

The red, blue and gold Jubilee Clock was built in 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It’s stood proudly on the seafront ever since and is now a Grade II listed building – and a Weymouth icon.

19. Visit Portland Bill Lighthouse

White lighthouse with a red stripe around the middle on a low rocky cliff edge next to the sea at Portland Bill
Image credit: VisitBritain / Rod Edwards

Another iconic Grade II listed building is the Portland Bill Lighthouse, which dates from 1906 and stands proudly at the edge of a  dramatic cliff.

Portland Bill itself is a must-visit when you’re in the area; the beautifully rugged and rocky tip of the island is a great spot to watch the waves crashing against the cliffs. Visitors can explore the old Keepers’ Cottage to learn more about the history of the lighthouse, and climb the tower itself for a fabulous view of the Dorset coastline.

20. Glamp on a Vineyard

metal shepherds hut painted light green behind some trees next to a small wooden hut with a gravel garden area in front of both and a small firepit with cooking apparatus
Image credit: Portesham Vineyards

England’s wine scene has really taken off in recent years, and the south coast is dotted with excellent vineyards. Dorset has several fantastic vineyards, including the artisanal Portesham Vineyard in Weymouth.

You can visit the vineyard for tours and tastings. Or, for a truly unique experience, you can glamp on-site in the vineyard’s boutique shepherd’s hut. It looks like a truly beautiful experience if you’re looking for accommodation with a difference.

21. Walk Along Chesil Beach

view of a long sandbank between the sea and a lagoon on the mainland taken at sunset with golden sky

If you went to school in England, you may well have seen Chesil Beach in your geography textbooks. It’s a pretty unique “barrier beach”, a 29km long strip of shingle beach connecting the isle of Portland to the mainland.

Geographically it’s significant, as one of just three shingle structures in the UK. But more importantly, Chesil Beach is a really pretty place for a walk! Starting at Abbotsbury, it’s possible to walk along the beach all the way to Portland, with the sea on either side of you.

22. Discover Sandsfoot Castle

Sandsfoot Castle in Weymouth, a small stone castle in ruins on the edge of a cliff with the sea behind and the isle of portland visible across the bay

For as long as there’s been a harbour between Weymouth and Portland, there’s been a risk of attack from the sea. In 1539, Sandsfoot Castle was built in Weymouth – almost directly opposite Portland Castle – to provide defence.

Today, it’s a crumbling ruin compared to Portland’s still-intact castle, but it’s in a gorgeous location with some fab views, and it’s also a great spot to explore with kids or history buffs. Fun fact – the castle was bought in 1902 for just £150!

23. Visit the White Horse

grassy hillside with a chalk drawing of a man on a horse

On the hill at Osmington, a huge white horse carved into the limestone stands overlooking the town of Weymouth. It depicts King George III – the town’s favourite patron – and it’s the subject of a bleak local legend.

Rumour has it that the artist who created the White Horse in Weymouth realised too late that he’d drawn King George riding away from the town. Worried that it would be seen as an insult, he killed himself rather than face the king.

But when King George next visited, he loved the hill figure and asked to meet the creator – and was disappointed to learn that he couldn’t. I can’t promise you that’s a true story, but it’s one almost every local seems to know!

24. Walk the Rodwell Trail

Follow the trail of an abandoned railroad which once ran from Weymouth to Portland. Along the way, the Rodwell Trail passes the leftovers of station platforms and runs through red brick tunnels.

These are the only relics of a once-busy railway line that ran here between 1865 and 1965. When I was a kid, my dad convinced me that a ghost train runs through those tunnels at night. Probably not true, but I still can’t walk through them without a shudder!

25. Fossil Hunting at Ringstead Bay

looking along a shingle beach in a small bay towards a grassy headland

Just up the coast, Ringstead Bay isn’t technically in Weymouth – but it’s close enough for a great day trip. Surrounded by dramatic cliffs, Ringstead Bay is a beautiful spot with lovely views and a great coastal path. It’s also a prime spot for some fossil hunting on Dorset’s famous Jurassic Coast. With various clay beds to explore, the area is rich in fossils – mostly from the Upper Jurassic period.

26. Discover a Victorian Brewery

Brewers Quay used to be one of the best tourist attractions in Weymouth. Formerly a busy Victorian brewery, the impressive red brick building once contained a variety of unique independent shops and cafes.

Sadly, most of that is gone now (the council sold the building a few years ago), but the brewery itself still stands and it’s one of the most attractive buildings in Weymouth.

When the redevelopment works are complete, the Brewery will re-open – as will the on-site Weymouth Museum. Their exhibitions are packed full of interesting artefacts, and detail the history of the town.

27. Eat the Best Local Seafood at Crab House Cafe

Close up of a cooked crab with large claws on a metal plate with slices of lemon on a wooden table - the best seafood in dorset
Photo credit: Crab House Cafe

A local favourite in Weymouth, the Crab House Cafe comes very highly recommended! We’re very proud of our seafood in Dorset (rightly so), and if you want to sample some of the best, freshest crab in the area this is the place to come. A colourful, casual restaurant overlooking Chesil Beach, Crab House Cafe has amazing views and a seriously enticing menu.

It’s all about the crabs, of course, which are locally caught, boiled, and then stir-fried in garlic, chilli, ginger and herbs. But the Crab House Cafe also have its own oyster beds. So you can eat super fresh oysters minutes after they’ve left the water!

28. Explore Portland Castle

ramparts of a grey stone castle with a large round turret beyond and two black canons lined up on the edge of the ramparts
Image credit: ©English Heritage

Twinned with Sandsfoot Castle (mentioned above), Portland Castle was also built in the mid-1500s by King Henry VIII and was considered one of his finest coastal forts.

Unlike its twin, Portland Castle is still in pretty good shape. It’s been lovingly restored as a museum which makes a fab day out. The castle is also a pretty unique place for weddings (my younger sister got married here) and has lovely views across Portland Harbour to Weymouth.

29. Hike Bincombe Bumps

grassy mound on top of a hill with a view of the sea beyond on a cloudy day - a bronze age burial mound at bincombe bumps in Weymouth
Photo credit: Daddy Luxton!

Weymouth might be best associated with Georgian seaside history and Victorian tales of smuggling, but history around here goes much further back. As you enter the town, you drive over the South Dorset Ridgeway.

From the crest of the hill, you can spot some of the Bronze Age burial mounds overlooking the village of Bincombe – known locally as the Bincombe Bumps.

In recent years, there have been some important archaeological discoveries around the area, so it’s a great place for a walk if you’re interested in prehistory. Or even if you’re not – since the views from up here are lovely!

30. Make a Wish at the Upwey Wishing Well

Thanks to a local tradition born in the early 20th century, the natural spring that is the source of the River Wey is called the Wishing Well. You fill a glass with water from the spring, take a sip, then throw the rest backwards over your left shoulder while making a wish.

Growing up, my best friend lived across the road from the well, so I’ve made many a wish here. Pretty certain at least one of them was to become a writer – so maybe those waters work! I can also highly recommend the Wishing Well Tearooms, which are lovely and set within some beautiful water gardens.

31. Jurassic Coast RIB Ride

Want to get the adrenaline pumping, and see a little more of Dorset’s famous Jurassic coastline? Take a RIB Ride from Weymouth Harbour! You can find several companies along the harbour offering fast-paced RIB rides either to Portland – or further along the coast to Lulworth and Durdle Door. It’s a great way to see the coastline from a whole new perspective.

32. Coasteering on Portland Bill

Pulpit Rock on Portland, a large grey rock stack in the sea besides the low rocky cliff edge with small waves crashing against the rocks in the foreground

Speaking of adrenaline-pumping activities – why not make the most of Portland Bill’s natural rocky playground with a go at coasteering? Portland Bill is a world-famous climbing destination, with a huge range of cliffs to suit all abilities.

Coasteering combines climbing with jumping, swimming, and other activities as you scramble through the waves, over rocks, and into some of the many caves dotted along the Bill.

33. Discover the Portland Batteries

Verne High Angle Battery on Portland in  Dorset, partly ruined concrete buildings and rooms with steps arranged around a wide paved area with grassy verges on either side

Also on Portland is the Verne High Angle Battery; a former 19th-century gun battery found at the top of the island. It may not look like much, but the Grade II listed site is pretty historic, built in 1891 to protect Portland’s harbour and naval base.

It was also used to store ammunition during WWII ready for the D-Day landings, as Weymouth harbour was one of the launch sites. Today, the batteries are a great place for a walk – with lovely views of Portland – and you can still enter many of the underground passageways (if you dare – I’m usually too scared!). It’s also a fantastic spot for a game of hide and seek!

34. Eat at Billy Winters

chocolate milkshake in a glass topped with whipped cream on a green wooden table outside next to a shingle beach with a view of the blue sea beyond on a sunny day
Photo Credits: Billy Winters

Billy Winters is a cafe on the beach in Portland Harbour, and comes highly recommended by numerous locals! A bit of a hidden gem, Billy Winters is known for its great food and gorgeous views of Chesil Beach. This is a lovely spot in the evening with a glass of wine as the sun goes down.

35. Catch a Show at Weymouth Pavilion

exterior of a large art deco style building of grey stone with a green metal roof, the blue sign above the door reads "weymouth paviliion"

For vintage seaside charm, head to Weymouth Pavilion, which stands on the pier between the beach and the harbour. Built in 1908, this historic building holds a soft spot in many local’s hearts – I even performed on the stage here a few times as a teenager (back when I still thought I could sing!).

Weymouth Pavilion also has a pretty good lineup of shows, especially during summer, with many that are perfect for families and young kids.

Since it lost funding from the local council, the Pavilion is now being run by a community of volunteers. So a visit will be helping to preserve a slice of local history.

36. Explore an Outdoor Sculpture Park at Tout Quarry

Did you know that St Paul’s Cathedral in London was built from limestone quarried on Portland? The architect Sir Christopher Wren was a local MP, and his use of Portland stone popularised the quarries. Many significant buildings in London (and throughout England) are made from our local limestone.

As a result, the Isle of Portland is dotted with old quarries. One of them, Tout Quarry, is now open to the public as a sculpture park and nature reserve. Take a stroll through the maze-like gullies of the old quarry and you’ll spot all kinds of stone sculptures produced by both well-known and emerging artists. This is probably one of the most unusual things to do in Weymouth and Portland, so it’s well worth a visit!

37. Have Lunch in Prison

large grassy lawn with several wooden picnic benches dotted around on a cliff top with a view of the blue sea on a sunny day

Looking for a lunchtime spot that’s a little bit different? Head to the Jailhouse Cafe at The Verne Prison on Portland. Run by charitable company Expia, the cafe is staffed by risk-assessed prisoners on day release.

It’s all about giving prisoners real work experience and training. This helps prepare them for release and gives them skills to find work after prison. Food tends to be simple classics like cod and chips, but it’s all well-prepared and reasonably priced. More importantly, the views from the cafe are spectacular – especially on a sunny day!

38. Explore the Sculptures at Sandworld

large sand sculpture with the faces of the cartoon characters Wallace, Gromit and Shawn the Sheep carved into it and a banner along the bottom which reads: Sandworld 2018

One of my favourite things to do on Weymouth Beach is to visit the sand sculptures, which have been built on the seafront for decades. Started by Fred Darrington in the 1920s, and continued by his grandson Mark Anderson, the sand sculptures can be found directly opposite the Alexandra Gardens and change regularly. So there’s always something new to discover!

In 2011, Mark Anderson co-founded SandWorld in Lodmore Park.  It’s a unique gallery filled with sand sculptures by a variety of artists. Especially popular with families and young kids, SandWorld is a very cute day out.

39. Soak Up the Smuggling History at Moonfleet Manor

large white manor house with a grey tiled roof in a grassy lawn on a sunny day with clear blue sky behind
© Luxury Family Hotels

I’ve already mentioned The fleet in Weymouth and its fascinating smuggling connections. Well, if you want the full experience you need to explore Moonfleet Manor Hotel.

This Georgian manor lends its name to Faulkner’s classic novel Moonfleet, and was owned by the Mohune family immortalised in the swashbuckling story. The story in the book might be fiction, but the village, the family, and the tales of smuggling along The Fleet are very real.

Today, Moonfleet Manor is a luxury hotel known for its quirky colonial decor and gorgeous coastal views. Book a stay here, or simply stop by for a lavish afternoon tea and a nosy around the historic property.


40. Take a Day Trip to Abbotsbury

Thatched cottages with whitewashed walls covered in climbing pink and yellow rose buses next to a narrow road in Abbotsbury newar Weymouth in Dorset

I’ve already mentioned the Abbotsbury Swannery above, but this beautiful village is close enough to Weymouth to be the perfect day out. So it definitely deserves a mention in its own right.

Surrounded by picturesque countryside and filled with pretty stone buildings, Abbotsbury is a textbook “English countryside village” and makes a gorgeous day trip. It’s even possible to walk there from Weymouth along the Jurassic Coastal Path.

The Abbey House tea rooms in Abbotsbury are one of the best in the area. Their cream teas are lush – and you must not miss their pudding “the Pig’s Delight”. There are also plenty of other tearooms and pubs to choose from, as well as several galleries and studios to explore in the village.

41. Step Back in Time at Weymouth Tudor House

narrow grey stone 3-storey terraced townhouse on a street in weymouth
By Ajsmith141 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

For such a small town, there’s a surprising amount of history to discover in Weymouth. One of my favourites is Tudor House, a small merchant’s property near the harbour. Lovingly restored, the museum is furnished as a 17th-century home. This is a great way to learn more about the history of Weymouth – and to get a glimpse of what life was like in Tudor times.

42. Catch the Views from the Jurassic Skyline Tower

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the Skyline Tower has now closed. I’ll find something else awesome to add in its place, so watch this space! 

43. Rent a Georgian Seaman’s Cottage

tall white lighthouse with a red stripe around the middle on portland bill in weymouth with rocks in the foregound and the sea just visible behind taken at sunset with pink clouds in the sky
Portland Bill Lighthouse

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Weymouth, there are several historic local properties available to rent. My favourite find is this Georgian Fisherman’s Cottage on the Isle of Portland. A big stone house with lovely sea views and some original features? Sounds like the perfect place to stay!

6 Unique Weymouth Festivals

There are tons of great festivals and events throughout the year in Weymouth. From village fetes and seaside carnivals to music and foodie festivals, there’s so much on offer.

Get the full lineup of festivals and events here to help plan your next trip to Weymouth – but don’t miss these highlights:

44. Catch the Weymouth Carnival

5 planes in the sky flying in different directions from the same point in a semi circular formation, the central plane has a red smoke trail, the two either side have white smoke trails and the outer two have blue smoke trails

There’s surely nothing more British than a summer carnival. Many towns across the country have one: retro affairs with bunting and street parades that celebrate all the most quintessentially British things. Like carrying on with summer events no matter what the weather does!

In Weymouth, our carnival takes place on the third Wednesday of August and it’s beloved by both locals and tourists alike. With a funfair on the seafront, fireworks at night, and a procession featuring the annual Carnival Queen, there’s always a lot happening. One of the highlights is the spectacular air show from British institution the RAF Red Arrows.

Next dates: 14th August 2024 (BACK after a 6-year hiatus!)

45. SEAFEAST: The Dorset Seafood Festival

white paper tray with steamed mussels on a bed of lettuce resting on the side of a large circular pan with fish being fried on it
Image credit: Dorset Seafood Festival

Weymouth began life as a fishing town, and we can still boast some incredible seafood – as well as excellent local produce! The annual Dorset Seafood Festival is one of the highlights of the summer. A harbourside festival celebrating the very best local produce – what’s not to love?!

It takes place right along Weymouth Harbour every summer, so you can literally see where your food is coming from. This is a celebration of the very best of local produce – not just seafood but cheeses, chutneys, and locally made liquors (like my favourite, Dorset Conker Gin).

Next dates: TBC (usually early September)

46. Enjoy the Quayside Music Festival

looking up at a balcony with three elderly men leaning on the railings, the man on the right has a white beard and a is wearing an old fashioned sailing cap, the central man is wearing a blue cap and pointing at something, the man on the left is wearing a light blue shirt and facing the camera.
Quayside Festival on Custom House Quay, Weymouth – 23rd July 2016 – Picture: Graham Hunt Photography

A celebration of local music and talent, the Quayside Music Festival takes place around Weymouth Harbour every bank holiday. With a large stage overlooking the harbour, this is a pretty unique spot for a music festival. There are also outdoor bars and food stalls dotted along the quayside, and a great atmosphere. Oh, and it’s totally free! Not a bad way to spend a weekend…

Next dates: TBC (usually all bank holidays throughout the year)

47. Greenhill Gardens Live Music

Right on the seafront at Greenhill, you’ll find the attractive Greenhill Gardens, fronted by brightly coloured beach huts and home to ever-changing flower displays.

The floral clock here was built in 1936 by the same company that designed the more famous version in Edinburgh’s Princess Street Garden. All summer long, Greenhill Gardens hosts live music events on Sundays – perfect for a lovely, relaxed afternoon in the sunshine!

48. Watch Motocross on Weymouth Beach

dense crowd of motocross racers on bikes on a sandy beach getting ready to start a race all wearing helmets and goggles, there is a big crowd of specators on the esplanade behind watching.
Credit: VisitEngland/Weymouth and Portland Borough Council/John Snelling

Every autumn, Weymouth Beach hosts the annual Beach Motocross event run by the Weymouth & Portland Lions Club. Motocross was invented in the UK, so there are many tracks across the country. But very few can be found on beaches, making this a pretty unique event! It’s also the biggest amateur motocross event in the UK – with over 300 riders taking part.

Next dates: 20 October 2024 – keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

49. Watch the Weymouth Yacht Regatta

two sailing yachts racing on the sea with several people on the deck of each one and the weymouth white horse visible on the hillside behind
Credit: VisitEngland/Weymouth and Portland District Council

With such an amazing coastline, the gorgeous bay, and Portland’s enormous harbour, it’s no surprise that Weymouth is hot on watersports. The sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics were held here for a reason!

Weymouth’s annual Yacht Regatta is a must for sailing enthusiasts! Coordinated by the town’s four sailing clubs, the regatta is open to any yacht of size or class. There are also after-race festivities and the Sunday evening prize-giving right on the harbourside, with a fantastic atmosphere!

Next dates: TBC (usually July – check their website for updates)

50. Spend NYE on Weymouth Seafront

white and blue firework exploding against the the night sky

It might surprise you to learn that Weymouth’s New Year’s Eve celebrations have been ranked among the best in Europe. Most years, there are over 20,000 participants, so this is one of the biggest fancy-dress parties in the UK!

The main event is Front Live. All the bars along the seafront come together under a joint ticket, and spill out onto the Esplanade for an enormous street party with live music and DJ sets. This is the perfect way to round off a year of enjoying all the amazing things to do in Weymouth!

Things to do in Weymouth: Map

Need help finding you’re way around? Use this colour-coded map to help you make sense of things…

Planning Your Trip to Weymouth

Check out my Dorset Travel Guide for loads more helpful info, travel ideas, and things to do in the local area.


There are so many excellent B&B’s, guest houses, and hotels in and around Weymouth to choose from! I’ve mentioned a few of my favourite finds in this post, but there are plenty more options. Check out my guide to the best places to stay in Dorset for some more top tips! 

As always, I recommend searching on to find the best price – I love their fab rewards programme. 


I’ve touched on food a little in this post, but Weymouth has an awesome foodie scene thanks to Dorset’s amazing local produce. Especially the fabulous seafood.

READ MORE: check out my Dorset gin round-up to see what you have to drink while you’re in town!

Explore More of Dorset

I also run a second website dedicated entirely to travel in Dorset. Dorset Travel Guide is packed full of local knowledge, awesome things to do, and great ideas for your trip.

Only got one day? I also have a one-day guide to Weymouth’s top attractions that might suit you better. 

If you want to explore more of the local area, check out these posts:

50 unique things to do in Dorset

Ultimate Dorset Coast road trip itinerary 

PS – I’d like to say a massive thanks to my dad, for filling my head with useless facts about Weymouth and my heart with a passion for my hometown! Also to the rest of my family, and my bestie Ruth, for their help in putting this post together.

Have I missed any of the best things to do in Weymouth and Portland? I’d love to hear your suggestions – scroll down to leave a comment!

Photo of Portland Bill lighthouse at sunset, a tall white lighthouse with a red stripe around the middle, next to some small white cottages. The text over the image reads: 50 things to do in Weymouth and Portland.

16 thoughts on “50 Unique Things to do in Weymouth and Portland”

  1. This is a great list, you included a lot of info that I wasn’t aware of, and I’m a local. I hadn’t heard of the Portesham Vineyard so I expect I’ll be heading that way soon.

    We really are blessed living in Weymouth & Portland, especially in the Summer.

    1. Thanks so much Jacquie :) I LOVE Weymouth so much – I’d been meaning to write a post about it for ages so this was a real labour of love. Feels like there’s still so much to cover though!!

  2. Thank you Emily, good list would have liked to see Portland Museum on the list, given to the Island by Dr Marie Stopes, also the Cove Inn and Quiddles on Chesil Beach.

    1. Hi Sandy!! I’ve had Quiddles recommended to me by a few people now – I must check it out next time I’m down. At some point I’d like to do a food guide to Weymouth so I’ll have to do some more research :)

      I forgot all about the Portland Museum. But with so many awesome things in our town I guess I was never going to fit all of them in. Maybe I’ll need to do a second post!

  3. Church Ope Cove has always been one of my favourite places to go, since I visited as a small child with my family in the late 80s. Even as an adult, no visit to Weymouth is complete without a trip to Portland and visiting this hidden gem. We usually spend a few hours down there with a picnic, watching the waves roll in and the fishing boats go by.

    I guess it’s best it doesn’t get talked about too much. The fact there’s never more than a few others there is one of the best things about it!

    1. Same – I love Church Ope Cove. It’s like a little secret, almost always deserted. And perfect for picnics or barbecues!! My dad takes us there quite often when I visit home now :)

  4. Such a beautiful part of the country! I always run away to other parts of the world when I go travelling, forgetting how many amazing things there are to see and do nearby! Great reminder that I could probably spend a bit more time exploring my own back yard…there’s something very cool about a pirate graveyard too! Thanks Emily!

    1. Ahhh thanks so much for commenting Danny :) I love my home town and the whole surrounding county!! I think as I get older I realise how much there is to see and do in this country as well as all the enticing things abroad!!

  5. Dear Emily,
    I do not usually make comments on such blogs, but I had to make an exception this time due to the wide range and quality of ‘Things to Do around Weymouth”.
    Yours was the 4th or 5th site I visited, (the othert being ‘official’ URLs, and it was by far the most informative. Many of your inclusions could be described as quirky, but I prefer “best unknown treasures”.
    My enjoyment of this area has been enhanced by your work.
    Thanks kindly.

    1. Hi Tom

      Thank you SO MUCH for commenting. It really does mean a lot to me, especially on posts like this one where I put in a lot of time, energy, and love into making the best post possible. I love my hometown so much and I really wanted to show off the best things to do there. I know all of my entries aren’t really unique, but there are certainly a lot of “unknown treasures” there as you said.

      I hope you get a chance to try them all :)


  6. Hi Emily, I will be a first time visitor in July, your post has helped so much,cannot wait to explore all Weymouth has to offer ???
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Andrew!! That’s so exciting – I’m very pleased you’re heading to Weymouth and I hope my post helps. There is SO much to do. Be sure to visit Portland as well, the landscapes there are incredible. Enjoy my hometown! :D

  7. Hi emily, very informative my mom was from portland and we still have many relatives there (she moved to the states after marrying my dad in 1961 or so)some even have the last name weymouth someday after covid i hope to visit .great list .mike b from california

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